• Kyodo


With the spread of electric vehicles and car-sharing hailing rapid transformation in the industry, Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday it will promote vice president Akira Marumoto to president on June 26 in what will be the first leadership change in five years.

The promotion of Marumoto, 60, to replace Masamichi Kogai, 63, is aimed at seeking further growth after the automaker boosted global sales by 30 percent and achieved a capital tie-up with Toyota Motor Corp. for electric-vehicle production under Kogai.

Kogai will assume the post of chairman. Having served as president since 2013, he is credited for having achieved record-high global sales of 1.63 million units in the previous fiscal year ended March 31.

Marumoto, who became executive vice president in June 2013, has been tasked with the development of vehicles and compilation of management plans.

The incoming president “has rich experience overseas as he was in charge of production and sales in Europe. He will take the initiative in dealing with global changes,” Kogai said at a press conference at Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima Prefecture.

“I want to take on cost-cutting and other challenging issues. The priority is to do it with a sense of speed,” Marumoto said.