Exactly how operations at Subaru Canada will change — if at all — following executive changes made higher up the corporate chain remains to be determined.
Subaru Corp. named North America Chairman and CEO Tomomi Nakamura its new global president in one of several management changes announced Friday in Tokyo.
Subaru of America President Tom Doll, the longtime face of the band and architect behind an ongoing run of soaring U.S. sales, was named CEO. But Subaru Canada CEO Yasushi Enami will not report to him,spokesman Mike McHale said.
Separately, Subaru of Canada spokesman Dan Ilika said in an email to Automotive News Canada: “While reporting is still being decided for Mr. Enami, Subaru Canada, Inc. will continue to report to the Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief General Manager, Subaru Overseas Sales & Marketing Div. 1, at Subaru Corporation.”
The promotion makes Doll the first American to hold that position since parent Fuji Heavy Industries, now known as Subaru, acquired full ownership of its U.S. arm in 1990.
Ilika said the changes shouldn’t affect day-to-day operations because the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corp. and “pretty self-contained.”
Enami and his team are currently unavailable while attending a national dealers meeting.
Enami replaced Shiro Ohta in April 2017. Subaru Canada presidents and CEOs typically spend about five to seven years in Canada before transferring, Ilika said. Ohta started his tenure as Canada’s top executive in 2010.
The Subaru of America chair will remain vacant. Jinya Shoji, currently corporate vice president for global marketing, will be dispatched to work under Doll as a local executive vice president, Nakamura said.
An accountant by trade, Doll has been with the company for all but 14 years of its existence, having joined the automaker in 1982 after working at Arthur Young in Philadelphia.
Doll has seen considerable change in his own role at Subaru during his career, holding positions from manager of treasury operations to CFO to COO.
He has served in his current role as president since 2013.
Doll has been through times when the automaker struggled with low sales and bloated inventories.
But today, with a crossover-heavy lineup and relatively low incentives, Subaru remains one of the strongest performing automakers in the U.S., despite a cooling market.
It currently rides a streak of 75 months of year-over-year sales increases. In February, Subaru's U.S. sales rose 3.8 per cent to 47,249 vehicles.
Subaru forecasts that the U.S. company deliver 5 per cent sales growth in 2018, which equate to 680,000 sales.
If reached, that figure would mark the 10th year of record results and 11 consecutive years of sales increases.
Its manufacturing plant in Indiana is set to begin production of the three-row Ascent crossover in May, placing Subaru back into a competitive segment it has had to live without for several years.
Subaru of America celebrated its 50th anniversary last month. It is set to move its headquarters from Cherry Hill, N.J. to nearby Camden this spring.