Mazda to name former North America chief Morrow as next CEO – Autoblog -Dlight News

Mazda to name former North America chief Morrow as next CEO - Autoblog

TOKYO – Mazda will hire 40-year veteran Masahiro Moro as its new president and CEO, the Japanese automaker said Friday, as it ramps up spending on electrifying its vehicles and looks to invest in battery production. Morrow, 62, currently a director and senior managing executive officer, previously served as head of the automaker’s North American operations. The company said he will officially take over pending shareholder and board approval in June. Current president and CEO Akira Marumoto, who assumed his role in 2018, will step down from his position at that time, Mazda added. Marumoto will continue to serve as an adviser, the Nikkei newspaper reported separately on Friday. The leadership change comes as the company, 5.1% owned by automotive giant Toyota Motor Corp, announced plans in November to spend 1.5 trillion yen ($11.28 billion) to boost vehicle electrification. “Our business in the United States is currently growing very strongly,” Morrow said during a news conference at Mazda’s home base in Hiroshima, as he promised to work out the automaker’s mid-term strategy in detail. Morrow said he hopes Mazda will expand its U.S. business by upgrading dealer stores, which number around 360, and each of those stores initially sell 1,000 vehicles a year. “If it can be done, then 1,200 units have to be worked on,” he said. Mazda named Jeff Guyton, 56, a senior managing executive officer and its current head of North America, as chief financial officer and assistant to the president pending June approval from shareholders and the board. The company with the help of Toyota in the US. Seeking to strengthen its position in the market, Mazda manufactures the CX-50 crossover at its plant in Huntsville, Alabama, alongside its much larger compatriot. Mazda, which had seen global annual sales of 1.25 million vehicles in the fiscal year to the end of March 2022, is facing growing competition in the US and China as well as the fallout from a global chip shortage. The company last month forecast it would sell 6% fewer cars in the United States and 48% fewer in China in the current fiscal year, a setback that would be partially offset by expected sales in Japan. ($1 = 132.9600 yen) (Reporting by Daniel Lussink; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jamie Freed)

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