Nissan Motor Co. plans to reduce waste and speed production with a build to order system, Associated Press (AP) reported, citing the car maker’s executive vice president Hisayoshi Kojima speaking on the opening day of the annual University of Michigan automotive management seminars yesterday.

“Ultimately we want to be able to build a vehicle from start to the end according to what the customer wants,” AP quoted Kojima saying.

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AP said Kojima sees Nissan’s plan as a link between the production schedule and daily orders while halving the time it takes to deliver a vehicle requested by the customer.

The delay between order and delivery averages 25-30 days in Japan and 40 in the United States, AP said. Nissan hopes to reduce that to a couple of weeks for buyers in Japan within two years but it was unclear when and what target might be met in the United States.

AP also cited Nissan spokesman Fred Standish saying that the goal would apply to vehicles built in the country where they are ordered which would mean Nissan factories in Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee, plus a new plant in Canton, Mississippi, due to open in 2003.

Kojima said Nissan is trying to reduce inventories and streamline production in areas such as body assembly, AP reported.

Principles of the new system have been used at the new plant in Mississippi from the early planning stages, Kojima added, according to AP.

He didn’t know how much money the company might save with its manufacturing changes but simply reducing vehicle stocks should be a big help, AP said, citing Kojima.

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