Dave Gardner was chosen in early March 2020 to run the automobile division of American Honda Motor Co. and formally took over May 1 that year. Between those dates, the surging pandemic changed the industry landscape, and Gardner adapted.
The former CEO of Honda Canada, who oversaw manufacturing and nonautomotive operations, was already seen as an agent of change before the pandemic turned the industry upside down.
Globally, Honda Motor Co. named a new CEO in April this year, Toshihiro Mibe, who was a driving force behind the company's electrification efforts and partnership with General Motors in his previous post as a managing director. In North America, Honda is undergoing a reorganization of its manufacturing and sales units, handing over key positions to a younger generation of leaders.
Gardner, 61, spoke with Staff Reporter Laurence Iliff. Here are edited excerpts.