Hiroyuki Ikeda began his career with Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries in 1969 in the procurement department in Japan.
His first assignment outside Subaru’s home market came in 1978 when he moved to North America to become a trainee at the brand’s distributor in Canada. He applied the knowledge he gained working in the US and Canada when he returned to Japan in 1981 to become assistant manager of Subaru’s North America sales and marketing department.
In 1988, Ikeda was named manager of the Asia sales and marketing department, which brought him to Thailand. His focus was turned to Europe in 1992 when he was named manager and then general manager of the brand’s sales and marketing department for the region.
In 1996, he was named general manager of Subaru Asia sales and marketing, a post he held until moving to Brussels to head Subaru Europe in August 2003.
Name: Hiroyuki Ikeda.
Job title: Subaru Europe president.
Previous job: General manager, Subaru Asia sales and marketing.
Languages: Japanese, English.
Family: Wife Kumiko; two daughters, Masami, 26, and Yukari, 23.
Countries lived in: Japan, Canada, USA, Thailand, Belgium.
Education: Degree in economics from Chuo University in Tokyo.
First job in the car industry: Joined Fuji Heavy Industries in 1969 in the procurement department.
First car: Subaru F1.
What is in your garage now? Subaru Legacy 3.0R.
If you could work in another industry what would it be? In the building/construction industry as an architect.
What is the most fun you had last year that had nothing to do with cars, or the car business? A trip visiting historical cities in Europe such as Verona and Rome in Italy, Budapest, Hungary, and Vienna. The highlights were seeing Verdi’s Aida performed in Verona’s open-air arena and visiting cities along the Danube, especially Budapest.
What is your greatest regret? That Subaru’s Petter Solberg didn’t win 2004 World Rally Championship title. (He was second after winning his first title in 2003.)
What is your current state of mind? I’m happy that both my family and I are healthy. And business-wise, I am very motivated to be successful in the challenges that lie ahead.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Good health and a good family life.
What is your greatest fear? That something will happen to me or my family.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My short temper.
What trait do you most dislike in others? People who don’t listen to other people’s opinions.
What is your greatest extravagance? I love the good things in life such as a good glass of wine and good food.
What is your favorite restaurant? Comme Chez Soi, a lovely restaurant in Brussels that has earned three Michelin stars.
What was the greatest holiday you ever had? Relaxing in Banff on Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains in Canada.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife, Kumiko.
Which talent would you most like to have? Musical talent.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish my legs were 10cm longer.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I would like to think it is still to come, otherwise where’s my challenge for the future?
Where would you like to live? Vancouver, Canada.
What is your most noticeable characteristic? Positive thinking.
Who is your favorite hero from fiction? Superman.
Who is your real-life hero? John F. Kennedy.