Hirashima gets Ohio job
MARYSVILLE, Ohio - Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has named Koki Hirashima president and CEO of its U.S. manufacturing unit, Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.
On June 1, Hirashima will take over from Takeo Fukui, who will become president of Honda R&D Ltd. in Japan.
Hirashima currently is executive vice president in charge of manufacturing at the Marysville automaking complex. He joined the operation in 1993 as chief engineer of the Marysville Ac-cord plant.
DAEWOO ON CAMPUS
LOS ANGELES - Dae-woo Motor America Inc. announced last week that its U.S. retail program will use college students as salespeople at 400 campuses in 14 cities.
Called Daewoo Campus Advisers, the students will receive orientation in South Korea and be able to buy one of Daewoo's three sedans at a discounted price. Help-wanted ads will run in college newspapers and on the Internet to aid in recruitment.
Daewoo said the students will operate on a commission-only basis of $400 per car.
NYC LEASES RAV4 EVS
LOS ANGELES - Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said New York City has contracted to lease 37 RAV4 electric vehicles, bringing the total of Toyota EVs in use in New York state to 57.
The RAV4 EVs will be used by several departments.
Powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries, the RAV4 EV has a claimed range of up to 120 miles on a single charge at speeds up to 78 mph. It is the only production EV with four doors.
SONIC PROFIT GROWS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sonic Automotive Inc., a publicly held dealership group, reported net income of $2.1 million for the first quarter of 1998, up from $500,000 in the same period last year.
First-quarter revenues were $263.8 million, up from $98.9 million in the first quarter of 1997. Sales and profits were up at dealerships Sonic owned for at least one year. Same-store sales rose 3.1 percent and same-store gross profits increased 7.1 percent.
MERCEDES TO MIAMI
MIAMI - Mercedes-Benz Latina, the luxury automaker's sales and marketing arm for Central and South America, will move to Miami from company headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, to be closer to the market it serves.
The move involves about 30 employees, the company said.