She is a pioneer woman in business career, in Japan. She is Fumiko Hayashi. Graduating from high school, she worked in Toray Industries, Panasonic, and Omron. After her marriage, she started to work in Honda as a sales woman. There was a TV series she was the model of heroin sales woman. According to the TV drama, she was the first woman in sales department of Honda Car Dealer. She did not even have a driving license. Though Japanese women worked after school, it was not usual in her period, a woman worked as a sales staff in a car dealer.
In addition to the usual difficulties and effort in selling cars, she must have gone through thick and thin because she was a woman. When she met a customer in her office, a customer thought she is an assistant. The customer asked her when he could meet a person who is in charge of sales. When she told the customer that she was the sales person in charge, the customer was upset. Sometimes the customer went away. She did not lose against the pressure she was getting and her own depression. It still took her years to get her recognized as a good sales woman. It is interesting that the person who had more difficulties tends to be successful. She was that kind of person.
Her performance was outstanding. She sold so many cars that her colleagues, mostly men, wanted her to advise them on their sales skills. Her division grew. She could rebuild the car dealer who was in trouble of sales when she joined them. The TV drama said. She moved to BMW Japan in 1987. According to an information source, BMW Japan did not plan to hire anybody that time. Fumiko called BMW Japan and told them that they should hire her because she could sell more cars. If this story were true, she would be an only woman who was hired that way. She sold more than 400 cars in a year. Fumiko made BMW a major brand name in Japanese car market. BMW Japan promoted her to be a branch manager in Shinjuku branch in 1993.
Volkswagen invited her to be president and CEO of Volkswagen Japan in 1999. She accepted the invitation and led Volkswagen Japan to be more popular in Japanese market. In Japanese car dominant Japanese market, her achievements are noteworthy to lead foreign car manufacturers to be successful.
She returned back to BMW Japan in 2003 as president and CEO. In her interview in Japanese business site, Fumiko stated that only team spirit could lead business success. Fumiko is now the Mayer of Yokohama City.