TOKYO — When Takahiro Hachigo returned to Japan in March after years overseas to be the new CEO of Honda Motor Co., he didn’t rush out to buy a new car, Honda brand or otherwise.
Indeed, even months later, the self-confessed car-crazy veteran chief engineer remains probably one of the few automotive executives anywhere without his own set of wheels.
But Honda’s car-less CEO is holding out for a reason.
“There is a model I want, which will, as I have told you, be launched this autumn,” Hachigo said during his first media roundtable this month “I will wait.”
That model? The revived Civic Type R hot hatch that will be manufactured at Honda’s England assembly plant and exported to markets worldwide, including Japan and the U.S.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have a car now,” he said. “But I want to buy the Civic Type R.”
The Type R speaks both to Hachigo’s personal predilections and professional plans. Regarding the latter, he aims to revive Honda’s reputation as a purveyor of innovative engineering, stylish fun and cutting-edge cool. “I joined Honda because I loved cars and driving,” Hachigo said.