Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. announced it has named industry veteran David Greenwood to be general manager of the company’s new Suzuki Marine Technical Center USA in Panama City, Fla.
The appointment of Greenwood to this post comes shortly after Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. announced that the new technical center will be built on a 20-acre waterfront property the company recently purchased. Although a specific opening date for the facility has yet been announced, Suzuki is currently finishing renovations on existing buildings on the property and planning construction for what will be a state-of-the-art marine testing and research facility strategically located on the Florida panhandle.
“David Greenwood was always the ideal choice to manage this future facility and the team of outboard specialists who will work there,’ said George “Gus” Blakely, marine vice president, sales for Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. “His experience with the company and our products, relationships with boat builders and dealers, understanding of the market and well-earned reputation throughout the marine industry are unparalleled. We’re fortunate to have somebody so qualified and so well prepared to step into this important position and help direct the future of Suzuki outboards.”
Greenwood is currently in his 34th year of working at Suzuki, a career that has stretched across five different decades. He began as district service manager responsible for six states, handling a territory with 96 dealers, each of whom he visited a minimum of two to three times per year.
His career track included managing Suzuki Outboards Service Schools, where he wrote the curriculum and taught classes 12 to 14 weeks each year (between 1986 and 1989). In addition, Greenwood was one of a select group of people who handled Suzuki’s original “Technical Hotline” to assist dealers with technical issues and questions and to help them provide better service to customers.
For many years, Greenwood headed up Suzuki’s QRT (Quality, Research and Testing) Department, where he used his technical expertise and experience working with different boat manufacturers to address any potential issues and lead Suzuki on its quest for constant improvement across its entire product line. Greenwood has long been front-and-center as the face of Suzuki’s technical department at countless boat shows, dealer meetings, press product launches and other in-water activities over the years. He has built up particularly strong relationships with the marine press, who have come to trust and depend on Greenwood’s testing procedures, accuracy and honesty in providing them with test data on various Suzuki outboards and Suzuki-powered boats. The data collected and provided by Greenwood is often published as impartial test results for articles and magazine boat/motor evaluations.
Most recently, Greenwood has served Suzuki as OEM Sales App & Product Quality Manager, a multi-faceted post with many responsibilities, among them product testing and evaluation, management of Sales Application Engineers calling on all boat builders, providing technical support to sales and marketing, and overseeing technical affairs for the Suzuki Pro Fishing Team.
Where Greenwood has had his greatest influence, however, has been in the shaping and fine-tuning of the product line itself. By working closely with U.S. boat builders to better understand their needs, acting as a conduit between builders and the Suzuki factory in Japan, and critically evaluating/testing new products on a variety of boats, Greenwood has continually pushed Suzuki outboards further.
“I’m fortunate to have worked so long with a company with a clear overarching goal — to constantly improve its entire product line from top to bottom,” said Greenwood. “Over the many years, I’ve pushed the factory to make changes — some large and some small — but always with the goal of creating an outboard motor that better meets the needs of boaters and boat builders. I’ve long been a proponent of creating a technical and testing center here in the U.S. that will help shape a future generation of Suzuki outboard motors. I’m proud that we’ve accomplished this, and equally proud to be named general manager.”