Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Industry News: NAZA Group Updates - Naza Italia Gets a New Chairman & Naza Automotive Manufacturing Gets a New CEO

Naza Italia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Naza Corporation Holdings, which is the official distributors of Ferrari and Maserati in Malaysia have appointed YTM Dato’ Tunku Shazuddin Ariff Ibni Sultan Sallehuddin to its Board of Directors as the company’s Chairman. Additionally, Groupe PSA the joint venture partner of Naza Corporation Holdings also announced Laurence Noël as Chief Executive Officer of the Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) plant in Gurun, Kedah.

Tunku Shazuddin graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University with a major in design and marketing. He started out with Johan Design Associates where he was tasked with numerous design projects from graphic, interior design to branding for various corporate and private clients. He worked in the field of design and marketing with other companies including Hewlett Packard, Data One and Keppel Group of Singapore. In 2005 that he formed his own design and marketing agency and then became major shareholder for Rethink Sdn Bhd and Reka 3 Sdn Bhd. He also provides consultancy services to various state and government departments on acquisition of new technologies and funding for agricultural and tourism activities, in addition to providing insights and counsel as a Board Member for several companies. He is currently a Director of Seri Libana Sdn Bhd and also the Executive Chairman of Berjaya Food Berhad.

“Tunku Shazuddin brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we firmly believe will add value, instill good corporate governance practices and provide effective leadership to steer Naza Italia towards achieving long-term success and deliver sustainable value to the Automotive Group.” said SM Nasaruddin SM Nasimuddin, Group Executive Chairman/CEO, Naza Corporation Holdings when asked about the appointment.

“Tunku Shazuddin will be the key advisor on strategic direction to elevate Naza Italia as the official distributor of Ferrari and Maserati in Malaysia and continue to be a top dealer in Southeast Asia. The Naza Group extends its warmest welcome to Tunku Shazuddin to its Board of Directors,” he added. 

On a similar note, Groupe PSA the joint venture partner of Naza Corporation Holdings also announced Laurence Noël as Chief Executive Officer of the Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) plant in Gurun, Kedah. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she will be tasked primarily with accelerating the Group’s development in Southeast Asia, as announced in the Group’s ‘Push to Pass’ plan in 2016. This means she will be the person in charge of what goes on at the plant and the transfer of any technology from PSA to the NAM plant.

Groupe PSA (known here for their Peugeot and Citroen cars) and Naza Corporation Holdings earlier signed a share sale agreement and a joint venture agreement in February 2018. The agreement is to officially establish a shared operation of the Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) plant in Gurun, Kedah where it will be the first manufacturing hub in ASEAN for Groupe PSA. This is PSA putting a foot through the door in terms of Southeast Asia and ASEAN. 

Apart from Chief Executive Officer of NAM, Laurence Noël was appointed Groupe PSA’s Senior Vice President, ASEAN effective 1st May 2018. She will report to Carlos Gomes, Executive Vice President, China & Southeast Asia.

These are interesting appointments actually. There is a real synergy to this exercise actually. The Chairman of an arm of Naza Group hails from the royal family of Kedah (he is the second son of the current Sultan of Kedah) and the NAM plant is, in Kedah. There are actually no real crossing of paths in actual job scope or the types of vehicles being sold or discussed here, but we do see strategic thinking happening within the Naza Group. Plus the fact that these people who are appointed are there for a reason. I personally think that the current evolution of the Naza Group is pretty positive indeed.

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