[YesAuto Technology] After the Nissan GT-R was released, I had many times imagined meeting Mizuno Kazuto. When I learned that he left Nissan in 2013, I felt that my vision was shattered. Could it be Mizuno? Is He Min going to retreat under the aura of “Father of GT-R”? The turning point of the matter came at the end of last year. The news of joining the Yulon Group's Huachuang Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. to do engineering development for Nazhijie spread wildly. This rekindled hope for me. However, I gradually realized that The original impulse has been replaced by more rationality. Indeed, what makes me more curious now is his work and goals in Huachuang Auto, because we all know what he is good at.
Perhaps in the future, the Luxgen brand will also give birth to a great model. To this, Mizuno did not give a clear answer, but in his opinion, at least Luxgen will become the most driving quality in its class. Model.
It can be seen from the name Huachuang Auto that this company is based in Taiwan to develop resources. Why do you say that? Needless to say “car”, this is a company that develops automobiles, and “electricity” represents Taiwan's dominant position in the field of electronic technology. This company hopes to integrate local electronic technology development resources and take advantage of automotive electronics. Build the Nazijie brand and conduct differentiated competition in the market.
With the three missions of “enhancing the competitiveness of existing model products”, “model modification work” and “developing new product development plans”, in December 2014, Kazuto Mizuno joined Huachuang Automotive Electronics. Look, you still can’t get access to the work results of the “Father of GT-R” in the new owner. The models that he fully dominates will not come out until 2-3 years later. At present, he is participating in the Nazhijieyou 6 Remodeling of SUV models.
● Why join Yulon
In some previous visits, some interviewees who had just “changed jobs” were asked why they joined the company, and most of them responded in accordance with the official language that had been prepared. In this way, they were both decent and able to give. A reasonable answer from the public. Normally, all media practitioners, including me, would gladly accept such “facts”, but in the face of such a rare interview opportunity as Mizuno Kazuto, if it is just a few words of promise , I think, I'm sorry for my lush years, but fortunately, I know he is a genuine engineer. Sure enough, as soon as I met, this car industry “old naughty boy” used polite words such as “welcome” and “have a hard time” to greet me, but the eloquent conversation made me more willing to understand his original meaning as “little ghost.” , Hello”.
Like most of you and me, before joining the Yulon Group, Kazuto Mizuno knew little about the Yulon Group and the Luxgen brand. In our opinion, Nissan has succeeded in Nissan under the aura of the “Father of GT-R”. Retirement should be the perfect ending of this story, and now, joining the Yulon Group means that this old man who has passed 60 years has no plans to retire in a short time. He hopes to inject his understanding of automotive engineering development into the new The brand can once again create its former glory. I think this may be the reason why he left Nissan, but he still can't make a good interpretation of joining the Yulon Group. It is better for Kazuto Mizuno to talk about it personally.
Conclusion The first communication method is not suitable for answering such questions. In contrast, the truth of the matter is very important. Maybe it is worried that the simple language communication is too pale. Before sitting in the chair hot, he stood up and walked forward. The drawing board behind it talks about the current status of the world's automobile development and the development trend of automobile manufacturers in Asia. I want to look at such a big circle, and finally how to get back to my question.
◆ Vendors striving to have all development resources
As Mizuno said, there are two technical directions for automobile development at this stage. Toyota is the representative of the development and integration of core technologies. In other words, the resources of a car company need to cover and penetrate the entire automobile R&D and production. In the process, although it seems that the scattered suppliers adopt an independent operation model, it is well known that Denso, a well-known supplier of transmission systems that are responsible for the development of electrical systems, and Aisin, etc., are all “stripped off” from Toyota's system. Therefore, Toyota adopts a heavy-duty development system, and because of this, the size and cycle of a car's development team are often difficult to reduce.
◆ Manufacturers who deploy lightly and re-develop
Another type, Kazuto Mizuno moved out of Porsche. Porsche’s car-making philosophy is significantly different from Toyota. From the perspective of this company alone, it pays more attention to the integration of resources than the amount of resources reserved. Of course, the core The mastery of technology is very important. According to the needs of model products, we will cooperate with suppliers to develop. For example, we are familiar with PDK dual-clutch gearboxes. ZF has played an indispensable role in it. You must know that in wet clutches In terms of development resources, BorgWarner is much stronger in all aspects. Of course, you can also think that this is an inevitable cooperative relationship between alliances, but what is more important is Porsche's ability to control core technologies. Under the premise of the same development efficiency, this model can make the development team of the OEM more streamlined. What this brings is the simplification of the personnel structure, direct communication and efficient development process.
