Honda has been under close watch by automotive journalists from all over. And it’s hard to doubt that something’s not exactly going right over at the Japanese corporation, especially after the ninth generation Civic was heavily criticized for just being woeful in its first years of production and they’ve only just recently introduced a heavily revised model—one year after its original debut.
Not to mention, it seems many automotive journalists have agreed that Honda appears to have lost a little connection with its customer’s demands—one biggie being the lack of an S2000 successor. That said, overtime, journalists here and there would attempt to rationalize what exactly is going on with Honda, such as Bill Visnic of Edmunds AutoObserver in 2010 and more recently, Travis Okulski of Jalopnik.
But there are ever so strong hints that the beating heart of the encapsulated capitalized H is still in touch with its roots. Recent reception of the latest ninth generation Accord has been on par with Accords of the past, maybe even then some. Additionally, the updates to the ninth generation Civic seem to have made a drastic difference when compared to the original.
And to even shine a brighter light on Honda’s path to potential redemption, the corporation has announced that they’ll be overhauling their executive branch for Honda of North America.
Honda’s current CEO, Tetsuo Iwarmura will remain in his position while Hidenobu Iwata, the brand’s manufacturing president, will also stay in his position. The new appointments begin in the manufacturing division, based on the locations of the factories throughout this great continent.
“These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations,” said Tetsuo Iwamura in the press release. “Our global customers desire new, exciting and affordable automobile, motorcycle and power equipment products, and these changes will enhance our ability to quickly bring our customers’ dreams to the market.”
Now it makes sense where the whole EarthDreams engine-naming scheme comes from…
Anyway, for full details on Honda’s plans, check out the press release below.
Executive Changes Reflect Evolving Role for Honda in North America
02/22/2013 – TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda today announced several key executive changes effective April 1, 2013, that reflect the increased and evolving responsibilities that the Honda North American Regional Operations have assumed within Honda’s global business.
– Tetsuo Iwamura will remain as president of Honda North America, Inc. (HNA), COO of North American Regional Operations and president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Iwamura, who serves concurrently as the executive vice president, executive officer and representative director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., will add new responsibilities as the COO of Automobile Operations and risk management officer for Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
– Hidenobu Iwata will become president of Honda North America Services, LLC (HNAS), a new shared services company to be established effective April 1, 2013. Iwata will remain in his current positions as president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (HAM) and senior managing officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
– Bob Nelson will become president of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN) in Greensburg, Ind. Nelson is currently a senior vice president at HMIN and has been with Honda for 25 years, including 23 years with Honda of America Mfg., Inc. in Ohio.
– Jon Minto will become president of Honda Engineering North America, Inc. (EGA), Honda’s production engineering company in North America. Minto is currently a senior vice president with EGA, which is based in Marysville, Ohio, and has been with Honda for more than 20 years, including at Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM)
– Dan Smith will become president of Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) in Alliston, Ontario, a division of Honda Canada Inc. (HCI). Smith is currently a senior vice president at HCM and has been with Honda for 28 years, including 26 years with Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and Honda Engineering North America, Inc. in Ohio.
– Jerry Chenkin will become president and CEO of Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) in Markham, Ontario, outside Toronto. Chenkin, currently executive vice president of HCI, has been with Honda for 38 years.
In conjunction with these executive appointments, Honda will strengthen the leadership function of its North American regional operations under HNA and HNAS to enhance the ability to deliver high quality products to the customer more quickly and efficiently.
The changes will help achieve this through more efficient management and quicker decision making, and by merging some of the support functions common to multiple Honda companies in North America under one roof. Both HNA’s leadership function and HNAS will be located on Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, campus.
In 2012, Honda outlined key strategies that increased the role played by Honda’s sales, manufacturing and R&D operations in North America within Honda’s global business. The changes announced today are the next step in this direction.
“These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, chief operating officer of Honda’s North American Regional Operations, which includes the U.S, Canada and Mexico. “Our global customers desire new, exciting and affordable automobile, motorcycle and power equipment products, and these changes will enhance our ability to quickly bring our customers’ dreams to the market.”
Since its founding in 1987, HNA has served as a coordinating entity for such operations as legal services, corporate audit and risk management. In its evolving role, HNA will house several members of senior executive management responsible for strategic oversight over North American sales, manufacturing and R&D for the company’s product lines. HNA has offices in Torrance, Calif., Marysville, Ohio, Detroit, Mich., New York, NY and Washington, D.C.
HNAS, the new shared services company, will be based in Marysville, Ohio, with an additional office in Torrance, Calif. HNAS will provide many of Honda’s common support functions in North America, and streamline coordination of Honda’s R&D, manufacturing, purchasing and sales functions as they relate to the introduction of new products.
Most Honda associates (employees) assigned to these entities will be located on the Marysville campus in Ohio, but others will remain at other facilities throughout North America. Current Ohio-based associates will remain in Ohio. It is anticipated that fewer than 50 associates involved in support and strategic functions at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in Torrance, Calif., will transfer to HNA and HNAS over the course of the next fiscal year beginning April 1, 2013. The formation of HNAS and changes to HNA are not expected to result in additional employment.
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 33,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $22 billion.
Based on its longstanding commitment to “build products close to the customer” Honda operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Seven Honda auto plants in the North American region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year. In 2012, 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America. This will increase to 1.92 million vehicles per year in 2014, when the sales percentage of locally produced automobiles is expected to rise to more than 95 percent.
Honda R&D Americas, Inc., (HRA) operates 14 facilities in North America and is responsible for “complete product creation,” of advanced automobile, powersports and power equipment products and technologies. Since 1990, HRA has researched, designed and developed more than 20 all-new automobile models.
– By: Chris Chin