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February 25, 2021

Suzuki's 91-Year Old Chairman Steps Down

Suzuki Motor’s 91-year-old chairman, Osamu Suzuki, is stepping down after leading an automaker for longer than anyone else in the industry.

Suzuki, who was the Japanese automaker’s CEO for 22 years, and then chairman for another two decades, will step down from his current role. He will remain as a senior adviser.

With almost half a century at the helm, Suzuki is widely credited with turning the automaker into what it is today: one of the largest small-vehicle manufacturers in the world.

Instead of taking Japan’s biggest auto giants like Toyota head on, Suzuki worked to grow the company by finding new markets around the world for its compact automobiles, building a dominant share in India during his first of two terms as president from 1978 to 2000.

Suzuki had ceded his title of president to his son Toshihiro Suzuki in 2015, easing market uncertainty about management succession at the automaker.

Moving forward, the carmaker has revealed its 5-year mid-term plan named, “Sho-Sho-Kei-Tan-Bi,” an abbreviation for Japanese meaning “smaller,” “fewer,” “lighter,” “shorter,” and “neater.”

Amid the global trend towards carbon neutrality, Suzuki will develop electrification techniques by 2025, and fully implement these in products from that point onward.

Despite this, Suzuki remains committed to delivering high quality, value-packed products at affordable prices.

In the automobile business, their target for Japan is to maintain 30 percent or more share in the mini-car market, as well as 50 percent increase in the compact car sales (vs fiscal year 2020). In India, Suzuki will take the initiative in promoting electrification required by society in response to environmental issues in India, and maintain market share of more than 50 percent in passenger car segment.

As for the alliance with Toyota, Suzuki will deepen their alliance by cooperating in electrified vehicles, the African market, and supplementing product and components.

In the motorcycle business, they will build an attractive and diverse lineup using common platforms to secure sales of 2 million units.

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