Osamu Suzuki, the 91 year old chairman of Suzuki Motor, is to step down after heading the carmaker for over 40 years and turning it into one of the world's largest producers of compact cars, a Japanese media report said.

A Nikkei report noted Suzuki steered the company's successful expansion into India and also led Suzuki Motor to forge a capital tie-up with Toyota Motor in 2019.

His decision to step down comes after Suzuki Motor celebrated its 100th anniversary in March 2020. He will leave in June, Suzuki Motor confirmed to Nikkei.

The report said Suzuki Motor had also set out plans for a greater move into electric cars, saying that from 2025 its electric technology would be in all its new cars, adding that it would increase the volume of such vehicles from 2030. The company also set out growth targets, saying it expected to sell 3.7m vehicles worldwide by fiscal 2025, compared with 2.85m for the fiscal year ended 31 March, 2020.

That included a plan to increase sales in Asia from under 1.8m to 2.5m, headed by India where Suzuki was aiming for a market share of over 50%.

"So far, we have only dealt with about 300m people in India, a country with a population of 1.3bn. We will make sure we will target the remaining 1bn people. We will increase market share by expanding demand in rural areas," Nikkei quoted Suzuki Motor president Toshihiro Suzuki, the son of Osamu Suzuki, as saying at a press conference.

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"Carbon neutrality is considered a national policy, and electrification is essential," he added. "We will focus on electrification for R&D through 2025."

He also promised the company would take speedy action to prevent a recurrence of vehicle recalls.

Nikkei noted Osamu Suzuki had said previously he would never retire. When asked about his health, he denied that there was any issue: "I played golf 47 times last year, I'm very energetic," he said. "My job is my life. Humans die if they give up their jobs."

The report said Osamu Suzuki joined Suzuki Motor in 1958. With the company headed by his father-in-law, Shunzo Suzuki, Osamu was involved in production control and business planning before becoming president in 1978.

Suzuki's 1983 decision to go into India was a first for a Japanese automaker. He established the Maruti Udyog joint venture and built a factory. Maruti Udyog went on to become India's market leader and later became Maruti Suzuki India, a subsidiary of Suzuki.

In 2015, Osamu Suzuki handed over the title of president and chief operating officer to his son Toshihiro. Osamu relinquished the CEO role to Toshihiro in 2016 and became representative chairman, though he remained the company's top decision-maker as he also chaired the board of directors, Nikkei said.