TOKYO -- Subaru, the Japanese automaker caught cheating on safety inspections last year, is reshuffling its executive ranks ahead of schedule in a move to rebuild trust, The Nikkei has learned.
Tomomi Nakamura, a corporate executive vice president, will take over as Subaru's president following the shareholders' meeting in June. President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga will leave his current post to become chairman.
Three out of the six internal board members will step down, including incumbent Chairman Jun Kondo.
Subaru had planned to install a new generation of executives in 2019. But the situation changed last October when the automaker admitted it had let unqualified workers perform final vehicle checks, in violation of government regulations.
Then in December, Subaru announced it was investigating suspected employee falsification of fuel consumption data on vehicles awaiting shipment.
Yoshinaga has blamed the scandals on internal oversight that had become lax in a period of robust earnings. As incoming chairman, he will continue to lead efforts to prevent a recurrence as well as Subaru's campaign to regain public trust.
At 63, Yoshinaga will retain the title of representative chief executive officer. He is credited with lifting global vehicle unit sales 70% over seven years, and more than doubling sales in value during that period. He also supervised the group's withdrawal from the minicar and industrial machinery businesses.
Nakamura, 58, supervises overseas sales and serves as chairman of Subaru's U.S. arm. America's auto market accounts for roughly 60% of the car company's global unit sales. Subaru had planned to announce its medium-term business plan through 2025 this spring, but the release probably will be held until summer as the particulars are adjusted to reflect Nakamura's leadership.