TOYOTA Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) will have a change of leadership next year as its president Satoru Suzuki steps down by the end of December.

“[It] is with both sadness and gratitude that I announce my time with Toyota Motor Philippines has come to an end. Taking up the mantle of Presidency from 2016 to 2019 proved to be a challenging journey made easy with everyone here by my side,” Mr. Suzuki said in a TMP statement quoting a speech that he made during a Dec. 10 event.

“I will leave this stage knowing with full confidence that Toyota and the automotive industry are in good hands,” he added.

TMP said it will publicly announce the new president of the company “early next year.”

TMP Chairman Alfred V. Ty said Mr. Suzuki was a valuable asset for the company, having led it to several successes such as the “strong resurgence of local parts manufacturing, grassroots motorsports and environmental initiatives… (and) introduction of key global models to the Philippine market.”

“His hands-on leadership approach propelled Toyota to rebound from last year’s tough market conditions, and we are fortunate to have a President who truly led by example,” Mr. Ty was quoted in the statement as saying.

TMP was able to sell 114,117 car units in the nine-month period ending September, up 4.3% from last year.

It is investing P4.5 billion to build a new hub in Luzon to expand its current stockyard operations in Laguna. The new facility is scheduled to open by late 2020.

TMP is part of the Ty family-led GT Capital Holdings, Inc., which reported a 40% rise in its year-to-date attributable net income to P15.33 billion.

Shares in GT Capital at the stock exchange increased 17 points or 1.95% to P891 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez