TOKYO -- The next Suzuki to run Suzuki Motor Corp. differs in big ways from the Suzuki who has run it for nearly four decades.
Toshihiro Suzuki, the elder son of the carmaker's long-serving patriarch CEO and chairman, shares his father's distinctive bushy eyebrows. But otherwise, he is a wallflower in comparison to his vivacious 85-year-old father. And he plainly says he has no designs on sitting as long in the automaker's driver's seat.
Indeed, the company he took charge of after being appointed president by his father faces markedly different challenges than those it faced when Osamu Suzuki took the reins in 1978.
Changing times need a changing of the guard, and Japan's No. 4 carmaker is preparing for a new era.
"Judging from the scale of Suzuki, it can no longer have a one-man or dictatorial system," Osamu Suzuki told reporters at a news conference that finally addressed mounting uncertainty about the company's succession plan.
Osamu Suzuki will remain CEO and chairman setting strategy and handling external affairs, including its estranged alliance with Volks-wagen AG. Toshihiro Suzuki, as president, will execute the plans and handle day-to-day operations.