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New Honda president to focus on an eco-friendly future as firm eyes growth

Time 4 months ago

A focus on eco models and safety technology will be at the forefront of Honda’s new plans as it appoints a new president.

Toshihiro Mibe will replace Takahiro Hachigo on April 1, subject to shareholders’ approval at a meeting in June.

Mibe, a research and development expert, has promised to steer Honda towards new growth by focusing on greener cars.


Mibe said: ‘I am going to build a house that is the future of Honda on the foundation of businesses that Mr Hachigo has worked so hard to create. And this building must have resilience, to withstand this once-in-a-hundred-years transformation.’

The incoming president stressed the car maker will be aggressive about developing and selling electric vehicles.

Mibe will continue with the company’s belief that ‘the purpose of technology is to help people’, such as reducing carbon emissions and eliminating deaths from traffic accidents.

The new president, who joined Honda in 1987, had been widely expected to take the top post and was instrumental in forging the brand’s partnership with General Motors.

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GM and Honda have had a relationship for two decades, centred around collaborating on fuel cells, batteries and autonomous driving.

The relationship was expanded to a memorandum of understanding last year on setting up a North American alliance, including working tougher in purchasing and research, as well as sharing platforms.

Honda recently reported growth in third quarter profit and raised its annual profit forecast to £3.16bn, up from the previous projection of £2.6bn.

The latest forecast is also better than the £3.09bn profit Honda made in the previous year year.

Tokyo-based Honda said it wants to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Along with appointing a new president, the car maker said it will also strengthen corporate governance by changing the company structure to that of three committees, overseeing nominating, audit and compensation.

The change will better separate the executive and supervisory functions, according to Honda, which makes the Accord sedan, Mirai fuel cell car and Asimo robot.

Hachigo will retire after Mibe formally takes over.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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