In the past period of time, what Mizuno Kazuto advocated was the latter's development model, which is also his habitual working method. And for a Nazhijie brand with a short history, this streamlined development model is more appropriate from the perspective of its development history. Of course, this also puts forward higher requirements on the ability to integrate resources. Speaking of this, the advantages of Mizuno and Minzu can complement the development of the Nazhijie brand. However, looking at it on the other hand, it’s like two people on each side who are on each side. Suitable people may not meet each other. Even if they meet, they may not be able to come together eventually. What kind of chance is it? Bring the two sides together?
◆ Achieve the strength to fight against major European manufacturers?
Although little is known about the Yulon Group to which the Luxgen brand belongs, the relationship between Nissan and Yulon Motor, which has occupied most of Mizuno's career, goes back half a century. In other words, when Kazuto Mizuno joined Nissan after graduating from school in 1972, the two car companies had gone hand in hand for 15 years.
As early as 1957, Yulon and Nissan launched a technical cooperation. The reason for the cooperation between the two parties is very simple. We now hear more about using the market for technology. Nissan helped Yulon establish a proper automobile R&D system and complete the development of models. This cooperation continues to this day. At present, many Nissan models (Tiida, Sylphy, Teana, Machi, and Liwei) are produced and sold by Yulon in Taiwan.
The close relationship between the two automobile companies has built a bridge between Mizuno and Yulon Group, joined the subordinate Huachuang Automotive and Electric Company, and developed and adjusted the models of the Luxgen brand.
Of course, if you want to realize your vision again on a new platform, you also need to build on a certain development basis. As mentioned above, from the initial R&D, production to the establishment of the Automotive Engineering Center in 1982, There is a deep development foundation behind the Zhijie model. It is precisely because the Taiwan region’s advantages in technology development are valued, and only Yulon has independent design, development and production. Therefore, joining its technology development company is the best choice. In his opinion, such a foundation is the best choice. Coupled with his years of accumulation in the automotive industry, he will eventually be able to compete with major European manufacturers.
● The drop from GT-R to general passenger cars?
From the perspective of the positioning of the development model, the GT-R is the flagship product of Nissan, and Mizuno's subsequent words also made me feel that extraordinary posture.
“Good things don't actually need to be so expensive.” When Mizuno said this, he took a step closer to me, and his tone became mysterious, as if he was about to pour out an unknown secret to me.
Usually, as the person in charge of product development, they all hope that their products can be given a higher price by the market to get value recognition, but in Mizuno Kazuto's view, that vision is too short-sighted, in comparison , The value of subverting traditional cognition is far higher than the setting of product prices.
The Nurburgring North Loop results in 7 minutes and 38 seconds, with an acceleration ability of 100km/h at a standstill (the 0~100km/h acceleration result in the car home is 3.63 seconds. At present, this result ranks third in the McLaren 12C and Audi After RS 7, of course, these two cars are latecomers) and the handling quality on wet and slippery roads in snow. Before the GT-R came out, if you want to get them, you have to pay at least 2~3 times the price. (Taking Japanese prices as an example, there will be certain differences in different markets due to different tariffs and brand positioning.) Only a sports car with a performance like GT-R can be obtained.
To a certain extent, the situation of the Luxgen brand in the current car market is somewhat similar to that of Nissan’s position in the flagship sports car camp at that time. They are all faced with an opportunity to start from scratch or wait for the revival. How do you look at it? In the seemingly stable market structure, find another way to find the value of your own existence. In addition to the adjustment of the chassis, you will find in the previous communication that Kazuto Mizuno is very good at thinking about such problems.
● How do you plan to do it
◆ Mutual penetration of technical teams
All development projects start from drawings. The CAD engineering draftsmen in the technical team established by Kazuto Mizuno in Japan have begun to settle in the technical center in Taiwan, in order to make the Japanese development concept and the use of electronic technology in Taiwan Combined, I believe that with the continuous advancement of vehicle model project development, there will be more virtual development projects for cooperation. Indeed, if we can learn more about the way of virtual development with the help of computers, then this will greatly improve the advancement In this regard, Taiwan-born companies have unique advantages in their design and post-validation work efficiency.
