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Mazda’s Bob Pan Recognized as a Rising Star


Bob Pan, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) Sr. Director, Sales Planning & Supply Chain Innovation, has been named a 2023 Automotive News Rising Star.

The Rising Stars program honors U.S.-based automotive executives, under the age of 45, on the manufacturing, supply, mobility and service side of the auto industry who have the talent and dedication necessary to become industry leaders of tomorrow.

“We are proud of Bob Pan for being recognized as an Automotive News Rising Star,” said MNAO President and CEO Tom Donnelly. “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in transforming the way Mazda operates in the US. He and his team use a data-driven approach that provides actionable insights that are a major contributor to Mazda’s growth in North America.”

Pan began his career at Mazda in 2008. Since joining the Sales Planning department, he has revolutionized how Mazda views its business and challenged the organization to be more flexible in how it deploys incentives and to place vehicles in the markets with the most opportunity. Since 2019, Mazda has set three consecutive annual market share records. 

Pan previously worked in Mazda’s Strategic Planning department, helping develop and solidify Mazda’s value creation strategy called Brand Value Management. This new corporate direction required the company to redefine its core beliefs and Mazda set a goal to grow both volume and transaction price - something few other brands have successfully done.

“The Rising Stars program recognizes automotive executives in middle and upper management who are destined to be industry superstars,” said KC Crain, publisher of Automotive News. “The best predictor of big personal success is enormous responsibility at a young age. When great potential is identified and rewarded early, the organization wins.”

Automotive News has published the list of the industry’s up and comers annually since 2014. This year’s honorees come from 24 companies and a variety of disciplines — from executive management to purchasing, engineering, mobility and design. 

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Colombia through approximately 795 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada Inc. in Richmond Hill, Ontario; operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City; and operations in Colombia are managed by Mazda de Colombia in Bogota, Colombia. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at

Follow MNAO’s social media channels through Twitter and Instagram at @MazdaUSA and Facebook at

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