Change of leadership at Geely Philippines
Geely Philippines has not had an easy time in the second half of the year.
While they did kick off the latter part of the year with a new affordable model to appeal to a very wide consumer base with the GX3 Pro, the launch was overshadowed by an after-sales issue. Actually, the very same issue snowballed in August into a major one, and many were critical of the delay in any response from the official distributor Sojitz G Auto Philippines.
The result is rather clear: a significant hit in Geely's sales in the Philippines. Compared to August 2023 where Geely sold 676 units, their September 2023 sales accounted for only 379 units. That's a 43.9% drop month on month.
Things are set to change for the distributor though. We have received word that there is a change in leadership happening at Geely's distributor in the Philippines.
At a small year-end celebration last night, Sojitz G Auto Philippines conducted a presidential turnover. Outgoing SGAP chief Yugo Kiyofuji has handed the ceremonial key to incoming SGAP chief Naoyuki Takeda.
Typically when a Japanese company assigns a chief executive it's for a 3-year period, but the outgoing president has been in the post only for 1 year and 8 months. Perhaps the parent company Sojitz decided that Kiyofuji would be better suited to a different role that is still unspecified.
Takeda, on the other hand, is a career Sojitz executive and has plenty of experience in the Philippine market. While we have met Takeda at a few events in the past, our knowledge of his experience is slim. We do know Takeda has been assigned here before when Sojitz was still a shareholder in Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. He was part of the management team that handled the joint venture financing program called MAFS or MMPC Auto Financial Services.
Time will tell how Takeda's leadership will revitalize SGAP. The new executive will undoubtedly be working to bring back the luster of the Geely brand that was undeniably the envy of the many Chinese auto brands in the market.