(Yicai Global) Feb. 21 -- Chinese carmaker Qoros Auto has appointed former Renault-Nissan Alliance Global Director of Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Engineering Kazuo Yajima as chief executive with several other figures from Nissan and Infiniti also jumping ship.
Li Feng, executive vice-president at Baoneng Group, which became the Shanghai-based firm's largest shareholder in December 2017, will hand over the reins gradually so that he can focus on the parent company's operations, according to a statement.
The move will boost Qoros' efforts to gain a foothold in overseas markets as well as research and development, operation and management, he said.
Yajima brings rich experience in developing new energy vehicles and he developed the Nissan Leaf and Fuga models as well as led the development of its E-Power technology.
Qoros has also appointed Nagahara Oki, the former global director of vehicle connectivity technology strategy at Renault-Nissan, as new chief operating officer, assisting the CEO in the firm's internal operations and management.
Toshiro Hirai, former head of Infiniti's all-car development, has assumed the role of chief technology officer, overseeing NEV R&D, while Liu Qiang, former CTO at Nissan's EV division, is new vice president and will oversee merchandising. The COO and CTO are new positions in the firm, while other executive roles remain unchanged.
Chinese automaker Chery Automobile and Israel's Kenon Holdings jointly set up the carmaker in 2007. However, the firm has suffered successive losses since and only has two models on the market at present, namely, the Qoros 3 and Qoros 5. The firm's accumulated deficit amounted to about CNY12.4 billion (USD1.9 billion) and losses more than doubled to CNY1.4 billion for the first three quarters last year.
Qoros will release two fuel-efficient sports utility vehicles, one battery electric car and a Qoros 5 battery EV this year, according to the firm's previously announced plans. Qoros plans to introduce as many as 21 new vehicles by 2022.