Mazda Motor Corp. is sending its top executive from its European operations to North America as part of a flurry of organizational moves announced Tuesday.
Jeff Guyton, currently CEO of Mazda Motor Europe, has been named president of Mazda North American Operations. He had been in the European role since 2009. Yasuhiro Aoyama will replace Guyton in Europe.
Mazda said Masahiro Moro, currently president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, will now be chairman and CEO. The new appointment means he'll now additionally oversee operations in Canada and Mexico.
David Klan was named president and CEO of Mazda's Canada operations. Klan will succeed Masaharu Kondo, who has been promoted to general manager of global sales and marketing for Mazda and will be based in Japan. In his new role, Klan will report to Moro.
The changes are effective April 1, Mazda said.
Guyton will oversee all aspects of Mazda's operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including sales, marketing, parts and service, customer support and regional operations, among other duties, the automaker said. He will report to Moro.
"Jeff will be instrumental in delivering significant business growth here in the U.S.," Moro said in a statement. "During his 16 years at Mazda Motor Europe, Jeff successfully elevated both brand value and profit in Europe, and I know he will be a strong leader for MNAO as we continue on our journey to premium."
Mazda sold 300,325 vehicles in the U.S. in 2018, an increase of 3.7 percent.
Guyton will arrive at a time in which Mazda has a pipeline of fresh or new product, starting with the redesigned Mazda3 sedan and hatchback arriving this month.
Construction of the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville, Ala., is under way with vehicle production set to begin in the middle of 2021. It will add 150,000 units of crossovers to Mazda's capacity.
Mazda has not specified what it will build at that plant other than "a new crossover SUV which is exclusively designed for the North American market."
The automaker said that Masashi Otsuka will be promoted to senior vice president of the Alabama business unit, a new position. He will report to Guyton.
Masaki Ueno will replace Otsuka as vice president of r&d and design. He also will report to Guyton.
Last week at the Geneva auto show, Mazda unveiled the CX-30 crossover, which will be positioned between the CX-3 and CX-5. It's slated to reach the U.S. by early next year.