Fujitsu Ltd has decided that its Fujitsu Espana SA affiliate – in which Telefonica de Espana SA has a 35% stake – shall be the core of its European operations. The Spanish subsidiary is the only one in Europe manufacturing computers and terminals, and a good part of that production is exported to European Community countries. Fujitsu Espana is also autonomous from Fujitsu Ltd as regards planning but works closely with the six other European marketing subsidiaries – in the UK, West Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Ireland. At the moment, for example, Fujitsu Espana is working on a semiconductor development project with the European group. Working closely also means distribution of activities, for instance, Fujitsu Espana assembles components made in Ireland for sale, and in this respect, the Irish factory is entirely dependent on Spanish operations for the subassemblies that go into the products finished in Ireland. Fujitsu claims that the importance it gives to Fujitsu Espana comes from the recognition Spain has earned as an effecient centre for production over the last 40 years and also from the great potential energy for the future that the directors saw when they first came to Spain back in 1974. Competitive edge All profits of Fujitsu Espana, as in the British and German subsidiaries, are invested back into the country to help its economy, invested, that is into business projects, technological tie-ups, improving services and increasing job opportunities. The agreement with Telefonica de Espana adds, according to Fujitsu, to this Spanish-Japanese system, encouraging a co-operation of minds to keep production in line with the demands of European people and respect local business practices thus sharpening the competitive edge, just as Fujitsu has teamed up with the University of Stuttgart in West Germany to produce an automatic translation system and with ICL here in the UK on the development of advanced semiconductor technology. Fujitsu Espana is very keen to expand in the field of artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering, and intends to reinforce its activities in this field next year. Introduction of expert system products will depend on demand but the company has recently announced a series of products anyway in what the Spanish press is calling a strategic presentation on the future of Knowledge Information Systems and Knowledge Processing. The offerings include Knowledge Systems Architecture products that run on anything from personal computers and supercomputers, notably the EShell/X, which runs on Fujitsu M Series mainframes, as well as systems for Fujitsu micros and on-line Systems with real-time and paper-out sensors; KSA Services to maximise efficiency – the ES/SDEM-Expert System/Software Development Methodology for systems analysts developing knowledge engineering systems; and research into and development of further knowledge engineering products to demonstrate what Fujitsu calls the permanent commitment of the provider. Regarding activities and establishments in Spain, the company reckons that its current 17 sales office and 33 service centres, it has the country well covered, but in order to meet the needs of its local customers, will have to strengthen further its systems and maintenance engineering, and increase the range of products sold by Fujitsu Espana in Europe and manufactured in Spain – although interestingly Mr Eguchi did not see Fujitsu Espana playing a particularly special role in the supplying of mainframes to the rest of Europe – which will require an increase in staff. In view of the desperate shortage of trained technical staff in Spain, Mr Eguchi thought it was necessary to increase the number of long term agreements with universities to raise the level of personnel generally available – not just those who would be working in Fujitsu Espana. At present, Fujitsu Espana’s closest competitors are Olivetti and NCR, and the company tries to practise a philosophy of co-existence and co-prosperity, accepting the major customers from the Spanish government down, will sometime
s choose Fujitsu products and sometimes not depending on its current requirements, but at the same time acknowledges that with IBM number one in the local market with a 36% share, its number one objective is to become clear number two to IBM as soon as soon as possible. In this respect, the company foresees continuous growth even after 1993, but nothing so dramatic as in this financial year. European Community With regard to the European Community, Fujitsu Espana hopes to increase exports to 20% of turnover from the present 10% in the near future but doesn’t believe that Spain’s signing of the Treaty of Rome entry will have any direct effect on the company’s activities – except insofar as the prospect of ever closer links with Spain’s new Community partners is generating enthusiasm and leading to a boom in the Spanish economy which is to be benefit of companies like Fujitsu Espana. Nor is Fujitsu Espana worried by the European Community’s moves to impose anti-dumping duties on products from Japan, saying that it has has overcome worse problems – those that face any company setting itself up in a new and unfamiliar country – and is developing a full range of printers among the models manufactured in Spain that will meet the requirements of its affiliates across Europe. Fujitsu Espana, in addition however, uses local subcontractors and consultants, inceasing its contribution to the Spanish economy. The last two to three years have been, however, a period of consolidation for the ‘new’ Fujitsu Espana but now the company expects to report a 50% jump in turnover figures at the end of this financial year – to March 31 – based partly on that consolidation and partly on the boom in the Spanish economy. However, the company is still not strong enough to expand in all the areas it would like – it sees the Spanish-speaking South American market as a major growth area in the medium term – it already exports printers there – and it would like to see its shares quoted on the Madrid Stock Exchange, although it says it is more than happy to have Telefonica as its one outside shareholder.