Honda on Tuesday announced several U.S. management changes "designed to strengthen its North American regional operations to further speed decision-making and increase efficiency and competitiveness within the region."
Tetsuo Iwamura -- president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., chief operating officer of North American Regional Operations and a senior managing officer of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. -- will be promoted concurrently to executive vice president and executive officer, effective April 1, Honda said in a news release.
Iwamura will stay in his post as president and retain all his responsibilities as head of American Honda and Honda's North American region, the automaker added.
Shareholders will need to approve Iwamura's appointment to the board as representative director of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. at the annual meeting in June.
Honda also announced that Erik Berkman will become president of Honda R&D Americas Inc., effective April 1. Berkman will be responsible for all design and product development.
Berkman joined Honda in 1982 and worked at Honda R&D Americas from 1991 to 2008, leading the development of a number of Honda and Acura products.
Berkman currently is vice president of corporate planning and logistics for the Automobile Operations Division of American Honda Motor Co. and president of Honda Performance Development Inc., Honda's racing company in North America.
Berkman will succeed Hiroshi Takemura, who will return to Japan as deputy director of automobile operations.
Honda announced several other management moves:
- Art St. Cyr will succeed Berkman as vice president of corporate planning and logistics for the Automobile Operations Division of American Honda Motor Co. and president of Honda Performance Development on April 1. St. Cyr currently is chief engineer and led the development of the 2011 Odyssey at Honda R&D Americas' Ohio Center.
- Brian Newman will become president of Honda South Carolina Mfg. Inc., in Timmonsville, S.C., where Honda produces all-terrain vehicles. Newman, who has been with Honda for 32 years, currently is senior vice president of Honda South Carolina.
- Charles Ernst has been named chief engineer of the powertrain function at the North American Engineering Center at Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. in Ohio, where he will be responsible for expanding Honda's new-engine technologies for its North American operations. Ernst, who joined Honda in 1985, currently is senior vice president at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama LLC, responsible for engine and vehicle manufacturing operations.