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From Value One, Spring 2011 No. 32
Nifast Hungary Kft.
Automotive Fasteners Distributor
Supplying More than 500 Items to Suzuki
Established in 2004, Nifast Hungary Kft. has a total of 24 employees, including two Japanese representatives. The company supplies small components, primarily bolts, nuts, and other fasteners, to Suzuki Motor Corporation's Hungarian plant, Magyar Suzuki Corporation. Our warehouse and office are a few minutes by car from the Suzuki plant, and we supply more than 500 items just in time, according to the amounts to be used. We order the appropriate amounts of items from each supplier at the appropriate times based on weekly information sent by Suzuki about the amounts of items scheduled to be used. We handle delivery management, import procedures, inspection of incoming items, inventory management, and container deliveries in an integrated fashion. Most of the goods are imported from Japan, and in Japan, Metal One Steel Products Corporation handles the management and exportation of individual manufacturers' goods. Other than Magyar Suzuki, we supply fasteners to around 40 automotive components manufacturers in Hungary and surrounding countries. Our FY2009 sales volume was approximately ¥2.1 billion.
Nifast Hungary's warehouse

Beneficiary of North American Operations' Good Reputation
The Nifast operation began in North America in the late 1980s, and our business is based on Nifast Canada Corporation being entrusted with the handling of fastener varieties used by CAMI Automotive Inc., a joint-venture plant between Suzuki and General Motors Company more than 20 years ago. The customer trust built up over many years by the North American operations and the expertise and systems to manage multiple kinds of products efficiently can be described as our strengths. Many types of fasteners cost less than one yen, but the car production line stops if even one screw is missing, so all our employees always approach their work with a focused attitude.
Our sales volume increased every year from our founding in 2004 to 2008 in proportion to Magyar Suzuki's production increases. However, it fell approximately 30% in 2009 due to the impact of the financial crisis and has yet to recover. To compensate for this, we have been striving to expand sales primarily to automotive components manufacturers.
Nevertheless, even Japanese customers are not expected to insist on fasteners made in Japan from here on out. Instead, they will increasingly voice their intention to seek optimum global procurement. We think the fact that Nifast Corporation conducts business globally—in North America (the United States, Canada, and Mexico), Asia (China and India), and Europe—and has business relations with manufacturers worldwide are our great strength.
Esztergom, Hungary's Ancient Capital
Esztergom, where Nifast Hungary is located, is some 40 kilometers to the northwest of the capital, Budapest, and a border city next to Slovakia, across the Danube River. You enter Slovakia by crossing a bridge in the city and can come and go freely because passports are not checked now. If you go near Esztergom, you will be stunned at the view of the majestic basilica that stands on a hill along the Danube River. This is the seat of Hungary's Catholic church and where the coronation of Istvan I, first king of the Kingdom of Hungary, took place around the year 1000, so the city is one of history and faith for the Hungarians. I think that the city has the same aspect that Kyoto and Nara do for the Japanese.
Esztergom sunset; Slovakia is across the bridge.

Esztergom Basilica seen from the Slovakia bank of the Danube River
Hungary's Hot Springs
If you look at a map of Europe, you would not think that Hungary is much to the north. In terms of latitude, however, it is further north than Hokkaido, about the same as the southern tip of Sakhalin. The temperature is below freezing even during the day on many days in midwinter, and it is pitch dark by 4 p.m. During the cold winter, Hungary's multitude of hot springs is something for which a Japanese person can be grateful. Although the majority of hot springs are on the tepid side for the Japanese, there is a 42°C pool where you can warm up sufficiently at the Rudas Thermal Bath near Elizabeth Bridge in Budapest. Its domed bath halls constructed of stone offer a sense of the vestiges of the era of Ottoman Turk rule and are worth seeing if you travel here.
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