gemba spirit kenzo adachi

Gemba Spirit: In UD’s DNA

“What we want is a truck that can handle any road, no questions asked. If the truck doesn’t clear this test, we can’t expect our customers to feel confident in it.” - Kenzo Adachi

The gemba spirit at UD has been there since the birth of the company. Our founder, Kenzo Adachi, relied on his gemba spirit and his vision when he launched the company in 1935. Developing his first truck and first diesel engine, he decided to test it on the actual gemba. A never-before-seen 3,000-km test was organized, through the largely undeveloped roads of the Japan of those days. What was a very tough trip for any vehicle was an even bigger challenge for a very first prototype. Kenzo Adachi wanted to submit his truck to the toughest conditions possible, to make sure the trucks based on that prototype would resist whatever customers put them through.

He decided to drive the truck himself during this challenging trip, so he could collect information first hand about the potential weaknesses of this first prototype. Though exhausting, the trip went surprisingly well, covering over 3,000 kilometers in 13 days, without any breakdowns. The company’s reputation for reliability was also born during that road trip, with that very first LD1 truck and its innovative ND1 engine. 

The spirit of Kenzo Adachi has continued to live on through the company’s history. The will to listen to customers, to learn from their experience; the will to collaborate closely between managers and employees, between engineering, manufacturing, sales and after- sales departments; the passion to always go the extra mile. 

All these define our gemba spirit, at the service of our customers, of their business efficiency. For our customers, we continue to provide the trucks and services that the world needs today by going the extra mile for smart logistics, and with our UD gemba spirit doing the extra effort!