Sugata installed as Toyota Thailand boss
The newly appointed president of Toyota Motor Thailand, Michinobu Sugata, vows to bring TMT to even greater heights as the domestic industry shows signs of climbing out of a four-year slump.
He replaces Kyoichi Tanada, who completed his term running from July 2009 to March 2017 and is now an adviser to the parent company.
The handover marks a return to Bangkok for Mr Sugata, who worked in Thailand during 2006-08 as executive managing coordinator for TMT's marketing division.
"I know I have a great team with me at TMT, who are dauntless in the face of challenges and committed to overcoming any difficulty that lies ahead," Mr Sugata said yesterday. "More so, we have a solid system to rely on -- the strongest dealer network in the nation, the most competitive suppliers and most valued business partners. And with the help and guidance of our incoming chairman, Mr Ninnart, we will continue to work closely with the government to enrich the lives of Thai people.
"Most importantly, with our excellent products, we will strengthen our relationship with our customers, bringing big smiles not just in Thailand, but also in many parts of the world."
Mr Sugata, 56, has worked in the field overseas and in international affairs for more than 30 years.
Mr Tanada, 62, began his career at Toyota in 1979. He had leveraged his long-standing business management experience in Thailand to sustain the company's top rank in the Thai automotive industry and promote the country as one of Toyota's key manufacturing hubs.
In 2012, Mr Tanada was appointed by TMC as managing officer overseeing Toyota operations in Thailand and other countries in the region. He used to be in charge of high-ranking executives in other Toyota operations, mainly in Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.
Toyota posted its highest-ever Thai sales in 2012 with 516,086 vehicles. The all-time high in exports was 430,929 units in 2013 from Toyota's plants in Thailand.
Moreover, Mr Tanada set in motion TMT's strategy to enter Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In related news, TMT appointed Ninnart Chaithirapinyo as chairman of the board, replacing Pramon Sutivong.
In addition, the R&D unit Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Engineering & Manufacturing Co Ltd has changed its name to Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing Co Ltd as part of Toyota's global initiative to strengthen compact vehicle operations in emerging markets.