Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest passenger car maker, today announced that the company's board has approved the reappointment of Kenichi Ayukawa as the managing director and CEO of the carmaker for a period of three years, with effect from April 1, 2019.
In April 2013, the company had appointed Ayukawa as the successor to Shinzo Nakanishi. Before taking on the top role, Ayukawa had served as part-time director and was also responsible for Suzuki's overseas marketing.
Ayukawa, who took charge when Maruti Suzuki India was still recovering from an adverse industrial relations episode, which occurred in July 2012, and had since steered the company to new heights. At that time, Maruti Suzuki's market share stood at 39 percent, down from around 45 percent five years earlier.
The company currently has a stranglehold over the passenger vehicle market share of 51.36 percent and usually has at least six of its models in the Top 10 best-selling PVs in India every month. What’s more, the domestic car contributes more than 50 percent to Suzuki’s global production volumes.
And the company’s game-changing Maruti Vitara Brezza has been the country’s best-selling SUV since its launch.
Under Ayukawa's leadership, the company has seen a resurgence in both market performance and engineering capabilities as well as expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In 2017, Autocar Professional honoured the Maruti Suzuki India chief by voting him as its ‘Man of the Year 2017’. The award essentially was for successfully managing disruptions in the business environment in the form of GST, demonisation and maintaining dominance in the face of growing competition and also drawing up strategies for the electric mobility era.
As Maruti Suzuki India drives towards its avowed goal of 2 million sales in 2020 and also prepares to plug into the growing new mobility phenomenon of electric mobility, even as competition intensifies, Ayukawa continuing at the helm of affairs till 2022 will help the company scale greater heights.