Big Motor’s May 1 Organizational Announcement Unveils Employee Anxieties and Expectations | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Big Motor’s May 1 Organizational Announcement Unveils Employee Anxieties and Expectations

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Big Motor, which has been decided to receive support from Itochu Corporation.

On April 15th, Big Motor’s President, Shinji Izumi (55), sent a mass email to all employees.


The email’s subject was “To All Employees (Important Explanation for the New Company).” The number of recipients was 4,126. Compared to the previous email on March 6th titled “To All Employees (Notice of Contract Signing for Our Business Reconstruction),” which had 4,232 recipients, it indicates that over 100 people have left the company since the new fiscal year began. Considering that new employees are also included, the number of departures is likely even higher.

Big Motor, supported by a corporate group led by Itochu Corporation, is walking the path to reconstruction. While the timing of support commencement was previously anticipated to be late April, this email revealed the specific timing.

The email sent from President Izumi to all employees. In the second paragraph, the restart date is clearly stated as “May 1st.”

In this email, it is clearly stated that “the inauguration date of the new company will be ‘May 1st’.” Additionally, there is a request written urging all employees to come to work on that day with unified spirits to start anew. However, President Izumi also expresses regretful words, stating, “We have lost too much.”

Although the new company name has not been announced yet, it is expected to be announced within the next two weeks. Signboards will be replaced, and uniforms are likely to be renewed. A 30-year-old employee working in the Kanto region stores expressed, “I want the new company name to be announced soon.”

“While the name ‘Big Motor’ will disappear and become a new company, investigations into ‘negative legacy’ such as insurance fraud will be conducted by the old company. The new company will not inherit any negative legacies, and I’ve heard that a few people will be seconded from Itochu to the new company. I wonder what kind of company it will transform into. I wish for the new company name to be announced as soon as possible. When you mention you work at Big Motor, relatives and acquaintances freeze for a moment.”

On the other hand, employees working in the sales department at stores in western Japan revealed their anxious feelings.

“Our sales have recovered from a severe decline at one point, but we’re still not there yet. If the company name doesn’t change, there probably won’t be much change. Today, we received an email from the president announcing the inauguration of the new company on May 1st. But nothing has changed. We’re an old store, so we’ve been supported by long-standing customers. There’s no sign of changing the signboard. I guess things will get hectic and new in the next two weeks.”

Big Motor’s strength was its “one-stop service (sales, purchase, vehicle inspection, repair, and insurance all in one place).” Will this strength be revived? Currently, only sales and purchase are being conducted at full capacity. Many locations have had their designated workshops revoked or received business suspension orders. Regarding insurance operations, they have lost their insurance agent qualifications at all branches due to administrative penalties from the Financial Services Agency. It seems that it will take at least two years for the revival of designated workshops and insurance agents. Therefore, the “one-stop service” is not functioning. A man in his 40s who is responsible for the maintenance department at a Kyushu region branch reveals:

“Under the support of reputable companies like Itochu, one might hope for various revivals once the corporate entity changes back to how it was before… But even considering the severity of the wrongdoing, progress won’t be that simple. What will happen with fraudulent vehicle inspections or excessive maintenance charges remains unclear to us. It will take time before we can provide services like before, fully self-contained within the company.

I’ve heard that our current responsibilities at work will be transferred directly to the new company. I’ve also heard that the new company will have stricter rules, including employment regulations, but since the company has been involved in nothing but misconduct, many employees don’t know how to generate legitimate profits. It’s still unclear how the company plans to change employee attitudes. Many employees are feeling anxious because of this uncertainty. If, within a few months of its establishment, the new company proves to be inadequate, there’s a possibility that even more employees will resign.”

The email announcing the establishment of the new company mentions May 1st as a day when “as a new company, we will share a lot of information about the organization, structure, and other matters with everyone.” It is expected that various announcements regarding the operation and salary system of the new company will be made on this day. The next two weeks will likely be hectic for Big Motor. Can they truly be reborn?

  • Interview and text by Kumiko Kato PHOTO Shinji Hasuo (1st photo)

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