Renault Nissan India effects changes at helm

By: | Published: December 7, 2018 3:10 AM

As per SIAM data, for the period April-October, Nissan India has reported a 15% drop in its sales to 58,319 units while Renault India reported a 25% drop in its sales to 52,939 units.

After successful completion of his tenure at RNAIPL, current incumbent Colin MacDonald will move on to a new role based in Europe.

On the lines of Hyundai, Toyota, among other auto OEMs in the last few days, Renault-Nissan Alliance also announced leadership change at the helm of affairs in India.

Biju Balendran has been appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) for Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL) and Sambath Kumar has been appointed as the chief finance officer (CFO) for Nissan India Operations. After successful completion of his tenure at RNAIPL, current incumbent Colin MacDonald will move on to a new role based in Europe.

It assumes significance at a time when the alliance’s global chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn got arrested a few days ago in Tokyo on suspicion of financial misconduct.
Both Renault and Nissan India have lined up a slew of launches over the next few years, including the soon-to-be launched Nissan SUV ‘Kicks’.

In their new roles, Biju will be responsible for all the manufacturing operations of the Renault-Nissan Alliance factory at Oragadam in Chennai; Sambath will lead finance for Nissan India Operations (Nissan Motor India and Renault Nissan Automotive India).

Biju brings more than two decades of experience in automobile manufacturing in India and international markets. He was the first employee to join RNAIPL in 2008 and over the years has worked in various functions, including the head of stamping at the Nissan South Africa (NSA) plant in Pretoria.
Based in Chennai, Biju will report to Thomas Kuehl, president, Nissan India Operations in India, and functionally to Sakamoto Masahiro, RVP Monozukuri, AMI, Nissan and Pascal Felten, RSVP Alliance, Africa Middle East and India (AMI) Monozukuri, said a press release here on Thursday.

Sambath is an industry veteran with over two decades of experience and has played key roles in finance, internal controlling, audit and strategic planning. He joined the Nissan family in 2009 and in this new position will be based in Chennai and report to Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations and Jay Cook, RVP Finance and GA, AMI Nissan.

Commenting on their appointments, Thomas Kuehl said: “As part of the Nissan India Strategy, we aim to substantially increase plant utilisation enabling greater efficiency and build capacity to develop products which meet the expectations of Indian customers. Under the leadership of Biju, the manufacturing plant will serve as a key contributor to the growth of Nissan in India. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Colin MacDonald, outgoing MD & CEO, RNAIPL, for his contribution and leadership during the last 5 years to make RNAIPL facility amongst the best in our organisation.”
“Sambath has played a key role in setting up the finance function for Nissan India. His strong financial and analytical skills will help us continue to execute our strategy in Indian market,” Kuehl added.
As per SIAM data, for the period April-October, Nissan India has reported a 15% drop in its sales to 58,319 units while Renault India reported a 25% drop in its sales to 52,939 units.

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