Takao ASAMI - Senior Vice President, Alliance Global Vice President,
Research & Advanced Engineering
Who is Takao Asami?
As Nissan's Senior Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering, and also the Alliance Global Vice President for the Renault Nissan Alliance, Takao Asami has a wide ranging role. This includes building the company's strategy in the research and technology space to ensure that it remains a competitive force in the future. He oversees the work of several thousand professionals across the world and travels frequently to all regions.
He was born in Japan and always aspired to work in the automotive industry due to his passion for engineering and sports cars. Two of his key areas of focus at the moment are electric vehicles and autonomous driving for Nissan and the Alliance, both of which he says are advancing extremely rapidly.
Takao Asami has spent more than 30 years working for Nissan, joining in 1981 after graduating from the University of Tokyo. From the outset of his career he has been interested in the future of autonomous driving - an area of his work that has only recently witnessed the technological advancements to make his ideas a reality.
He spent 15 years working through the organisation before moving to Nissan Technical Centre North America in Detroit, in the United States, in 1995.
Six years later, as Nissan launched its IT Engineering Department, Takao Asami was asked to return to Japan to lead the team and drive forward in developing the company's expertise. In April 2006 he transferred to Nissan's Alliance partner, Renault. Three years later he was back at Nissan as the Corporate Vice President in charge of the Nissan Research Centre.
Takao Asami was appointed as Senior Vice President in charge of Technology Planning and Advanced Engineering in April 2013. He was appointed to current role in April 2014.
Achievements at Nissan
Takao Asami has been deeply engaged in helping develop advanced motoring technology, such as car CD players, navigation systems, around view monitors, distance control assist systems, and telematics. He and his teams have also established efficient and effective development methodologies, processes and tools for testing and designing electrical systems.
Takao Asami describes his time in the United States - between 1995 and 2001 - as transformative because Nissan, like most of the industry, was going through a challenging period. It was during this time that big and bold decisions were made, which led to the success that Nissan is seeing now. "Everyone pulled together to really put the customer at the centre of everything we do and develop competitive products," he says.
Why is Nissan Different?
"Nissan has a pioneering spirit and a DNA that ensures we are always trying to create new value for our customers," Takao Asami says. "Our culture fosters and encourages an attitude of achievement. Regardless of hierarchy, we empower and support everyone to think of big ideas - that's something that is unparalleled in the industry."
Takao Asami foresees electric vehicles becoming mainstream as their technology and energy consumption improve. In his current role, he is also focused on the role autonomous vehicles will play in society in the future - hopefully eliminating more than 90% of traffic accidents on the roads today. "Ultimately, automobiles will consume much less energy while being very safe and efficient", he says.
In Takao's Personal Time
Takao Asami enjoys spending time with his family, especially fishing with his two sons.
Takao's Current Ride
Takao Asami currently drives a Nissan Serena. His first car was a silver Nissan Bluebird.