Fusing Filipino work ethic and hospitality with Japanese technology and customer service has proved a winning combination for Suzuki Philippines, the country’s pioneer compact car distributor. A wholly owned subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan since 1985, the business has roots in the Philippines community dating back to 1957.
Under the stewardship of President Hiroshi Suzuki (pictured left) and Managing Director Norminio Mojica (right), Suzuki Philippines is being transformed into a formidable brand of choice. With a name synonymous with heritage, trust and reliability, the business is continuously innovating to bring world-class products to the Philippine motorcycle, compact vehicle and outboard motor industries.
“We are a company that moves as one team, with one spirit and one goal,” explains Hiroshi. “We value every stakeholder – from our personnel to our dealers, suppliers, partners and riders. They are all part of the Suzuki family.”
To motivate their people and encourage employee feedback, Hiroshi and Norminio promote a workplace culture founded in camaraderie, transparency and open communication. “We synergise individual strengths to create a unified and dynamic team, and provide diverse training and multi-functional exposure to steer our workforce towards global competitiveness,” explains Norminio.
“At Suzuki, we believe in holistic development and we consider the professional development of our employees to be our personal business.”
To further strengthen its market presence outside Metro Manila, the business led back-to-back expansion initiatives in the Calabarzon and Ilocos regions last year, following the release of the all-new Dzire and Swift models.
Norminio says that within the global Suzuki family, Suzuki Philippines has been elevated to rank B-class for significantly and efficiently growing its business both in motorcycles and automobiles. “It was no easy feat, but we are now one of the highest-performing companies in the group,” he says. “Our team is very proud.”
In its motorcycle sector, Suzuki has been consistently surpassing its sales records, which have doubled in the past five years. The brand maintains close relationships with its riders and is a strong advocate of safe riding. So much so, that Suzuki Philippines is, in fact, the current holder of the Guinness World Record for the largest road safety lesson.
From the start, the Japanese company made a firm commitment to uphold the Filipino way of life by providing vehicles that are tailored to the customers’ dynamic needs – whether that be leisure, sports, business or family.
“We set the bar high in our industry and we continue to surpass sales records.”
Suzuki Philippines promised to provide Filipinos with value-packed motorcycles and compact vehicles of the highest quality, affordability, safety and sustainability. “We set the trend of doing things differently and tastefully. We set the bar high in our industry and we continue to surpass sales records,” explains Hiroshi.
“Be open to change and raise the bar higher by setting the standards and always doing new things.” – Hiroshi Suzuki
“Success is facilitated by managing and taking calculated risks. Cultivate your vision by strengthening your foresight to get a step ahead of the competition.” – Norminio Mojica
Future of mobility
In a market saturated with brands and competition, Suzuki Philippines has trained its team to see challenges as opportunities. “The motoring industry is growing rapidly and this only makes it more colourful,” notes Hiroshi. “There are a lot of players offering a lot of choices, so we must remain relevant and be the brand of choice. We’re seeing a rise in the number of young customers, so we’re putting our focus on them while also addressing the needs of existing customers.”
Digitalisation presents its own set of challenges, adds Norminio. “As we enter the digital age, we must evolve and adapt to the rapidly changing market landscape and technological advances. If we don’t integrate these digital technologies into our business quickly and effectively, we’ll struggle to compete in the new era,” he notes.
“Suzuki Global has always been at the helm of technology innovation, offering a variety of vehicles equipped with efficiency and environmentally friendly technologies for international markets. Suzuki is now nearing the celebration of our 100th year in 2020 and even as we get ready to reach our centennial celebration, we are already preparing for the next 100 years with forms of mobility that will perfectly fit people’s lifestyles.”
Hiroshi explains that it is management’s desire to build on Suzuki Philippines’ current growth trajectory
in line with the country’s promising economic forecast. “Staying relevant as an automotive company requires a lot of effort, especially in such a fluid society,” he observes.
“A business can be rendered obsolete in the blink of an eye, so we have to ride with the change and stay ahead of the curve. This means adapting to evolving marketplaces and consumer preferences while still maintaining Suzuki’s commitment to excellence.”
Hiroshi and Norminio believe this vision is only attainable through continuous goal-setting, and creating ways to increase workforce engagement. “Without our people, Suzuki wouldn’t be where it is now. For me, knowing that our employees share our vision and are fulfilled in their roles within the company is the true measure of our success,” says Hiroshi.
“Without our people, Suzuki wouldn’t be where it is now.”
Norminio agrees that Suzuki’s close-knit family culture is its greatest strength. “The best indicator of business success, other than sound financial indices, are the results a company delivers to its employees, business partners, customers and society as a whole,” he points out.
“The improved workforce quality of life, the degree of customer delight and loyalty, the fulfilment of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility, and a corporate legacy that transcends ages – these create success that defies time.”
Working closely together to achieve these goals, Norminio and Hiroshi share a leadership philosophy that promotes strategic risk-taking and embraces change as an opportunity to grow. “We believe in optimism in the midst of adversity, continuous learning, and readiness to exceed expectations,” explains Norminio.
“A leader’s responsibility is to help people find a place in the organisation where they can flourish and discover their true potential. We have to awaken our employees’ capacity for self-development and willingness to become an excellent organisational asset at the same time.”