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Suzuki knows how to make cars, but can it fill boss' shoes?

TOKYO -- Suzuki Motor Chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki often describes himself as the old-guy next door, the type of person you can find at small companies everywhere. But he is probably selling himself a bit short. During his three decades at the top, he helped transform the midsize manufacturer into Japan's leading minicar maker and a major player in the Indian auto market, with sales soaring tenfold under his watch.  

New Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki, left, shakes hands with his father, Chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki, at a June 30 press conference.

     Now 85, the veteran executive is starting a new chapter in his career. He recently stepped down as president and, while retaining the titles of chairman and CEO, will move away from the front lines and let others run the show.

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