In May 2018, the CITIZEN Group celebrated its centennial anniversary. We are aware that we have now stepped out into another century of even faster changes than we have ever experienced before. Even now, artificial intelligence (AI), robots, automatic driving technology, IoT, and many other technological innovations have rapidly changed our lifestyles. We, CITIZEN as a company, need to keep recognizing those changes in society and technologies, following up them and making growth in our business.
In addition, this April was the beginning of the final year of our medium-term management plan, “CITIZEN Global Plan 2018”, which we started in 2013. We have carried out various measures to be a “solid global company”, including structural reform and selection and concentration of businesses, however, even at this very final stage of our plan, we are still facing with changes that we need to deal with in each of our businesses.
First, in the field of watches, in which we place the core of our growth, we are going to shift from a defensive positioning to an offensive positioning, placing our priority on expansion of sales. Starting with the sales integration of CITIZEN and BULOVA brands, we have composed a new structure to promote a multi-brand strategy. From this year, we will heighten our presence in the market and raise our share using an “evolved multi-brand strategy”. Furthermore, now that we are in a revolutionary period in retail and distribution, we will offer products based on a “differentiation strategy that stands close to each distribution channel” and thus deal with the changes in varying customer preferences and buying behaviors. In addition, as one of the leading manufacturers in the world, we always challenge ourselves in proceeding with our innovative methods in manufacturing by reviewing our manufacturing processes and tackling issues to find ways to transform such methods.
The machine tool business, in which we place our second man pillar of business next to the watch business, is the only business field in the group that was able to achieve the target of the mid-term management plan during fiscal year 2017, before the final year of the plan. The business received high acclaim by customers for its detailed attention to the marketplace, and commercialization of its technology called low frequency vibration (LFV) cutting, which is one of our proprietary technologies that no other company has and makes CITIZEN unique company among the industry. However, many changes are being brought about in the industry, for example, the shift to electric vehicles (EV). Thus, we will further need to find ways to increase growth in the future, such as differentiating technology and entering into other fields of business and work out strategies to these ends.
In the device business and electronic equipment business, we will develop our skills more than ever in sensing technological or market trends, thereby assessing which technologies have the better advantage, or can compete better.
As part of the centennial anniversary of the Company’s founding, we have started a “Dispatch Program for Social Contribution Activities”, in which employees are dispatched to various places both in Japan and abroad. In other words, being the Company name is “CITIZEN”, we the employees have a desire to contribute as citizens; and with this desire in our hearts, learning new values will relate to revitalizing the organization, and reforming the climate of the CITIZEN Group as a whole.
As we take on the values built up by our forerunners, we will respond to the speed of change, and at times transform ourselves, to become a “solid global company”. We, the CITIZEN Group, stand united as a whole to challenge the new centennial.
Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
President & CEO