Honda has appointed Toshiaki Mikoshiba as president of Honda Europe effective April 1 as it bids to fortify its local management team amid a current slump in the region. Mikoshiba is replacing Manabu Nishimae, who is returning to Japan as a managing operating officer after three years of supervising Honda's operations in Europe. Mikoshiba will also serve as chief operating officer in Europe.
Honda Europe's three senior vice presidents -- Ian Howells, Philip Ross and Koji Arai -- remain at their posts and will support Mikoshiba as he transitions into the new post, Honda said in a statement. Since joining Honda in 1980, Mikoshiba has held a number of senior management roles at the Japanese carmaker. In 2008, he was named as executive vice president and director of Honda Europe before being appointed as president of Honda Russia in 2010. A year after, Mikoshiba was appointed as head of Honda China.
Mikoshiba's appointment comes as the Japanese carmaker gets ready to prop up its lineup in Europe starting 2015 with a new-generation Jazz and a European version of the Vezel. In 2013, Honda posted a 1-percent drop in vehicle sales in the EU and EFTA markets to 139,712, good for a market share of 1.1 percent, according to industry association ACEA.
The action to refresh its European product lineup is part of a wider push to hike the Honda’s global sales by 2017 and to deem the European unit profitable by 2016. Honda has been posting losses in Europe since 2007. Honda Motor President Takanobu Ito has remarked that the carmaker seeks to achieve global sales of 6 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. [source: Honda]