Mazda Motor Corp. on Monday said it has named James O'Sullivan president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, effective April 1.
O'Sullivan replaces Charlie Hughes, who was fired in February.
O'Sullivan, 50, has almost 27 years of automotive experience. He joined Ford Motor Co. in 1976 and most recently was franchise and business development manager for the Lincoln Mercury division.
Before that, he was Lincoln brand manager. He worked closely with Jaguar to lead Lincolns launch of the LS.
In his new role, OSullivan must grow sales and lead Mazdas revival in North America. That revival was led by the Mazda6 launch in December 2002 and will be followed by the RX-8 sports car, which goes on sale in June. Mazda this year also will introduce a vehicle that borrows styling cues from the MX Sportif concept car it unveiled at the Geneva auto show.
Mazda says it hopes to sell 300,000 vehicles in North America in 2003.