Kudos to Honda Motor Co. for its decision last week to expand the role of North America COO Tetsuo Iwamura.
The move will make Iwamura the automaker's second-highest global executive and will mark the first time that position has been based in the United States. Iwamura, who also is president of American Honda Motor Co., will become executive vice president and an executive officer of Honda Motor, moving up from senior managing officer.
The change is a milestone that shows Honda is serious about its recent problems in the United States. North America is Honda's largest market in terms of automobile unit sales and accounts for the largest share of the company's global revenues.
Honda also named Erik Berkman head of Honda R&D Americas, with responsibility for design and product development. He is the first non-Japanese to hold the post.
Honda recognizes the importance of understanding this market. The latest moves prove it is serious about making meaningful changes to achieve that deeper understanding.