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How the Covid-19 pandemic has affected auto industry leaders

By Yosuke Nishi, President and CEO of Sojitz G Auto Philippines (Geely Philippines)

“Although Geely is a young brand in the Philippines, Sojitz Corporation and the Geely brand have been thriving in the global market for decades. But despite being experts in the industry, the pandemic has admittedly challenged us in so much levels. Here are the five things that I and the company have learned through this:

  • Adaptability

Adaptability is one of the keys to be able to keep up with the rapid changes brought about by the pandemic. It is always best that you know how to adjust your high-level business plan, considering what the market needs at the moment. We learned in the pandemic to monitor the global and local market situation more closely and frequently. In this manner, we would be able to effectively fine-tune our plans according to the fast and unexpected changes.   

  • Timing

They say, timing is everything. We have to know when to be fast or when to slow down. As a growing brand, right pacing plays an important role in our business. For example, we don’t get pressured with the introduction of new models here and there because we are focused on the timing that works for us. Another example is the re-launching of Geely in the Philippines in 2019. Had it been delayed and scheduled in March when the pandemic broke out, we couldn’t have reached the growth where Geely is right now. To me, good timing will put the business in the right direction and will keep us going through hard times like the pandemic.   

  • Growth Mindset

The time and effort that we give in to the Geely brand are extra during the pandemic. First of all, it’s hard to sail through these uncertain times when you are just starting to introduce your brand. Pandemic limitations have made it hard for us to go all out with our sales and marketing efforts, as well as our network building. But our team is very deliberate in seeing great market opportunities and making them work.  

  • Team work

The company and the brand cannot stay afloat with the efforts of just one or two persons. I believe it is also important that we trust the members of our team with greater responsibilities and give them control on some of the work processes according to their expertise. This will not only build their skills and confidence but also, it will make things easier and smooth sailing for the company. The brand’s success really depends on how great your team works. How dedicated they are in helping the company survive and thrive.

  • Relationships

Relationships matter in business, just like in our personal lives. It is vital to build mutual respect, trust, and confidence. Building business relationships requires dedication and consistency. You also have to constantly reach out. With this, you don’t just only gain new business partners and customers but also allies in the business.”

Compiled by Tessa Salazar

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