NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki India, India's largest carmaker, has appointed one of its directors, KenichiAyukawa as the new Managing Director and CEO in place of ShinzoNakanishi. Ayukawa, a Suzuki veteran who's been with the Japanese carmaker since 1980, has worked across verticals including as treasurer with its US subsidiary, general manager for overseas marketing and managing director of the company's Pakistan subsidiary.
He has been a non-executive director on Maruti Suzuki Board since July 2008. Ayukawa is currently managing executive officer and executive general manager, global marketing at SMC Japan. His new appointment would be effective from April 1, 2013, as Nakanishi has attained the age of retirement.
Ayukawa, a law graduate from Osaka University, assumes the top position in Maruti at a time when the Indian market is facing its slowest growth in over a decade. Demand for new vehicles in India has shrunk due to high fuel prices and weak customer sentiments. Maruti's vehicle sales grew 6% in the first 11 months of the fiscal, signalling tougher times ahead.
The top-level changes were decided in a board meeting of the company on Friday, which was also attended by the SMC chairman Osamu Suzuki, who owns 54.4% stake in the Indian company. The management change is on expected lines as SMC has flagged off new investments in India to the tune of 10,000 crore that would see several new plants coming up at twin locations in Gujarat.