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Old 1st March 2021, 18:39   #1
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Default Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Osamu Suzuki, Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, will step down from his position to retire in June 2021. The 91-year-old will hand over the reigns to his son Toshihiro but will continue in an advisory role.

Osamu Suzuki joined the company in 1958. After moving up the ladder, he became the President and CEO of the company in 1972 and has been one of the longest serving CEOs and Chairmen in the automobile industry.

Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm-osamusuzuki.jpg

In 2016, the company appointed his son Toshihiro as the CEO. Osamu has also been a director of Maruti Suzuki India since 2002. He played a key role during the launch of Maruti 800 which made the company a market leader in India. Currently, Maruti Suzuki enjoys a 50% market share in India.

It is said that Suzuki will step down to make space for a new leader to tackle the new phase of electrification and competition from companies like Apple and Tesla. The firm also plans to invest over 1 trillion yen into electrification over the next 5 years.

Link to the Team-BHP News

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Old 1st March 2021, 20:37   #2
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Default re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Whatever anyone's views on Maruti Suzuki might be we owe a debt of gratitude to this fine leader for taking the risk and leap of faith to bring modern motoring to India. In the early 1980s India was simply not the attractive market it is today and the notorious license raj was firmly in place and the GoI did not have a reputation of being a healthy partner. Not only did he bring us our first modern cars but Maruti Suzuki also did yeoman service to the nation in painstakingly developing a whole eco -system of ancilary component manufacturers. All subsequent market entrants built their indigenous content on that foundation. My salute to you sir.

After the first baby steps of liberalisation in 1985 , HM or Premier could have done what Maruti Suzuki did, but they didn't. This man gave India wheels.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 1st March 2021 at 21:01.
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Old 1st March 2021, 20:54   #3
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Default re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Osamu Suzuki deserves the highest respect just for what he did for the Indian market. As Narayan Sir said above, he must be given the credit for bringing India into the global map as far as automobile story goes.

Suzuki started it all if I may say for the rest of the global manufactures to follow. That humble Maruti Suzuki 800 showed the way forward in the era of Fiat and HM and made the common man gun for that little beauty.

Affordability is what Maruti Suzuki brought to the Indian market and for that Osamu Suzuki deserves our highest regards. I might as well propose a Padma award for him in recognition of his services to our country.
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Old 1st March 2021, 21:35   #4
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Default re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Hats off and standing ovation to the young man and vision for redefining the term car and making the whole world turn towards newly defined Suzuki car.

Almost 90% of Indians today have learnt car driving through this man's vision car.

Many people talk bad about Maruti Suzuki but I firmly believe they talk only because of envy. I can not any other company to have designed such reliable small pocket car if Suzuki had not designed it first.

Hats off to you sir. Wish you a fantastic retired life.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 1st March 2021 at 22:32. Reason: avation > ovation.
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Old 1st March 2021, 22:16   #5
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Default re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
I might as well propose a Padma award for him in recognition of his services to our country.
His Wikipedia page shows that he is the recipient of one in 2007 in the field of Trade and Industry.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Suzuki_(businessman)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...0%E2%80%932009)

Last edited by TrackDay : 1st March 2021 at 22:20.
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Old 1st March 2021, 23:19   #6
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Default re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

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Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
His Wikipedia page shows that he is the recipient of one in 2007 in the field of Trade and Industry.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Suzuki_(businessman)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...0%E2%80%932009)
Thanks for pointing that out, seems he got Padma Bhushan way back in 2007. The man deserves more then that for sure. In fact, going through your link, it seems he got a Star of Pakistan award as well. Well deserved I say.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 08:14   #7
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Among the Top 5 personalities who played a role in revolutionising the Indian car industry. Osamu Suzuki was the rare global auto boss who saw the potential in India in the early 1980s, when almost every other car brand rejected Maruti's proposals for a tie-up. And he got rewarded handsomely too. From a minority stake, Suzuki steadily increased its holding in Maruti and made unbelievable sums of money. Fact is, if it weren't for Maruti, Suzuki would either be dead today or a small part of a consortium (like say, Mitsubishi).

Thank you for giving us the Maruti 800 .
Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm-1.jpg

BHPians, if you haven't already, buy this book NOW! It'll be the best 300 bucks you ever spent in your life:
Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm-2.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 2nd March 2021 at 08:17.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 10:31   #8
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

The man is a great entrepreneur and he has won my respect for his India specific activities.

Suzuki has done a lot of great things for India and other developing nations in his time, especially that he foresaw success in a market like India. (half his Wikipedia page is about his activities in developing nations like ours).

Moreover, he is the reason behind Suzuki’s success even globally.

But let me introduce a point about his character that I wonder why no one has talked of yet. (I came across this one with just a single Wikipedia search —)

The man is a huge fan of cost-saving!



