In 2013, the CITIZEN Group initiated its medium-term management plan, “CITIZEN Global Plan 2018” with an aim to become a “solid global company”. We are now in the 5th year of this effort, and a serious approach must be taken to elevate our performance before entering the final year of this plan. However, I must say that the circumstances around us are becoming increasingly unpredictable and uncertain as significant events, such as BREXIT and US presidential election, have introduced more instability to the world’s economy.
In such uncertain times, the CITIZEN Group is striving to enhance its strength to adequately deal with changes in external circumstances. For that reason, the Group has been focusing on the following three challenges. The first challenge is manufacturing innovation. This is one of our key approaches, which needs to be undertaken in the later phase of the medium-term management plan. We are working hard to maintain our cost competitiveness in order to survive intensifying competition. We are also thoroughly advancing our efforts to maximize manufacturing profitability. The second is to focus on well-selected businesses. Although we have been working to reform our business categories, we would like to further focus on investment of our resources into selected categories to increase our profitability. The third challenge is to become an industry leader. For this purpose, we strive to be responsive to the world trends as well as trends in industry and technology and to develop and provide new technologies and values.
The watch business, which is a core business of the CITIZEN Group, will further promote its multi-brand strategy. The objectives of this approach include enhancement of the presence of CITIZEN Group in the industry and market and the strengthening of our responsiveness to market diversification and regulations concerning major corporations.
Acquisition of BULOVA (USA), Prothor Holding (Switzerland) and Frederique Constant Holding (Switzerland) helped CITIZEN to further enrich its brand portfolio and its capability to respond to the diversified preferences of our customers. We will work to maximize the synergy between these brands and the CITIZEN brand.
Regarding the machine tools business, which is our second core business, we will work to expand sales of the Miyano lathe machines in North America and the Cincommachines in the US and Europe, in a bid to secure steady business growth and maintain a leadership position in the automatic lathe industry. For the devices and components business, we will continue to expand our auto-related businesses and enhance its quality improvement activities, and in terms of the opto-devices business, we will be developing a quality management system and also a competitive technology that meets the needs of our users. As for the electronic products business, we will work to expand sales by expediting the development of new products and enhancing US sales.
In the era of uncertainty, businesses need various skills including the ability to identify the essence of things and the capability to respond to rapid changes. It has been nearly one hundred years since founding of CITIZEN. Now is the time CITIZEN should take advantage of its accumulated abilities and potential to pave the way to the future. The CITIZEN Group companies will continue to meet the many challenges it faces as it grows into a “solid global company.”
Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
President & CEO