Cami vet leads Suzuki in U.S.
LOS ANGELES - American Suzuki Motor Corp. named Rick Suzuki, an 11-year veteran of the automaker's Canadian operations, to replace Manabu Nakamura as president. Nakamura, tapped to head up motorcycle sales in North and South America, had held the presidency only since March.
The 50-year-old Suzuki, nephew of Suzuki Motor Corp. President Osama Suzuki, has been vice president of CAMI Automotive Inc., a GM joint venture, since 1991. Previously, he had been president of Suzuki Canada Inc. since 1987.
In his new post, Suzuki will oversee all company operations in North America, not just automotive.
American Suzuki has set its sights on 100,000 sales a year in 'the next few years,' up from a range of 30,000 to 40,000 currently.
Dealer ad shops hook up . . .
Five of 13 'select' ad agencies that handle Chevrolet dealer ad groups formed a new agency in hopes of winning the expected $511 million consolidation of General Motors dealer area brand accounts, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News.
GM is expected to announce Tuesday, Dec. 15, how it will handle regional dealer advertising under its reorganization, which starts Jan. 1. It is not expected to change from its original goal of moving that work to its current national agencies.
The new agency, UniMark, is made up of the auto divisions of BA Advertising in Dallas; Demaine, Vickers & Associates in Alexandria, Va.; Gianettino & Meredith in Short Hills, N.J.; J.W. Messner Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Strong Automotive in Birmingham, Ala. The nonauto divisions of the agencies remain separate.
. . . and angry dealers run ads
Meanwhile, the coalition of General Motors dealers that is threatening legal action to stop GM from eliminating the dealer ad groups and their agencies has gone public, according to Advertising Age.
The coalition is running an ad in The Wall Street Journal today, Dec. 14 - an open letter to GM Chairman Jack Smith asking him not to change the current system.
The coalition hired two Chicago public relations agencies to handle communications. Sam Skinner, former secretary of Transportation in the Bush administration, now with Chicago law firm Hopkins & Sutter, is handling the case, along with Lake Forest, Ill., lawyer Dennis O'Keefe.