Checking out the competition

When he came to the Subaru display at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, Osamu Suzuki, the octogenarian chairman of Suzuki Motor, kept his distance. Photo credit: JAMES B. TREECE

TOKYO -- It’s common to see senior auto executives strolling through an auto show, checking out the competition. The various ways they do it offer insight into their styles.

Some, like VW’s Ferdinand Piech, can’t travel without a large entourage. Others will walk alone, if their staffers allow.

At the Tokyo Motor Show, I turned around to see Osamu Suzuki, the octogenarian chairman of Suzuki Motor, climbing out of a Mitsubishi vehicle.

He then moved on to admire the Jaguars on display.

But when he came to the Subaru display, he kept his distance. The bushy-browed boss reviewed the cars from the hall’s thoroughfare, not stepping onto the Subaru display area.

Perhaps he considers Subaru to be more of a rival than Mitsubishi.

News Editor James B. Treece reported from Tokyo as Automotive News’ Asia News Editor from 1995 to 2007.

You can reach James B. Treece at

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.