After a six-year stellar performance as the president of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, Michinobu Sugata has passed on the baton to Satoru Suzuki. In formal ceremonies held Wednesday night at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Sugata was honored by top Toyota officials in pointing out the brand’s market dominance in the domestic market.
Under his tenure, Sugata led Toyota in record breaking sales year after year from 2010 to 2015. Among the significant sales milestones achieved during his stint is the 100- thousand annual unit sales in 2014, making it to the Global Toyota 100K Club. And in 2015, TMP reached its one-million sales milestone and successfully achieved its 14th consecutive Triple Crown.
Aside from being the sales record holder for Toyota, Sugata is also credited to giving local motorsports a much needed shot in the arm by establishing the Toyota Vios Cup. At present, the Vios Cup is a growing annual event and is fast becoming the elixir for young upstarts in the field of motorsports.
Present during the turnover ceremony were top executives of Toyota led by TMC’s managing officer and CEO of Asia, Middle East and North America Regions Kyoichi Tanada. “This outstanding performance has contributed significantly to Team Asia Toyota,” says Tanada. He also cited TMP’s new sales record of 125,000 units sold last year, which puts Toyota’s local outfit in the Fourth Spot in Asia and 13th in the Global Toyota platform. Likewise, Tanada lauded the implementation of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS Program) of the Philippine government in which TMP is expected to actively participate to further boost the competitiveness of the local auto manufacturing industry in the country.
A former TMP executive himself, Suzuki waxes sentimental about his return in the country. “It is with great pleasure once again to join Team Toyota Philippines after 16 years. I am eager to build strong partnerships with you in the coming days because I firmly believe that with your firm support, we can all make a positive change to usher the country towards becoming a key player in the regional automotive scene,” exclaims Suzuki, whose first tour of duty with TMP was in 1997 to 1999 as the company’s Vice President for Marketing in charge of Sales and Product Planning operations.
After his three-year stint, he joined Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore, where he took charge of the Philippine and Thailand markets. Suzuki then went back to Japan to handle project-related issues such as plant expansion and new model introductions for Asian countries. Prior to his posting as TMP’s President, he was responsible for all sales-related issues in Asia, in both TMAP-Japan and TMAP-Singapore.