Akio Hamada, 56, will become president of Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, which operates the Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio, plants. Takashi Yamamoto, 52, will serve as president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Ala.
Hamada heads Honda Engineering Co., Honda's key subsidiary in Japan that builds machine tools for production lines. Before that, he led Honda's Canadian operations for three years.
Honda expects his engineering, production and overseas experiences to help the Ohio plants when they add light trucks. The Marysville plant will start building an Acura SUV, smaller than the MDX, in 2006, while the East Liberty plant will produce the redesigned CR-V, probably in the same year.
Hamada will replace Koki Hirashima, who will return to Japan to head all Japanese production.
Yamamoto is in charge of quality and regulation compliance in Japan.
The Alabama plant will boost production to 280,000 in 2005 - close to full capacity of 300,000 - from 179,700 in 2004.
Yamamoto will succeed Masaaki Kato, who will head Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing Ltd. in Swindon, England.
You may e-mail Yuzo Yamaguchi at [email protected]