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Mazda North America CEO Retires

Chief retires with brand on sales upswing.

by on Dec.23, 2015

Mazda's top American executive, Jim O'Sullivan, is retiring after 40 years in the auto industry.

The top executive at Mazda North America, Jim Sullivan, has elected to call it quits after a long career in the auto industry spanning more than 40 years.

O’Sullivan joined MNAO as President and CEO in 2003, and also held the title of Managing Executive Officer of Mazda Motor Corp. O’Sullivan’s retirement is effective Jan.1, 2016.

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During his 13-year tenure with MNAO, and 40-plus years in the auto industry, O’Sullivan earned a reputation as a respected industry expert, who gained the trust of Mazda’s dealers, who had carried the brand through some lean years during the recession and the abrupt end of the Japanese automaker’s long-standing partnership with the Ford Motor Co. (more…)

Q&A: Mazda’s Jim O’Sullivan

The world, post-Clunkers.

by on Aug.21, 2009

The U.S. auto industry has never been more difficult to predict, says Mazda Motor America CEO Jim O'Sullivan.

The U.S. auto industry has never been more difficult to predict, says Mazda Motor America CEO Jim O'Sullivan.

Just a few months ago, U.S. dealers couldn’t get customers into their showrooms.  But in recent weeks, it seems, they could barely keep up with demand, thanks to the Cash-for-Clunkers program.  But now, with that cash, all $3 billion worth, running out, the program is winding down.  So, what happens next?  Will the momentum keep building, or will the American market once again fall flat on its face?

That’s just one of the questions we posed to Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda Motor of America during a preview of the Japanese maker’s 2010 line-up.  A 30-year Ford Motor Co. veteran, O’Sullivan was appointed to his current post six years ago, when Ford still held a controlling stake in Mazda.  Recently, the American maker sold off much of its holdings, but O’Sullivan chose to remain on the Mazda payroll.  He spoke with TheDetroitBureau.com’s Bureau Chief Paul A. Eisenstein at the Laguna Seca Raceway, in Monterey, California, that Mazda has sponsored for a number of years.

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Q: It seems the Cash-for-Clunkers program has been a success – almost too much so.  How has it played out for Mazda?

Jim O’Sullivan: The program, from our perspective, has been very successful.  In fact, our share, based on what (the government) has posted, has been much higher than what our market share is, which tells you people are attracted to our products because of their fuel economy.

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