Exterior of Honda's Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. / Honda Wieck
Honda North America is moving its top North American executive, along with about 50 other salaried workers, from Torrance, Calif., to Marysville, Ohio.
Honda says Tetsuo Iwamura, executive vice president and president of Honda North America, will add the title of chief operating officer of automobiles, as he moves to Ohio.
"These organizational changes will improve the speed of decision-making and the efficiency of our business operations," Iwamura said in a statement. "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."
Hidenobu Iwata, who is already in Marysville, will be president of Honda North America Shared Services, a new subsidiary, and he will continue to be president of Honda of America Manufacturing.
Since building its first cars in the U.S. about 31 years ago, Honda has separated its sales and manufacturing leadership. The former has been located in Torrance and the latter in Ohio. The two offices often work together, but they were separate and each reported to Honda's headquarters in Tokyo.
Honda told USA TODAY that it will continue to have offices in Torrance and that marketing and sales executives and product public relations would remain there.
Iwamura's expanded role will have broader responsibility that includes manufacturing.
Honda has about 13,500 employees in Ohio, most of them in central Ohio. The company opened a motorcycle plant in Marysville in 1979. Car production began in Marysville in 1982.
In addition to the changes in North America, Honda's main office in Japan named a new chairman, Fumihiko Ike. He is filling a position that has been vacant because of a retirement.
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