Subaru Canada welcomes new President

TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ - Ikuo Mori, Director of the Board President and CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, is pleased to announce that Mr. Shiro Ohta has been named the new Chairman, President, and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI). Mr. Ohta replaces Katsuhiro Yokoyama, who has held the top position at SCI since 2005.

Ohta is a familiar face at SCI. From 1995-1998 he worked at the Canadian head office as Executive Co-ordinator Field Operations and Assistant to the CEO. Since then, he has acquired extensive experience with Subaru operations around the globe.

Mr. Ohta joined Subaru's parent company in 1986, immediately after graduating from university. His most recent position was general manager of FHI's North American Sales and Marketing Department. His extensive sales and marketing experience also includes managing FHI sales/marketing divisions in Africa and the Middle East, Oceania/Australia, and Europe. He has also spent time at the dealership level, gaining important insight into the front-line sales experience.

"I would like to sincerely thank Katsuhiro Yokoyama for his outstanding work in leading Subaru Canada to record sales and market share," said Ohta. "My immediate goal is to improve on those numbers even further. Our next target is a two percent market share, but I believe that it is possible for us to ultimately achieve three and even four percent. Subaru has built a strong brand awareness and we offer compelling and unique products. We must continue to build on those strengths."

Like many of his predecessors, Ohta believes in healthy competition-even internally-and holds up Australia as an example of what can be accomplished. During the late '90s, Subaru Australia was selling approximately 8,000 units a year, while Subaru Canada's annual sales volume was less than 50 percent of that. Subaru Canada has grown significantly since that time with sales reaching a record 23,034 units in 2009. (Subaru of Australia finished 2009 with sales of 36,506 units.)

"The Australian market is a good benchmark for us," Ohta said. "Canada's car market is one and a half times that of Australia, but in terms of sales numbers, Australia sells close to 40,000 units. They have a market share of almost four percent-so we know it can be done. We have not reached our full potential in the Canadian market yet."

While Subaru owners are renowned for their strong brand loyalty, a recent CADA (Canadian Automobile Dealer Association) survey found significant increases in dealer satisfaction across the board in 2009, placing Subaru Canada in fifth place overall amongst 26 manufacturers.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Subaru Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Elaine Griffin or Jen Giller, (905) 568-4959


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