Suzuki Motor Corporation chairman Osamu Suzuki announced today that he will retire in June at the downright youthful age of 91, reports Reuters. His son Toshihiro Suzuki, who already serves as Suzuki’s president and CEO, will then take over as chairman and guide the company through the upcoming shift to electric cars.
Osamu Suzuki “only” served in leadership roles at the company for over four decades. Suzuki has been in the family as long as it’s existed, as it was founded by the grandfather of Osamu’s wife. Osamu joined the company in 1958, took over as president in 1978 and has held the position of chairman since 2000. He stepped down from the role of CEO in 2016 to take responsibility for Suzuki’s use of inaccurate road testing methods for vehicle fuel mileage, but remained as the company’s chairman.
According to Reuters, Osamu told reporters that he made the decision to retire after the company celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and approved its new management plan.
Osamu is not leaving Suzuki Motor Corp. entirely, though, as he said he will “remain active” as a senior adviser for the company and previously declared himself to be a “lifelong non-retiree,” reports Reuters. “I will neither run away nor hide,” he said.
Osamu Suzuki in 2016.
Alongside Osamu Suzuki’s non-retirement retirement, Suzuki announced a plan to invest $9.45 billion over the next five years primarily on electrification. “Carbon neutral is the focus now. Suzuki must not fall behind this global trend,” soon-to-be-chairman Toshihiro Suzuki told Reuters. Osamu’s son believes that it’s time for Suzuki to respond to a global push to lower emissions.
Suzuki is Japan’s fourth largest automaker. Under Osamu’s leadership at the company, Suzuki grew to be a major player in small cars and especially the Indian market. According to Reuters, one out of every two cars sold in India is made by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which Suzuki Motor Corporation holds a majority stake in.
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