There's a changing of the guard that just happened over at Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI).
The national sales company for the Nissan brand has just bid good fortunes to Ramesh Narasimhan after his 3-year tour as the NPI's president and managing director. Succeeding him is Atsushi Najima, who became the company's fourth president and managing director on April 1, 2019.
Mr. Najima joined Nissan in 2016 from Procter & Gamble, previously serving in a variety of roles across the Asian region in management and finance. Najima will be reporting to Vincent Vijnen, Nissan's senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan Asia and Oceania.
“With his rich experience in managing teams across multiple countries, I am confident that Atsushi will continue to drive the strong growth trajectory established by the current leadership team,” said Wijnen in a press release.
The previous president, Ramesh Narasimhan, has had a storied career as head of Nissan Philippines. He was a former Ford executive based in Australia, and took the opportunity to lead NPI. In his tenure, Nissan has experienced unprecedented growth in the country with a stronger product line that includes the Navara and Terra. Ramesh's term also saw the official (and much awaited) Philippine launch of the GT-R, up to and including the supercar-beating GT-R NISMO.
But perhaps it was Narasimhan's management style that put an emphasis on developing his team, as well as his frank and almost fearless demeanor that helped the brand charge forward with double digit growth and vastly improved sales performance.
Ramesh now moves on to take the big role of president and managing director of Nissan Thailand, a much larger market and the major production and export base for the brand.
“Under the strong leadership of Ramesh Narasimhan, Nissan has seen significant growth in the promising Philippine market. In calendar year 2018, Nissan's sales volume in the Philippines grew by 40% to an 8.7% market share,” continued Wijnen in the press release.
In 2013 when Nissan Philippines, Inc. took over as the national sales company, they had set a market share target of 8%. Now, they've surpassed it.
Prior to 2013, Nissan's efforts in the Philippines were divided between two “Nissans”: Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. (NMPI) and Universal Motors Corporation (UMC). NMPI mostly handled the passenger cars like Sentra and Almera, while UMC mostly handled the commercial vehicle side with the Patrol, Navara, among others.
When Nissan Philippines, Inc. entered in as the national sales company in 2013, it consolidated the brand's efforts into one unit. Kenji Naito was the first president, followed by Antonio Zara, Ramesh Narasimhan, and now Atsushi Najima.