Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki has announced he will retire in June after heading the carmaker for more than four decades, Reuters reports. The 91-year-old is stepping aside for a new leader to navigate the company towards a shift to electric cars.
His son Toshihiro Suzuki is already president and CEO of the company. The younger Suzuki was appointed to the position of president and COO back in 2015, and in 2016 was named as CEO when Osamu Suzuki stepped down from the post to take responsibility for the firm’s use of incorrect testing methods to calculate fuel economy, but remained as chairman.
Suzuki joined the automaker in 1958, became president in 1978 and doubled as chairman in 2000. During his tenure, the company solidified its presence as a leading maker of compact cars, and in 1983 he spearheaded the company’s decision to enter India, now one of its largest markets.
At a media briefing last week, Osamu said he decided to retire after the company welcomed its 100th anniversary last year and approved its new management plan. He will still have a link with the company, as he will be appointed as senior adviser upon retirement.
At the event, the automaker also announced that it will be investing one trillion yen (RM38.05 billion), mostly on electrification technology, over the next five years. Toshihiro Suzuki said the company needed to respond to a global push towards lower emissions. “Carbon neutral is the focus now. Suzuki must not fall behind this global trend,” he said.
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