Sumitomo Electric Group The Professionals ~Kazuyoshi Nakai~
Contributing to a Better Mobility  Society through“Connecting”Business


Totally dedicated to the sale of
automotive wiring harnesses since joining the Company

When I was assigned to the Automotive Sales Planning & Marketing Division soon after joining the Company in 1990, I wondered, “Why will I be selling automobiles although I have joined Sumitomo Electric?” In fact, I didn’t know that Sumitomo Electric was involved in the development, manufacturing, and sale of automotive wiring harnesses nor what kind of products they were. That was just when the Company’s share of the automotive wiring harness market was beginning to increase. Since then, I have been totally dedicated to the sale of automotive wiring harnesses.

Wiring harness products are bundles of electric wires used for power supply and signal transmission. They are also used in automobiles to transmit energy and information, so they can be likened to blood vessels and nerves in the human body. Made up of many components, wiring harnesses are an important product that can be considered the lifeline of an automobile.
Therefore, everyone involved in the Sumitomo Electric Group’s automotive business, including Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. in charge of development and sales and Sumitomo Wiring System, Ltd. in charge of manufacturing, shares the determination to “keep customers’ production lines working.”

When truck transportation was suspended due to the closure of an expressway, I, as a salesperson, put the products in sturdy, wide-gusseted bags and carry them on the train. A sense of mission of “preventing automobile production lines from going dead at any cost” has been passed down from our predecessors, through our generation, to younger staff. This sense of mission allowed us to demonstrate our strength during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even I was amazed at how powerful we were at the Sumitomo Electric Group.

My ten-year experience of working abroad changed
my attitude toward work

My experience of working at Lucas SEI Wiring Systems Ltd.(currently Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems (Europe) Ltd., SEWS-E), a joint venture in Europe, somewhat changed my attitude toward work. The joint venture was responsible for manufacturing and selling wiring harnesses. Most of the personnel, including the president, the business division manager, and the staff, were British. I was just over 30 years old, and it was just like joining a British company.

At that time, the company’s stance was “If you cannot do it, it cannot be helped.” However, this approach did not work for Japanese-affiliated customers. Having been trained in a demanding, sports team-like workplace where customer needs must be fulfilled no matter what the boss said, I held in-depth discussions with my British supervisor and colleagues. My colleagues were shocked to see me challenging my supervisor. Eventually, my boss understood the Japanese approach to work, and I was able to build mutual trust with local staff members.

This experience also changed my mindset. I noticed that the Japanese approach is not necessarily the best. I recognized the need to adapt, and devise and implement measures that would be acceptable in each respective country. This enabled me to adapt flexibly to any country. My experience as an expatriate for 10 years in total was meaningful.

Meanwhile, I have always maintained the attitude of acting fairly and correctly in every situation, in line with my ideals. I believe that this attitude conforms to the Sumitomo Spirit of Banji-nissei (Do your sincere best in not only business but also every aspect of your life). Although it is sometimes difficult to pursue this attitude in society, I share with young people the importance of acting with the aim of fulfilling their ideals.

The joy of working as a salesperson lies
in preparing numerical data logically

I suppose most people have an image of a salesperson as someone who is friendly and talkative, but my personality was originally far from that. Nevertheless, I have found the joy of working as a salesperson not only in the great sense of accomplishment I feel when winning an order but also in succeeding in persuading customers by always offering numerical data and explanations prepared logically and consistently in anticipation of possible questions.

I owe it to our customers that I have been able to find my own sales style in this way. I believe that since customers always need logical and rational explanations, every salesperson naturally must respond to that need and offer them explanations based on reason. I have therefore continued to prepare for and conduct such sales activities. Thanks to the support of our customers, I have been able to continue this work for over 30 years.

Making proposals that meet customer expectations
no matter what future awaits the market

What will the future of automobiles be like? Will only electric vehicles continue to grow in number? What possibilities will be there for hybrid, gasoline, and hydrogen engines? No matter what future awaits the market, we will make proposals that can respond promptly to our customers’ requests, taking into account all possibilities.

With wiring harnesses as our core business, we continue to work with the R&D Group, including AutoNetworks Technologies, Ltd., to make proposals to advance as not only a parts manufacturer but also as a development partner for automakers.  Customers place high expectations on our proposals, which are based on backcasting from the ideal situation in the future. We are honored to be earning greater trust from them.

One of our strengths lies in our ability to offer total solutions with wiring harnesses as the core, including derived products such as electronic components. Going forward, we will continue to focus on proposing solutions in connection with infrastructure as well, thereby contributing to a better mobility society.

To ensure that the Sumitomo Electric Group will remain
a corporate group that can serve society

I hope that the Sumitomo Electric Group will not only continue to grow toward the future but also remain a corporate group that can serve society. We at the Automotive Business Unit are striving to pursue the most advanced technology and contribute to the realization of a clean planet and safe, comfortable lifestyles.

For example, we are proposing aluminum wiring harnesses to reduce the weight of automobiles and consequently their environmental impact. However, we have heard from recycling companies that aluminum wiring harnesses are more difficult to recycle than conventional copper ones.
We must recognize such dilemmas that arise from technological development and explore how we can contribute to a sustainable society from various perspectives. We will accelerate our efforts to leverage the comprehensive strengths of the Sumitomo Electric Group, which can take on the entire process that starts with materials development, focusing on conserving the environment and improving safety.

At some points in my career, I personally used to keep asking myself, “Am I really serving society well by continuing to work as a salesperson for so long?”
When I received in-house training at 40, I happened to share such honest feelings with a trainee from another department. He replied, “You can serve society well by fostering young talent, can’t you?”
That answer made me notice that just as my seniors had fostered me, I had the mission of supporting the growth of younger people, who will, in turn, foster the next generation, and that I was part of that cycle.
I was grateful to have a colleague who was able to make me aware of these things, and I felt glad to be part of the Sumitomo Electric Group.

Kazuyoshi Nakai
Kazuyoshi Nakai


Kazuyoshi Nakai

Joined Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

July 1990
Automobile Sales Department, Chubu Branch

Department Manage, Second Sales Department, Sales Division (Central Japan)

General Manager, Sales Division (Western Japan)

Executive Officer
General Manager of the Sales Division (Central Japan) and the Sales Division (Western Japan)

Executive Officer
General Manager, Sales Division (Central Japan)

Executive Officer
President, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc.

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