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 jtreece@crain.com

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