NEW DELHI: India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has appointed Hisashi Takeuchi as the MD and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from 1st April 2022, consequent to the completion of the term of Kenichi Ayukawa on 31st March 2022.
Takeuchi’s appointment comes at a time when Maruti Suzuki’s market share in the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) market has taken a hit amidst the semiconductors shortage crisis and strong demand for sports utility vehicles (SUV), a segment where the company doesn't have enough appealing products. MSIL has lost 740 bps of market share in the domestic PV market over the last 2 years from the peak of 51%.
. Takeuchi said, “Maruti Suzuki is a great organization with a rich legacy and it will be my endeavor that we keep serving more and more customers both in India and the world with exciting cars that are good for them, environment and society.”
Takeuchi joined SMC in 1986 and has been on the Board of Maruti Suzuki since July 2019 and as Joint Managing Director (Commercial) since April 2021.
Ayukawa will continue as a whole-time Director designated as Executive Vice Chairman till 30th September 2022 to facilitate a smooth transition. Ayukawa has been the MD of Maruti Suzuki since April 2013 and it was under his leadership that the carmaker became a serious player in the premium category with the launch of Nexa retail outlets.
The company, under his reign, also diversified into the LCV segment and became the largest exporter of PVs. Many in the auto industry also give Ayukawa the credit of bringing stability at MSIL and improving its relationship with the factory workers, especially after the labour unrest of July 2012 in which its General Manager of Human Resources lost his life.
Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava said that there was nothing against the interest of the company and its shareholders as SMC’s electric vehicle investment in Gujarat is part of an earlier arrangement. Proxy advisory firm IiAS on Wednesday had raised serious questions regarding the decision of the SMC to invest directly in the EV project instead of MSI doing it.