Nissan, Geely, Fuso, Hyundai, Isuzu set to welcome new presidents; Suzuki’s new automobile head also named
In the last few weeks, the industry got wind of top-level changes in a number of auto companies that included Nissan Philippines, Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP), Sojitz Fuso Philippines Corp. (SFP), Suzuki Philippines (SPH), Isuzu Philippines Inc. (IPC) and Hyundai Philippines. These companies just announced or are set to officially introduce their new heads tasked to oversee some of the biggest developments in their respective brand’s history in the Philippines.
Hajime Koso (show in main photo), the longest-serving president of Isuzu PH, is ending his tour of duty next month with his company still the most dominant player in the truck market.
Koso will be replaced by Noboru Murakami, a senior executive from Isuzu Motors, Ltd. Japan.
When Koso joined the company on April 28, 2015, he immediately aligned the company to his vision to make Isuzu’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) and commercial vehicle (CV) models the company pillars with the foundation being the after-sales parts and service. His plan proved successful especially during the pandemic when the market and the logistics and transport industry needed a reliable partner. Even with the emergence of new truck brands in the country, Isuzu maintained its No. 1 position for the 22nd consecutive year in 2021.
Colombian Hoyos at the helm at Nissan
Last March 16, Nissan announced the appointment of Juan Manuel Hoyos who will replace Atsushi Najima as president of Nissan Philippines, effective April 1.
Hoyos, a Colombian, joined Nissan in 2017 as marketing director for the Latin America region where he moved on to his next role as the general manager for global engagement brand based at the global headquarters in Japan and later on as the division general manager for global brand execution and engagement division. Previously, he also held various management positions in Renault and General Motors.
Najima, who became Nissan Philippines president and managing director on April 1, 2019, will now head to Nissan India to become its new Chief Financial Officer. Najima navigated Nissan PH through the impacts of the pandemic, ensuring business continuity. He also brought back the company to third spot in the industry last year, thanks to the strong performance of its core models, the Navara, Terra, and Urvan.
Geely, Fuso movements
On Monday, April 4, Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) will formally welcome its new president and CEO, Yugo Kiyofuji. He will replace Yosuke Nishi who has held the same position since May 1, 2021.
Nishi, who was with SGAP since its inception in September 2019 (as its EVP) will now take the helm of Sojitz Fuso Philippines Corp. (SFP) as its new president and CEO. Nishi will replace Yoshihisa Hosaka at SFP.
SFP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sojitz Corp. of Japan, is the general distributor of the Fuso brand of trucks and buses in the country. Fuso trucks and buses have been available in the Philippines since 1969.
A new beginning at Hyundai
Much to the relief of dealer principals of Hyundai anxiously waiting for developments on the distributorship of the brand left hanging in the balance during the pandemic, a lady executive named Youngwha “Audrey” Byun has been reportedly doing the rounds lately to assure them of mother company’s commitment.
She is reportedly carrying the position of president of the new Hyundai distribution company that according to dealer principals has been officially registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission Byun will be facing the big challenge of lifting Hyundai from the doldrums with the low morale at its dealerships as local sales continue to decline. Whatever settlement between Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., which has handled the brand since 2012, and the new company reporting directly to Hyundai Korea remains to be announced.
New Suzuki head for automobile division
When Suzuki launches the all new Celerio next month, it is expected that Norihide Takei, Keiichi Suzuki’s replacement as the general manager for automobile division, will be introduced. Keiichi Suzuki’s long tenure as automobile division head for several years and concurrent Vice President of Suzuki Philippines (SPH) since January 2020 ended last January of this year with Takei already manning the fort albeit on-line for the last two months. Under Suzuki’s watch, SPI enjoyed a significant rise in automotive sales, becoming one of the top five players in the industry (SPH was even the third best-selling brand during the first six months of 2021). Suzuki also spearheaded the Suzuki car dealership expansion now numbering 72.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.