On April 1, 2022 (Friday), AUTOBACS SEVEN held the 2022 welcoming ceremony at Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Ariake. The following is a message from Kiomi Kobayashi, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer, for new employees.
While implementing measures such as disinfecting hands, wearing masks, and maintaining a sufficient distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, we conducted the ceremony in a face-to-face meeting style.
Congratulations to all new employees. Thank you for choosing AUTOBACS SEVEN among many companies.
The spread of COVID-19 has been prolonged and the situation is still unpredictable, but I am very pleased to be able to meet together today and hold this welcoming ceremony. Nowadays, we are experiencing drastic changes, not only the spread of COVID-19 infection, but also the extreme weather events, and the military invasion that are taking place in the world right now. We believe that we are given the opportunity to rethink what is essentially important in situations where what we have taken for granted is not the norm.
Under such circumstances, it is very important and thankful that we were able to welcome you to AUTOBACS SEVEN today. I would like to thank you once again.
Expectations for new employees
People who have joined AUTOBACS SEVEN are gathered here, but about 500 new employees have joined the entire AUTOBACS Group. Each has a different role, but we hope that you can grow and develop through friendly competition, remembering that we are all in the same boat.
We have been trying to recruit people who will be responsible for the future of AUTOBACS SEVEN, that have qualities such as motivation to challenge, motivation to grow, ability to accomplish, flexibility, and abilities with deep insights. We believe everyone here are a very talented people who have those features. There is nothing better than if you value these qualities and features that you have, challenge yourselves in various ways, and acquire knowledge and abilities.
In 1974, AUTOBACS Group opened Japan’s first one-stop shop for automotive goods in Daito City, Osaka Prefecture. At that time, tires, batteries and other automotive goods were handled in different stores for each product. We continued to take on unprecedented challenges, such as breaking down these barriers and selling automotive goods at a single store, and clearly presenting the labor charge, which used to be included in the price of merchandise. In this way, we have pursued convenience for our customers and created a car lifestyle culture along with the evolution of motorization.
Forty-eight years have passed since then, and now we have about 600 stores, and we are providing safety and security to our customers as the phrase "Anything about cars, you find at AUTOBACS".
As you know, the environment surrounding automobiles is facing a once-in-a-century transformational period. We must continue to provide safe and secure merchandise and services in line with the evolution of vehicles themselves, such as the spread of autonomous driving and EVs. For example, advanced safety functions such as automatic braking must always work correctly, and we can provide safety to our customers by checking and calibrating these functions.
Also, the way of business related to cars will change. For example, what will we need when we no longer need to drive due to autonomous driving? Please imagine this. We may read books or enjoy entertainment such as watching videos. What kind of items will be needed then? Furthermore, what kind of enjoyment will be there at our destination? Camping in nature is one of them, but there are many more ways to enjoy cars.
We must continue to provide merchandise and services tailored to every situation in which our customers use their cars, without being bound by conventional concepts.
Values that we cherish: Three CVs
To that end, we have the value of three CVs that we value as AUTOBACS Group. This is the first letters for the three keywords: "Customer Voice," "Change Value," and "Challenge Vision."
"Customer Voice" means that we should listen carefully to our customer's voice and reflect them in our merchandise and services. This applies not only to our customers, but also to the associates that work at our company and the entire AUTOBACS Group, and we expect them to insist on "listening" to the other person's voice. "Change Value" expresses our intention to continue to search for merchandise and services that meet the diversifying needs of our customers regarding the three values we provide: "safety and security," "experience and discovery," and "self-expression." "Challenge Vision" expresses our desire to continue to take on challenges and to be a company that customers will continue to choose and rely on 100 years from now.
Importance of continuing to challenge
In the "Five-year Rolling Plan" that AUTOBACS SEVEN have been promoting since 2019, we aim to improve convenience with a sense of speed from the customers' point of view by collaborating with businesses that have been competing until now. Starting from AUTOBACS business, we continue to take on challenges through activities such as changing definitions of customers and points of contact with customers, and changing the way how we sell, to who we sell, where we sell and what we sell.
I'm sure there are people here who are familiar with cars and who are not. From a new perspective of each and every one of you, please let us know what you are wondering about and what you think you should improve. We would like you to take on many challenges by taking advantage of your flexibility and free ideas.
I will step down as the Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer and assume the post of Director and Chairman after this year's General Meeting of Shareholders. From June, under the new leader Mr. Horii as Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer, we will maximize the power of the organization in the midst of drastic changes. As AUTOBACS SEVEN changes, we will have higher execution power and driving force, and will keep moving towards our vision.
I look forward to working with you all as we take on the challenge of continuing to provide new value as a company that will be in demand by our customers for the next 100 years. I look forward to your success. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of you today.
Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer, AUTOBACS SEVEN Co., Ltd.