Honda’s North American operations have been the company’s largest for decades. Yet, America has always taken a bit of a back seat, with North America mostly serving as its own operation since 1987. Now, Honda is positioning the U.S.-based management to have a greater role in both global Honda and shuffling executives around to make them faster-acting in the region where they serve.
“These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, chief operating officer of Honda’s North American Regional Operations, which includes the U.S, Canada and Mexico. “Our global customers desire new, exciting and affordable automobile, motorcycle and power equipment products, and these changes will enhance our ability to quickly bring our customers’ dreams to the market.”
Honda is already starting to export cars made in the U.S. and Canada to other continents, and it will be opening a plant in Mexico soon for the 2015 Honda Fit and its sedan and crossover variants. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the upcoming Acura NSX hybrid supercar will be produced in Marysville, Ohio, instead of in Japan. This is the first time Honda will build a low-volume, hand-built vehicle outside of its home country.
Honda North America has offices in Torrance, California; Marysville, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; New York City; and Washington, D.C. Beyond the executives Honda outlined–Tetsuo Iwamura, Hidenobu Iwata, Bob Nelson, Jon Minto, Dan Smith, Jerry Chenkin–Honda will be sending fewer than 50 employees from its primary Torrance headquarters to its manufacturing and logistics headquarters in Marysville.
As demonstrated by the changes made from the 2012 to the 2013 Honda Civic, the automaker can work quickly when all of its management and engineering staff are on the same page. Hopefully, it won’t have a design blunder again quite like the 2012 car, but if nothing else, it shows that streamlining Honda’s management to move quickly can certainly produce good results.