Mazda Motor Corp., which relies on exports more than any other Japanese carmaker, said Thursday that Takashi Yamanouchi will step down as president next month to make way for younger managers now that it has returned to profitability.
Yamanouchi, 68, will be replaced by senior managing executive officer Masamichi Kogai, 58, as part of broader management moves that will be take effect after the June 25 annual shareholders’ meeting, the Hiroshima-based company said.
Mazda, which a year ago was reeling from its biggest loss in 11 years, said it delayed last year’s executive changes because of its “financial situation.”
The company “has been making steady headway in its structural reform, which will underpin future growth,” the company said. “In light of this progress, the present action was taken to rejuvenate the executive leadership and allow the new team to aim for greater growth.”
Mazda, which last month posted its first annual profit in five years, said net income may double to ¥70 billion this fiscal year. The stock has more than tripled in the past six months after it benefited from a weaker yen and demand rose for its CX-5 sport utility vehicles and Mazda 6 sedans.
Kogai joined Mazda in 1977 and oversees production and purchasing.
Yamanouchi, who’s been president since June 2010, will remain chairman. Executive Vice President Seita Kanai, 63, will become vice chairman, the statement said.
Tesla posts first profit
Tesla Motors says it posted its first-ever quarterly profit as the electric carmaker beat its own forecasts and surprised market analysts.
The California-based firm said Wednesday it earned a profit of $11 million in the first quarter as revenues rose 83 percent from the previous quarter to $562 million.
“Tesla reached profitability in the first quarter of 2013 for the first time in our 10-year history,” a company statement said.
“We exceeded our own targets for deliveries, significantly expanded gross margin, and improved execution throughout the company.”
The statement said “we consistently produced 400 or more Model S vehicles per week, for a total of over 5,000 during the quarter” and counted revenues from vehicles.
Tesla cited “strong global demand for Model S” saying it is “receiving orders at a rate greater than 20,000 per year worldwide” and sees “significant upside potential in Europe and Asia.”
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