Subaru, the only brand to increase U.S. sales in each of the past three years, has tapped its global product chief to lead American operations.
Takeshi Tachimori, 56, will take over as CEO of Subaru of America on April 1. He replaces Yoshio Hasunuma, who will return to Japan after two years. In a note to employees, COO Thomas Doll called the changes part of a "normal business rotation" of executives.
As a corporate senior vice president and chief general manager of Subaru's product and portfolio planning division, Tachimori oversaw the development of the new generation Legacy sedan and Outback crossover. Such products helped boost Subaru’s U.S. market share through the recession, from 1.2 percent in 2007 to 2.3 percent last year.
Tachimori spent several years in the United States in the early 1990s as manager of quality assurance at Subaru's U.S. headquarters in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Hasunuma, who has headed the U.S. subsidiary for two years, will become corporate executive vice president of Subaru's North American sales and marketing division at the Japanese parent.
Subaru sold a record 263,820 vehicles in the United States in 2010, up 22 percent from the year before. Sales were up another 20 percent over 2010 levels in January and February. Sales for the total industry rose 23 percent.