Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has
announced that Takahiro Hachigo, currently the company’s Managing Officer, will
become Senior Managing Officer effective in April 2015, and will become
President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director in late June
2015. The current President, Chief Operating Officer and Representative
Director of the company Takanobu Ito will remain on the board and assume the
post of Director and Advisor to Honda Motor. This management succession will
occur following the final decision of the Honda Motor Board of Directors after
the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for late June 2015.
According to a Honda press
release, Hachigo joined Honda in 1982, and began his career in its automobile
research and development operations, principally as an engineer in the area of
chassis design. Hachigo was in charge of developing the first-generation of
U.S.-built Odyssey minivan, which was launched in 1999 primarily for the U.S.
market. Hachigo went on to assume responsibilities as the person-in-charge of
developing the second generation CR-V, Honda’s highly successful compact
sport-utility vehicle for the worldwide markets, in 2001.
From April 2004 to March 2006,
Hachigo was stationed in the U.S. as Senior Vice President of Honda R&D
Americas, Inc., where he became actively involved in the local development of
Honda and Acura automobiles. In April 2006, Hachigo became Operating Officer of
Honda R&D Co. Ltd. and subsequently gaining promotion to Managing Officer
in April 2007. After retiring from this position in March 2008, Hachigo became
General Manager of Purchasing Division No.2 of Purchasing Operations, Honda
Motor, in April and became Operating Officer of Honda Motor in June of the same
year. Hachigo then assumed a role in the area of manufacturing as General
Manager of Honda’s Suzuka Factory in April 2011. He served as Vice President
and Director of Honda Motor Europe Ltd. from April 2012 to March 2013 and also
as President and Director, Honda R&D Europe (U.K.) Ltd., from September
2012 to March 2013. In 2013, Hachigo’s responsibilities shifted to China,
becoming Vice President of Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. in April,
simultaneously becoming Representative of Development, Purchasing and
Production (China), Honda Motor, and Vice President of Honda Motor Technology
(China) Co., Ltd. In April 2014, Hachigo was promoted to Managing Officer of
Honda Motor, a title he currently holds.
Ito joined Honda in 1978 and
began his career in the company’s automobile research and development
operations, primarily as a chassis design engineer. Ito was in charge of
developing the all-aluminum uni-body frame structure for the highly acclaimed
first-generation NSX sports car that went on sale in 1990. In June 2000, he was
appointed a member of the Honda Motor Board of Directors, subsequently assuming
responsibilities as President and Director of Honda R&D, General Manager of
the Suzuka Factory, and most recently, President, Chief Executive Officer and
Representative Director of Honda Motor, a title he has held since June 2009.
During the six years of Ito’s
leadership, Honda was able to actively evolve its global manufacturing
structure, notably the establishment of automobile plants in Mexico, Brazil,
Thailand, Indonesia, India and China. Also under Ito’s leadership, Honda
succeeded in solidifying its business foundation by enhancing its product
development capabilities—from the hugely popular N-series mini-vehicles, to
automobile powertrain development as represented by the Earth Dreams
Technology, to the establishment of product development structures in each of
Honda’s global regional operations. Furthermore, an all-new FCV that Ito has
led in an effort to realize a CO2-free automobile, as well as “fun to drive”
vehicles including the S660, Civic Type R and NSX models are scheduled to be
launched during the fiscal year ending March, 2016. Likewise, Honda’s
participation in Formula 1, the pinnacle of automobile racing, and foray into
aviation businesses with HondaJet and jet engine will take place during the
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