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Nissan Americas SVP Carla Bailo Discusses NTC at 30

Carla Bailo, senior vice president for research and development at Nissan Americas, recalls her impressions of the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

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Q1. What was your first impression of NTC?

SVP Carla Bailo: The first time I visited Atsugi was in 1989 and my first impression was that it was huge, much larger than anything I had ever expected, especially in Japan. When I looked at the hotel I was staying in, I had a vision in my mind about what the technical center would look like and [the impression] was completely destroyed when I saw how huge it was, how many people were there, the activity that was going on… It was quite impressive.

Q2. How would you describe NTC?
SVP Carla Bailo: NTC is… I want to call it a machine. Everything happens on time, everyone works as a team, everything is organized well, and everything is communicated well. It’s like a machine and a very powerful, technically brilliant machine.

Q3. What role does NTC play globally?
SVP Carla Bailo: NTC in terms of growing out and expanding over the last few years – not just here at NTCNA (NTC North America) but in Europe, in Russia, in India – it has required a great depth of ability to be able to teach, to train and to ensure the engineers in all of the global sites basically develop to the same standard. We make sure we understand what the product requirements are.

NTC is driving knowledge transfer and will continue to allow us to grow and develop. I think now that the regional offices have become more mature, it’s probably time for a little bit of the learning to start going both ways because the regions can now be face-front to the market and can also then advise Atsugi, Japan, how to develop the products properly for their market.

Aerial view of Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan

Q4. How has NTC evolved?
SVP Carla Bailo: NTC over the last 30 years has changed dramatically from a company that was basically concerned about making products for Japan, sometimes exporting them to other regions, to a company that now thinks very globally, co-developing products with Renault and Daimler.

I expect as we progress into other alternative technologies, into working more with our partners, that that globalization will just continue to grow and the regions will begin to influence even the home office.

Any message for NTC at 30?
My warmest congratulations NTC! 30 years is a wonderful accomplishment. I am so happy to be part of the team.

Ian Rowley

Deputy Editor, Global Media Center

Cars, Design, Heritage, Management, People

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