American Suzuki undergoes realignment

BREA, Calif. – American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) has realigned the organizational structure of its headquarters in Brea, Calif., the company reported in a statement today.

Under the realignment, the company’s marine and motorcycle businesses will be combined into one unit, Motorcycle/Marine Operations, under the direction of a new president, Mac Kato. He has been the assistant to American Suzuki President Rick Suzuki for two years on the motorcycle/ATV side, according to the company.

The realignment, effective January 1, is intended to decentralize and strengthen certain elements of Suzuki’s U.S. operations to offer the level of support, resources, independence and flexibility necessary to meet the most aggressive U.S. growth goals in company history and accelerate the company’s dealer-development efforts to attain 600 dealers by 2005, the company reported.

Under the new structure, President Rick Suzuki will become president of Corporate Operations, which will work across all operations to support the needs of ASMC’s two product business units – Automotive and Motorcycle/Marine.

All three ASMC presidents will report to ASMC Chairman Sokichi Nakano and Vice Chairmen Hirotaka Ono and Motoo Murakami, who are based in Japan.

Improving dealer relationships

As part of the realignment and increased focus on decentralized operations, ASMC said it will strengthen its field organization to allow for more frequent interaction, communication and relationships with the Suzuki dealer body. Key to this process is the integration of sales, service and parts functions under one leadership umbrella, the company reported.

In addition, as an outgrowth of its strategic alliance with GM, ASMC will begin working directly with a senior-level dealer-development consultant to help grow the Suzuki dealer network. Retired GM executive and dealer-development expert Ron Sobrero will bring 42 years of GM experience to his new role as ASMC vice president of dealer development, according to the company.

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