Honda taps former Chrysler executive Michael Accavitti as its chief marketing officer

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 18, 2011

American Honda Motor Co. has named former Chrysler executive Michael Accavitti as its chief marketing officer. Accavitti has recently served as executive automotive adviser for Cisco Systems.

However, he is more popular as the veteran Chrysler executive who was president of the Dodge brand as well as lead marketing executive of the Chrysler Group before he left in 2009.

He will be replacing Steve Center, who will lead a new endeavor within American Honda called the Environmental Business Development Office. Center has been in the top U.S. marketing post in Honda since June 2008.

Accavitti inherits an organization that has been battling shortages in production due to the March earthquake in Japan. American Honda's U.S. sales have dropped 3 percent this 2011 through July in a market that has increased 11 percent.

In order to keep U.S. customers until inventories are replenished, Honda has taken the unusual method of extending leases or offering vouchers and rebates toward the future purchase of a new Honda.

The company has informed its dealers that inventories will return to normal levels until either the last quarter this year or early 2012.

The new environmental group will be responsible for the company’s various green business initiatives, ranging from the Fit electric car model to solar panel arrays to home co-generation units powered by natural gas.

Center said in an interview that the company is organized by distribution group, by auto brands, motorcycles, and power equipment. However, these futuristic energy creation groups are transcending those silos, he added.

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