Top MessageWe will enhance our corporate value by responding to changes in the automotive industry with improving performance of our North American operations.Sudden, Rapid Changes in the Automobile IndustryThe automobile industry, an important business foundation for Akebono, is currently in a period of transformation, with increasing requirements for response to global environmental problems and safety issues. To address environmental problems, development of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as EVs and FCVs is rapidly progressing. At the same time, safety improvements are also moving forward as autonomous driving technology evolves, along with research into supporting infrastructure and the electrication of various mechanisms. A number of other industries have entered this eld, and we believe this will further intensify competition in development for survival. In addition, the development of information technology and the emergence of new values regarding cars have given rise to a shift from ownership to use, and the concept of ride sharing has been becoming popular. Akebono will need to respond to the wide variety of changes.Three Strategies Built Around Our Identity as AkebonoAmidst these changes in business conditions, we at Akebono aim to enhance corporate value by maximizing our unique position as a small, specialized, independent manufacturing company. By taking advantage of the swift decision-making capability that comes with being a small organization, we will leverage our deep, specialized knowledge of friction and vibration as we take on the challenge of further expanding the range of our business. We will attempt to break into new elds by taking advantage of the freedom that comes with being independent, creating something from nothing through a focus on manufacturing. And because the Company requires organizational capabilities to accomplish what individuals alone cannot, we will work to respect the individual associates who support the organization as we develop truly global personnel.As conditions surrounding the Company undergo sudden, rapid change, we have established the following three strategies for scal 2017 to ensure our survival in the market while taking advantage of our strengths as a “small, specialized, independent manufacturing company.”Forging the akebono Way for Global Roll-OutThe rst strategy is to forge the akebono Way and roll out globally. A key factor in the formulation of this strategy was the manufacturing burden that arose in our North American operation in 2013. Over time, Akebono has weathered three major transitions and overcome many generational changes. Our resilience has been underpinned by our unique strengths and values, and as times have changed, we have reected those changes in our company credo, in our APS*, in our Corporate Mission, in our Declaration for the 21st Century, and in our Brand Statement. As we expand our business globally going forward, however, we nd that we need more concrete guiding pillars for decision making. The akebono Way is thus being formulated and rolled out as a guideline for actions and decisions to ensure our sustainable growth.Establishing Foundations for Product-based Business Unit StructureThe second strategy is to build a foundation for product-based business units, an effort that began last year. To further deepen collaboration between our regional operations in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia and enhance customer satisfaction globally, we launched ve product-based business units responsible for sales, R&D, purchasing, production, and manufacturing engineering functions. This will accelerate efforts to identify issues by business unit and construct operation mechanisms. By strengthening global competitiveness, we aim to increase the protability of individual products while establishing a global network.Promoting Respect for People and Developing the Talent and Contribution of Every Individual AssociateThe third strategy is to respect for people and develop the talent of every individual associate. In both of our other two strategies—Forging the Global Roll-Out of the akebono Way, and Establishing Foundations for Product-based Business Unit Structure—it is important that our 07 AKEBONO REPORT 2017

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