NGK Spark Plugs Appoints Schwab as President and CEO

March 13, 2019

NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. has appointed Michael Schwab to corporate officer of NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. (Japan), regional president of Pan-America and Australia (PAMA region), and president and CEO of NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc., effective April 1, 2019.

Schwab has spent his entire career in the automotive industry and has served as senior vice-president since 2012. Additionally, he has been an active member of the global management team since 2013 for NGK. Schwab will replace Yoshitaka Narita, who will return to the Nagoya, Japan, global headquarters, and will oversee regional headquarters governance worldwide.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the CEO of NGK Spark Plugs in the U.S.A. since 2016, and I am incredibly proud of everything our team has accomplished together in the last three years,” says Narita. “We’ve made sustainable improvements to our operations and meaningful progress toward our top company goals and priorities, including manufacturing, supply chain, operations and more importantly the establishment of the foundation for PAMA regional headquarters.”

“The board of directors in Japan and I are confident that Mike is the right person to build on this momentum,” Narita continues. “He is a strong leader with significant experience and dynamic leadership in our company, operating effectively and efficiently, and delivering value to our customers, our employees and to the investment community. We are proud to have him as corporate officer and our next CEO of U.S.A. operations.”

Schwab started with the company as a field sales person in 1990 with responsibility for the central United States. In 2001, Schwab was transferred to the Wixom, Mich., headquarters and has served in several executive capacities since.

“NGK has been a key part of my career, and it is a fantastic organization,” says Schwab. “I am honored and very enthusiastic to lead the strategic development of NGK Spark Plugs, and to continue in delivering outstanding results. Thanks to the efforts of my predecessor Mr. Narita, we have a very capable and high-energy team, and we are positioned well for our future success.”

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Roy Kent, executive vice president of business development, member support and strategy for Federated Auto Parts, is pictured during the Aftermarket 101 that was held this past spring in Farmington Hills, Mich.