Meet Keiko Yano. Under her leadership, Visteon has expanded its support to Japanese automakers including Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda and now Toyota. She and her ambitious team are concentrated on flawless execution, shorter time-to-market cycles to meet customers’ needs, and committed to expanding Visteon’s footprint in Japan.
During a recent conversation with women in Visteon’s APAC region, Yano-san spoke about her career spanning three decades at Visteon, her professional journey and mentorship. Here is what she had to say.
Forming a strong team
Today Visteon has over 250 engineers working in Japan. There is tremendous opportunity to grow our business. But to grow and to sustain that growth takes the work of an incredible team.
A few years ago, when I received the offer to lead Visteon in Japan, the first thing that came to my mind was the strong team. I met with people from Yokohama, Nagoya to Hiroshima, and told them that I had received an offer to lead Visteon Japan, and I was excited to be part of this journey with them. The rest is history.
We are a diverse team with individual characteristics and perspectives, and we use our strengths to achieve our common goal. I am immensely thankful to the team for demonstrating leadership, teamwork and technical expertise that supports the business the company is nurturing with automakers in Japan.
Learning and progressing
We only study in college between four to seven years, but we work for 40. Therefore, learning must be continuous. Applying oneself beyond what we have learned at the university is essential to success.
As a technology company focused on cockpit electronics and electrification, we need to continuously design and engineer products that support the evolving market trends and changing customer expectations. I always ask my teams to challenge the status quo and ask these questions to themselves:
- How can we be more proactive?
- How can we introduce advanced features in the cockpit (such as ADAS, driver monitoring)?
- What would it take to incorporate a display with better resolution and high image quality?
- How do we render real-world driving scenarios in the cluster so that drivers can better see the environment around the vehicle?
- How can we leverage the progress that is happening in the camera and sensor industries?
- How do we delight the end consumers?
And as a leader, it’s important that my team is aware that in the process of creating something new, it’s OK to sometimes make mistakes. The important thing during innovation is to accept a mistake and quickly make adjustments based on the learnings.
In Japanese, there is a proverb: Fall seven times, get up eight. There may be disappointments or failures but that should not deter you from progressing. Continuous improvement is what is most important.
Redefining the limits
I also remind my team: Don’t limit yourself. Take on challenging assignments. Believe in yourself and explore your potential by coming out of your comfort zone, and you will see what you are capable of.
As a team, we are constantly focused on customers and technology. We are developing products for regional and global markets. We constantly challenge ourselves. We invest time in understanding the global market needs and future trends through marketing, benchmarking and technology partners. We leverage Visteon’s strengths in developing new technologies to feed our innovation pipeline.
I set demanding goals to increase the performance benchmark. This is not an easy task, but it is great when we make it happen. I enjoy seeing my team feeling proud of their achievements and I celebrate with them.
Collaboration is essential for germination of new ideas to deliver cohesive technology that advances the user experience. Welcoming input from diverse minds contributes to unique and forward-thinking products and solutions. Innovation is derived from the nurturing of shared values and a culture of openness and working together.
I believe collaboration has one more benefit: Collaborating with people better than you will trigger a competitive drive from within. This will also enable you to challenge yourself to do more and achieve more. The competitive spirit will give you the necessary push to carve out the appropriate solution.
Over the next two to three years at Visteon, I expect to see an increase in the penetration of software and electrification technologies in the marketplace. We are seeing a lot of interest from OEMs in Japan, specifically toward pillar-to-pillar displays, large pillar displays, voice assistants, OLED, ECU consolidation and over-the-air updates. I am very optimistic that we are very well positioned to achieve these goals.
To explore career opportunities with Visteon in Japan, check out our careers section.