Nissan has announced changes in its senior management in a bid to drive sustainable growth across the continent. This is due to the fact that with a growing middle class and increasing demand, Africa is being seen as the last frontier for global automakers.

In the changes, Mike Whitfield who is currently managing director of Nissan South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa has been appointed as the managing director of Nissan Motor Egypt (NMEG). He will also serve as chairman of Nissan in Africa South. He will be based in Cairo and his appointment will be effective from June 20th.

Mike, is a former president the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) and vice president of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), he joined Nissan in 1981 as a marketing trainee. Since then he has held a variety of senior positions in the company resulting in his appointment as Nissan SA’s managing director in 2008. Under his leadership, Nissan posted a record market share in South Africa of over 10% in the last financial year, the highest this century.

Shinkichi Izumi will replace Mike as managing director, Nissan South Africa. He was appointed deputy managing director in 2018. Shinkichi joined Nissan in 2001 and has held various roles in Sales, Marketing and Corporate Planning. Before joining Nissan South Africa last year, he was based in Nissan’s Japanese headquarters working within Nissan’s Asia and Oceania region and also has experience within the global Datsun function.

Chairman of Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India region, Peyman Kargar, had this to say, “Nissan has a plan for rapid and sustainable growth in Africa. We were the first to assemble cars in Nigeria and our ambition is to lead the way in developing automotive manufacturing on the continent. The appointments announced today will drive performance in key African markets. Mike and Shinkichi both have extensive market knowledge and diverse experience within the auto industry. They will bring clear leadership and a strong customer focus to deliver growth and business performance.”