LOS ANGELES -- Mazda has put its top product development executive in North America in charge of a new operating unit that will focus on the company's U.S. business.
Robert Davis took over Sunday, May 1, as senior vice president of the U.S. Operations Group, a new entity within Mazda North American Operations.
Davis, 47, had been senior vice president of product development and quality for Mazda North American Operations.
He 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 American Operations.
O'Sullivan said in a statement: "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."
Until now, the North American unit had responsibility for the brand's U.S. operations but also oversaw Mazda Canada Inc. and Mazda Motor de Mexico.
Mazda's U.S. sales through the first three months this year totaled 64,559 units, up 15 percent from the same period last year. But the first-quarter increase trailed the overall U.S. market's 20 percent sales gain. March sales rose 33 percent to 30,905 light vehicles.
The company last week reported that its operating loss for North America in the fiscal year that ended March 31 grew to ¥31.7 billion, or about $382.6 million, from about $232.9 million the year before.