Utsumi new head of Suzuki PH; Najima leads Nissan

By Charles E. Buban Philippine Daily Inquirer June 05,2019

Akira Utsumi

After Ramesh Narasimhan concluded a very productive three-year stint, Nissan Philippines Inc. recently announced the appointment of Atsushi Najima as its new president and managing director.

Nissan Asia and Oceania SVP for Sales and Marketing Vincent Wijnen expressed his confidence in Najima, saying his experience managing teams across Asia will serve him well in his new position.

“With his rich experience in managing teams across multiple countries, I am confident that Atsushi will continue to drive the strong growth trajectory established by the current leadership team,” Wijnen said in a statement.

Najima first joined the Japanese car manufacturer in 2016 as deputy general manager of Nissan’s regional financial management group.

He is expected to continue NPI’s resurgence. In 2018, the brand grew by 40 percent thanks to the strong sales of its midsize SUV, the Terra, and its ever-popular pickup truck, the Navara.

According to the latest figures released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi), Nissan remained as one of the top performing brands in the Philippines, closing its fiscal year with 58.5 percent growth in March. Nissan rose to third place within the automotive manufacturers ranks, up from sixth place last year

New president

Suzuki Philippines Inc. is another automotive player welcoming a new leader. Last April, company president Hiroshi Suzuki introduced his new successor, Akira Utsumi who officially took over last May 1, 2019.

Atsushi Najima

Utsumi held various positions within Suzuki including being the president of Suzuki Indonesia and later, Suzuki Taiwan, while holding a GM position at Suzuki Motor Corp. Japan. Suzuki, on the other hand, went back to Japan to take another task within Suzuki
Motor Corp.

“(Utsumi’s) extensive work in the automobile, motorcycle, and marine industry adds up to our confidence, in the continuous growth of the Suzuki brand in the Philippines,” Suzuki said in a statement.

Suzuki was referring to the company’s exemplary performance last year as one of the two brands that posted positive increase in sales—2.5 percent year-end sales growth—while the rest of players experienced slowdown adjusting to the effects of the newly imposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.

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