Toshihiro Mibe joined Honda in 1987 and spent his career focused on car and engine development. Now, he’ll lead the Japanese company.
Honda Motor has named the chief of its research and development arm as its new president as the Japanese automaker shifts further toward electric vehicles and carbon-neutral production.
Honda Motor Co. said Mibe replaces Takahiro Hachigo effective April 1, and subject to shareholders’ approval at a meeting in June. “I am going to build a house that is the future of Honda on the foundation of businesses that Mr. Hachigo has worked so hard to create. And this building must have resilience, to withstand this once in a hundred years transformation,”
Honda hiked its full-year operating profit forecast 23% to 520bn yen (roughly R72,304,856) earlier this month as it trimmed costs while demand in China and elsewhere gained momentum. That compared with larger peer Toyota Motor Corp, which raised its forecast by a bigger-than-expected 54% to a record $19bn.
Mibe’s naming comes as current CEO Takahiro Hachigo steps down, effective April 1. During his six-year tenure, he laid out an electrified vision for the automaker and booked a sweeping North American alliance with General Motors to develop future electric cars, fuel cell powertrains and autonomous vehicle technologies. His time at the top wasn’t without some controversial decisions, however. Hachigo oversaw factory consolidation decisions, specifically in the UK, and he trimmed Honda’s lineup to toss out cars simply not meeting expectations. The Honda Civic Coupe and Fit come to mind here in the US.