The collapse of Lehman Brothers brought major confusion to the world's financial industry and caused the world's real economy to shrink rapidly. Despite the recovery achieved by economic stimulus programs in many countries, the world economy still shows signs of instability. At the same time, change is taking place in the business environment, with advanced countries being replaced by emerging economies as economic engines.
In the midst of this downturn, however, some attractive consumer products are seeing major growth in sales. Smartphones and hybrid vehicles are among the most successful of these.
Smartphones have the innovative control and display concept of touching a finger to icons displayed on a large screen. This feature combines with very convenient internet access to
attract many consumers, driving rapid growth in sales.
. Hybrid vehicles have been attracting enthusiastic attention thanks to their high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions. Increasing global awareness of the need to prevent climate change also contributes to their popularity.
Murata components help increase the comfort and convenience of these products. Smartphones contain general-purpose products from Murata, such as monolithic ceramic capacitors and microwave products, while Murata ultra-small modules are employed for wireless LAN functions, a must in these intelligent products. Murata products used in hybrid vehicles include highly reliable monolithic ceramic capacitors, noise suppression products, and sensors.
The Murata medium-term plan divides markets into three segments – core markets, emerging economics markets, and new markets – and formulates different strategies for each of these categories.
In core markets, new technology is required all the time, as in the case of smartphones. At the same time, it is necessary to provide solutions that meet consumer needs and functional requirements. As a technology-oriented manufacturer, Murata tends to approach customers by emphasizing its technical advantages. But what our customers really want to know is not how excellent our technology is. They want to know how our components can help them offer attractive solutions to end-users. Providing reliable, easy-to-use components and communicating how to use them correctly represents an important solution that eliminates problems faced by customers. A component manufacturer like Murata must take such customer needs into account and be ready to respond to customer requests. Sometimes, however, the customers themselves have difficulty expressing clearly what they want or need. Their real needs can become clear through the exchange of questions, opinions, and ideas. For a component manufacturer, it is essential to make a continuous effort to maintain such a dialogue and relationship with its customers.
Where new markets are concerned, we are now entering energy and healthcare, which have been entirely unfamiliar to us. As such, it is even more difficult for us to understand the problems faced by customers, and we will need to develop relationships with partners familiar with these markets. Also, it will take us time to learn the business customs and special terminology found in different markets. We must be very patient. We will need to produce one sample after another for the customer, get feedback, and bring the product closer to fulfilling the customer's requirements. Many of the Murata products that have won a high market share were also created by the patience, tenacity, and passion of our predecessors. We will continue to commit ourselves to making our customers die-hard Murata enthusiasts. To this end, we will impress them by meeting needs they do not clearly realize they have and by achieving a level of functionality beyond their expectations.