Inchcape Singapore and Greater China chief executive Jasmmine Wong is leaving the multi-franchise motor group to join Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ), an international conglomerate headquartered in Dubai.
Ms Wong, 47, who joined Inchcape in 2017, said she was moving to seek “bigger chanllenges”.
“ALJ is a much bigger group, with presence not only in the Middle East but in places like Japan and Turkey as well,” she told The Straits Times on Tuesday, adding that she will be its vice-president of mobility, responsible for the multi-disciplinary group’s mobility businesses in all its markets.
According to its website, ALJ’s transportation division – predominantly in vehicle distribution and logistics services – has a network of more than 500 locations.
Among its brands, the 78-year-old group represents Toyota, which Inchcape also represents.
Ms Wong said she will move to Dubai to start her new job in about eight months’ time. “I want to have a bigger portfolio before I retire. There are not many Singaporeans who head international businesses, and in the field that I’m in, there are not many women.”
Ms Wong was Inchcape’s first woman CEO for Singapore. And she remains – until she leaves in six months’ time – the only woman leading an authorised franchise who is not a family member.
During her tenure, Borneo Motors – Inchcape’s Toyota and Lexus agent here – clinched from Toyota Motor four Triple Crown awards, an annual award that the Japanese manufacturer gives to distributors that top sales in passenger cars, taxis and commercial vehicles.
But Toyota lost its pole position in 2022 to Mercedes-Benz, emerging as runner-up. In the first five months of 2023, it slipped to No 3, behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Before joining Inchcape, Ms Wong was with food group Nestle. She holds dual master’s degrees from Insead and Tsinghua University in Beijing, and earned her Bachelor of Business Studies from Nanyang Technological University. Her predecessor at Inchcape Singapore was Mr Koh Ching Hong, who held the job for 10 years.
Ms Wong’s successor will be Mr Ng Khee Siong, Inchcape’s aftersales director for Greater China and Singapore.
Ms Wong is not the first Inchcape executive to join a Middle Eastern group. In 1995, Mr Ghafoor Rawtaer, then managing director of Borneo Motors, left to join Hartwell, a motor distribution chain owned by a Saudi group.
In 2007, Mr Peh Hock Chuan, head of Lexus marketing at Borneo Motors, also left to join a Middle Eastern motor group.
Source: The Straits Times