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Suzuki CEO Resigns

June 8, 2016
Chairman Osamu Suzuki, and a top deputy will resign after admitting the company used unapproved fuel-economy testing methods in Japan.

Suzuki Motor Corp. (IW 1000/163) Chairman Osamu Suzuki ceded the role of chief executive officer and one of his top deputies will resign after the automaker admitted to using unapproved fuel-economy testing methods in Japan.

The 86-year-old Suzuki will decline the position of CEO and Executive Vice President Osamu Honda, 66, will step down as of the company’s June 29 shareholders’ meeting, according to a statement. Directors will fully waive their bonuses for 2015, while senior managing officers and managing officers will see theirs cut in half.

Suzuki Motor emerged last month as the second Japanese automaker to use unapproved fuel-economy test methods, after similar disclosures by  Mitsubishi Motors Corp. prompted greater scrutiny by the nation’s transport ministry.

Suzuki Motor cited the 2008 global financial crisis and increasing workload as reasons it didn’t invest enough in infrastructure or allocate a sufficient number of employees to conduct proper testing of 14 Suzuki models and 12 vehicles supplied to other manufacturers.

Japan’s transport ministry ordered domestic automakers to investigate and self-report their fuel economy testing methods after Mitsubishi Motors said it had overstated the mileage ratings of four minicar models by as much as 15% and used improper testing on other vehicles dating back to 1991.

Nissan Motor Co. has since signed an agreement to buy a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors for about $2.2 billion.

Osamu Suzuki’s monthly compensation after July will be reduced by 40% for six months, while his son, President Toshihiro Suzuki, will see a 30% cut for the same span.

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