Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation (TMP) president Michinobu Sugata is ending his tour of duty in the Philippines after five successful and milestone-setting years. Sugata made the announcement on Wednesday evening during the 2015 Vios Cup culmination night held at the Revel at the Palace in Taguig City.
Sugata-san, as colleagues and industry insider fondly call him, took over the mantle of leadership at TMP back in January 2010. He was able to strengthen its market presence in terms of sales and share, as well as accelerate its efforts to push for higher quality in its products and in all aspects of operations to ensure total customer satisfaction, resulting in the giving the brand its 13th consecutive Triple Crowns (by leading in passenger car, commercial vehicle segment and overall sales).
Also under Sugata’s term, Toyota became the first automaker in the country to sell over on million vehicles. This feat was achieved back in April 2015.
In addition to Sugata’s accomplishments, the Japanese executive successfully revived Toyota’s presence in the local motor sports scene with the staging of the first ever Toyota Vios Cup in 2014. From the first promotional race held in January 2014 with 12 competitors, the field immediately grew to 38 competitors when the official race flagged off in March that same year. The series became so successful that during the second year of the series, it was considered as the largest motor sports event in the Philippines with the number of racers growing even more.
During culmination night, Sugata-san expressed his appreciation for the support everyone shared to help stage the one-make race. “Compared to its premier season, it is evident that this one-make race has grown in all aspects,” Sugata said.
“This all started two years ago with a mere dream of bringing motor sports back here in the Philippines. In starting the Vios Cup, it has been our sincerest wish to provide a platform for Filipinos to excel in this sport. This is because I’ve truly believed there are a lot of people who have a natural love for speed as well as the necessary talent to compete on a global level,” he added.
And despite his announcement that he is ending his tour of duty here in the Philippines, Sugata assured TMP will continue with the Vios Cup and let the dream live on. “The plans for 2016 are already in the pipeline with more exciting things in store! Expect that there’s no other way but to go up and be better than what we have staged in the previous races. Moreover, we all know that the Vios Cup is still in its infancy stage and there is still a lot of room for improvement – that is why in the spirit of ‘Kaizen,’ also known as continuous improvement, you can be assured that all parties involved will make every effort to further enhance the Vios Cup while sustaining the best practices. All these efforts will contribute to an even more successful third season…for the team owners, racers and most of all, the general public.”
Prior to his posting as TMP president, Sugata joined TMP in 1997 as senior vice president for comptrollership. Following his four-year assignment with TMP, he went back to Toyota Motor Corporation’s Asia Division as a project manager. After this time, he moved to Toyota Motor Thailand as executive managing coordinator for three years, then on to Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore as senior vice president for one year, where he was responsible for marketing sales. Sugata graduated from Kobe University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington in the United States.
A formal turnover for the presidency at TMP will take place this January.