The start of April is known for a few things. Pranks are one, but in business -particularly in the Japanese auto sector- it's the new year... fiscal, of course.

These are the challenges of new Geely PH president image

The new fiscal year is the time when many auto companies make big changes with leadership, and one such company is Geely Philippines. The company has announced that Yugo Kiyofuji will be the new president and CEO of the company effective April 1.

Kiyofuji assumes the leadership of Geely in the Philippines from Yosuke Nishi who has been heading up Geely Philippines since April 1, 2021, but has been with Geely since the start of operations in 2019. Prior to Geely, Nishi was a vice president at Mitsubishi Motors Philippines when Sojitz had significant shares in the company. That was cut short since Sojitz had to sell back their shares of MMPC when Nissan took a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. Interestingly enough, Nishi will now be at the helm of the other Sojitz automotive business in the country: Fuso Philippines.

While Geely may be a Chinese auto brand, the distributor in the Philippines is very much Japanese; it is part of Sojitz Corporation. That is why the top management have been Japanese, and why they follow the business tradition of bringing in new leadership to coincide with the start of a new FY.

The appointment of Kiyofuji is a key one because he is not a traditional Sojitz executive given his experience. He has been with Nissan and with Isuzu, and thus brings with him many years of lessons from those major Japanese auto brands.

We caught up with Kiyofuji at the handover ceremony earlier today and picked his mind over several issues that will be key to Geely's operations in the Philippines moving forward. Issues such as the rapid expansion and growth of Geely given the very warm reception of Filipino car buyers, as well as the shortages of parts and perception of slower service times.

"I have 3 main challenges," said Yugo Kiyofuji. "The first is to bring the high-quality products that customers want. The second is to grow the network so we can serve more of our customers."

"The third is of course to work on customer satisfaction. We are working to improve the quality of service and the supply of parts," continued Kiyofuji.

These are the challenges of new Geely PH president image

Indeed, the new Geely president and CEO has a lot of challenges ahead of him, but given the experience and the high morale of the team around him, it seems things will only get better for the company.

Last month alone, they sold over 1036 units; the highest single monthly tally for Geely. In 2021, the company sold a total of around 6000 units. Since they started operations, Geely has accumulated 10,000 units in sales.

"Quality, not quantity is going to be our focus," concluded the new Geely Philippines boss.