LOS ANGELES -- Mazda North America has chosen its top product-development executive to oversee U.S. operations as part of a reorganization of Mazda's corporate structure in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Robert Davis will take on the new role of senior vice president of Mazda U.S. Operations Group, a new entity within Mazda North America Operations focused on the U.S. market. Davis had been senior vice president of product development and quality for Mazda North America.
The move is effective May 1, Mazda said on Thursday.
Davis, 47, will oversee Mazda's U.S. sales, marketing, dealer development, owner loyalty initiatives, public relations and other areas of the business. He will report to Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North America Operations.
Until now, Mazda lacked an operations group within Mazda North America focused solely on the United States. Mazda North America had responsibility for the brand's U.S. operations, but also oversaw Mazda Canada Inc. and Mazda Motor de Mexico.
Mazda's March sales rose 33 percent to 30,905 vehicles. Sales through the first three months of 2011 totaled 64,559 units, up 15 percent from the same period last year.
With the reorganization, Mazda hopes to focus more closely on the United States after matching the industry's year-over-year sales gain of 11 percent in 2010. Mazda's 15 percent first-quarter increase trailed the overall U.S. market's 20 percent sales gain.
O'Sullivan said in a statement: "In order to fully realize Mazda's U.S. growth potential in the next few years, we significantly reshaped our organization to focus even more effort and resources on our business here in the states."