Honda to focus on innovation, satisfaction, rather than numbers, says new CEO
New Honda CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, has held his first press conference since taking the reigns at the Japanese company, and has outlined his vision for the automaker.
According to Automotive News, Hachigo told reporters: “Rather than focusing on numbers, it is important to come up with products that carry dreams and satisfy our customers. We will focus on the development of innovative products.”
Hachigo succeeded Takanobu Ito as CEO in late June, in a move that was announced in February this year. The issues on Hachigo’s plate include reversing the company’s declining profits, as well as stemming the quality problems that have been blamed on the company’s ambitious growth targets and stretched R&D resources.
During his press conference, Hachigo said that Honda will better “utilise regional production capacity” between the six regions that company is currently divided up into. Plans are already in place for Europe to be the sole global source of the next-generation Civic hatch, while many regions will source the fifth-generation CR-V from the company’s factories in Canada.
As far as “products that provide our customers with inspiring innovations and joys using unprecedented technologies”, Hachigo will push to ensure that the next-generation Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in Japan before March 31, 2016. He cited the new S660 sports car, the HF120 jet engine and the HondaJet as current examples of innovative Honda products.
The new CEO also said that “core global Honda models CR-V and Accord will undergo full model changes in the future to make them more attractive vehicles that feature more new technologies, higher competitiveness and innovative designs”.
Unlike his predecessor, Hachigo has spent many of his years at Honda in overseas postings. His stints abroad have included involvement in the development of the first America-specific Odyssey and time as vice president of Honda Europe. Most recently Hachigo was the head of development, purchasing and production in China.