Quote:
Osamu Suzuki built the Suzuki empire, in a conservative way, by looking across the globe for prospective buyers and by cutting costs sharply. He is stated to be concerned about wasteful spending and always on the look-out for ways to save costs. It is reported that once, during a routine factory inspection, he cited 215 cases of wasteful expenditure such as removing 1900 light bulbs to save US$40,000 in electricity costs,[11] asking the executives to take split trip railway tickets, rather than direct fare tickets, thereby saving US$2 per ticket and changing the color of the factory floor to save paint.[4]
Could he be the reason why we are getting unsafe Maruti Suzuki cars?

Nevertheless, I am curious about him. And thanks to GTO, I got a cool book to read this week —

Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm-ac4cec4a45cc49d58f1edfb4435d73b7.jpeg
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Old 2nd March 2021, 11:29   #9
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

One of the older generation of industry leaders who epitomized the Japanese style of management. It is said that when Indira Gandhi gave the call to make india's first People's car, Osamu responded personally while other manufacturers did not even pay lip service. It was his personal involvement that impressed IG and GOI partnered with Suzuki. The rest is history.

Unlike Akio Morita (Sony) and Soichiro Honda he was not one of the first generation entrepreneurs but nevertheless transitioned Suzuki from a primarily Japanese motorcycle company to an International car company.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:57   #10
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

End of an era. What a guy. Nothing but respect for him. Maruti is what it is today because of one man alone and that's Mr Suzuki. M800 simply changed the game and subsequent launches were also amazing. Thank you and enjoy your retirement. You deserve it.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 11:48   #11
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Very few men can impact so many lives as Mr. Osamu Suzuki. A generation in India grew up aspiring to own a Maruti Suzuki. Buying a M800 meant that one has arrived in life.
Kudos to him for a great career and well deserved retirement.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 12:13   #12
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Real gratitude to Mr Suzuki for having given us modern wheels.

If the legacy Ambassador and Padmini were poor antiquated relics in the plains, just imagine how poor they were in the hills....there was a steep slope on the approach to our house and the only way our Padmini could climb it was by starting ways back and building massive momentum with my Father sweating at the wheel...if the momentum broke you had to reverse back a long way and start over.

Our first Maruti 800 sprinted up the same slope with minimal effort - Thank you Suzuki San.
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Old 4th March 2021, 12:24   #13
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

From what I remember reading - so feel free to correct me -

1. Maruti Udyog Ltd started by Sanjay Gandhi. Given lots of preferences based on his ahem "qualifications" which included a stint at Rolls Royce - free / cheap land etc. They made one prototype with an imported German engine but that's the extent of that experiment.



2. After his death and not being able to produce a car, MUL started looking for foreign partners.

3. Honda and Toyota were keen but gave up because of the red tape and the frustrations dealing with the Indian bureaucracy.

4. Mr. Suzuki was en route to Pakistan when he stopped for a meeting - and he unlike the others from Honda and Toyota attended every meeting and was patient with the red tape.

5. After Suzuki was signed up, VW all of a sudden showed immense interest but it was too late.

6. The Suzuki first launched the 800 and the "High Roof" Omni van. (FYI, we had one. I was still a toddler but I am pretty sure my dad insisted it was a fully imported Japanese car, not made here - again take that with a pinch of salt. We did buy it for 80,000 in 1984 and sold it for 80,000 in 1997 with over 100,000 clicks on the odometer. Go figure)

I guess the rest is history.

But full credit to Mr. Suzuki was seeing potential in India before anyone else did. Again, take this with a pinch of salt but if I remember reading correctly, they even launched an 800 with leather seats for whatever passed for the business chaps.
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Old 4th March 2021, 18:35   #14
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Osamu Suzuki has been at the helm of M/s Suzuki Motors for decades together and is a Grand Old Global CEO, who would not have been much in the reckoning had it not been for his vision to see India as a great emerging market for his small cars. Suzuki as a name in four wheelers is hardly well known elsewhere in the world, but for their MUV Jimmy.

The Suzuki Chairman has seen Prime Ministers from Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, Chandrashekar, Narasimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda, Dr I.K. Gujral, A.B. Vajpayee, Dr Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi. Mr R.C. Bhargava, the Indian Chairman too has seen Maruti grow and grow, all through these decades ever since their formative years.

Maruti has truly changed the definition of reliability for India's commoners cars. The after sales is also overall hassle free and it's these two factors that have made the brand, the most sought after.

Only wish they had done some more unfinished homework particularly for safety of their cars under Osamu's leadership.
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Old 8th March 2021, 19:00   #15
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Default Re: Osamu Suzuki will retire after almost 5 decades with the firm

Big respect and big thanks to him for introducing the brand in India, and making cars that were tailored for the Indians then.

But at the same time, I would not rate him at the top of the industry due to one reason. Despite being the powerhouse of the Suzuki brand for all these years, he had failed to develop the brand globally. Other than India, Suzuki hasn't developed much in any other country. He had all the money, time, technology & power in his hands to expand the brand globally.
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