Of course, virtual development cannot completely replace actual testing. Yulon’s own team conducts power system testing and durability testing, especially durability testing. Many manufacturers are relatively conservative in the application of electronic equipment, because The reason for driving road conditions is that the working environment of the electronic equipment installed in the car is more complicated. In addition, safety is also an issue. The Nazigen brand, which uses electronic technology as its DNA, puts a part of the work focus on the stability of electronic equipment. Development and verification work.
◆ Team combing
Now that I have an understanding of the Luxgen brand, I will fully implant my own ideas into this brand. First of all, I mentioned that the development model adopted by Porsche is favored by Mizuno. Next, we will focus on this The model changes the personnel structure of the development team. Like Toyota and Volkswagen, a project requires tens of thousands of people and takes 7 to 8 years. If this model is applied, it will obviously make it easy to miss the products of the Luxgen brand. Opportunities in the market.
Mobilizing the development enthusiasm of suppliers can streamline their own development team, but this does not mean letting them develop freely. On the contrary, they must cooperate closely in the development process, by setting higher standards for suppliers, and exporting to them when necessary. With their own technology, suppliers will naturally go all out when they see an opportunity to improve their own technical strength, so as to improve their position in the industry.
◆ Isn’t the technology imparting afraid that the supplier will provide it to other OEMs?
Mizuno is not worried about this, because as the leading development manufacturer, it maintains fine control over the technological process and system management. Waiting until the supplier can output a complete solution will have to wait until the end of the model development. Of course, if you After that, if it is exported, the competitive advantage of the technology will not be so obvious, and the manufacturers leading the development of this technology can also stabilize their position in the industry.
◆ Create brand height with driving pleasure
Driving pleasure is what Mizuno has always emphasized. He believes that this is the most basic feature of a car. If it is just a means of transportation, then the value of the brand will be difficult to improve in the minds of users. At that time, Luxgen entered the market with a high-end brand positioning. The first MPV model filled the market gap at that time and was a great success. However, with the saturation of the Taiwan market and the pressure of competition in the mainland, there was a lack of recognition. It is difficult for Zhidu's Nazhijie to establish an image in the high-end class. The driving pleasure emphasized by Mizuno is undoubtedly a strong support for this.
It needs to be explained here that Luxgen’s high-end strategy is actually to provide products with the best performance in all aspects in the same level, including the electronic technology, space, control, etc. they are good at. From another perspective, this is also an establishment Competitive strategies in differentiated market segments.
◆ Where to do the control adjustment?
Mizuno divides the vehicle's chassis tuning into two stages. One is more basic tuning work in Taiwan, such as durability and stability, and the other is high-end tuning work related to handling characteristics.
The adjustments in Taiwan will not be introduced too much. In terms of handling characteristics, the vehicles will be transported to the Japanese AUTO-POLIS circuit at this stage, and professional racers will participate in the adjustment work. This track, which was completed and put into use in 1990, was designed and developed by the Honda F1 team director Sakumin Sakurai in the 1960s. It is currently one of Japan's main racing tracks for auto racing.
The chassis tuning of the Luxgen You 6 SUV model is currently being adjusted on this track. Not only that, all the Luxgen brand models will accept the baptism of this track, whether it is a sedan, an SUV, or an MPV. Models, Mizuno Kazuto hope that they can become a product with the best driving experience in the same class.
◆For the engine part, what kind of work will the modified You 6 SUV do?
After coming to Yulon Group, Mizuno also completed a change of identity. Compared with the original title of chief engineer, he is now the vice president of Huachuang Electronics. The change of position also means that the problem needs to be viewed from a higher perspective, although It is still responsible for the engineering development of the model, but also takes into account the positioning and development of the entire brand. In any case, the elite combat concept advocated by Mizuno will become the main development model of Huachuang Automotive Electronics, so as to effectively control the cost of development. While retaining the electronic DNA of Nazhijie, it pays attention to the communication between vehicle control and the driver. To shape the brand image, in the eyes of Mizuno, Huachuang Automotive and even Yulon people, they hope that Luxgen’s models will become the models with the strongest sense of technology and the most driving experience in its class, and ultimately have the ability to shake the position of European car manufacturers. I don’t know how much you think it takes to buy such a car. “Good things don’t have to be that expensive,” Mizuno said again. (Photo / Li Boxu, the home of the car)