Honda Announces Executive Changes at its North American Operations

Honda today announced changes in its North American executive ranks, effective April 1, 2014, as part of a continued strategy to strengthen its leadership within the region and increase the role played by Honda's North American sales, manufacturing and R&D operations within Honda's global business.

The following executive changes, among others, are effective April 1, 2014:

Takuji Yamada will become president of Honda North America, Inc. (HNA), COO of North American Regional Operations and president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM). He is currently executive vice president of AHM. Yamada will remain as a managing officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC).

Tetsuo Iwamura will remain as executive vice president, executive officer and representative director of HMC, and become chairman of AHM. He will also assume the newly created position of Corporate Brand Officer for HMC to strengthen the management of all corporate brands. He currently serves as president of HNA, COO of North American Regional Operations and president & CEO of AHM.

Hidenobu Iwata will remain as senior managing officer of HMC until he retires in June 2014. He currently serves as president & CEO of both Honda North America Services, LLC (HNAS) and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (HAM).

Tomomi Kosaka will become president & CEO of HAM and executive vice president of HNA. He also will become an operating officer of HMC. He is currently a senior vice president of HAM.

Frank Paluch will become president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA), and an operating officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. He is currently senior vice president of HNAS.

Erik Berkman will become an executive vice president of HNA and will lead the new Acura Business Planning Office. He is currently president of HRA, and an operating officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

Chitoshi Yokota will become the senior executive vice president and Automobile Business Managing Officer of HNA, and remain as a managing officer of HMC. Yokota is currently serving concurrently as executive vice president of HAM and HNAS.

Rick Schostek will become executive vice president of HNA responsible for planning, support and governance. He is currently serving concurrently as a senior vice president of HNA and HNAS.

Jon Minto will become a senior vice president of HNA with responsibility for engineering planning. He is currently president of Honda Engineering North America, Inc. (EGA), and an operating officer of Honda Engineering Co., Ltd.

Tom Shoupe will become executive vice president and COO of HAM. He is currently president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA).

Jeff Tomko will become president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA). He is currently senior vice president at HMA.

John Spoltman will become president of EGA. He is currently the plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant at HAM.

Isamu Yamaki will become chairman of Honda de Mexico S.A.de C.V. (HDM). He currently serves as president of HDM.

Hiroshi Shimizu will become president of HDM. He currently serves as vice president of HDM.

In conjunction with these executive appointments, Honda will strengthen its leadership role for the development of business strategy in North America. Accordingly, HNA will merge with HNAS, a shared-services company established in 2013. The newly configured HNA is based in Marysville, Ohio, and also has offices in Torrance, Calif., Detroit, Mich., New York, N.Y. and Washington, D.C.

About Honda
Honda began automobile production in the U.S. in 1982. It now operates 15 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines. This includes eight Honda auto plants in the North American region that have the capacity to produce 1.92 million automobiles each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda also operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products produced in North America.

NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Brief bios of referenced executives are included below. Photos are available at www.hondanews.com.

Takuji Yamada
Effective April 1, 2014, Takuji Yamada will become president of Honda North America, Inc. (HNA), COO of North American Regional Operations and president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM), effective April 1, 2014.

Yamada is currently executive vice president of American Honda, with operational responsibility for all American Honda businesses, as well as a managing executive officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and director of Honda North America, Inc. and American Honda.

Immediately prior to assuming his current role at American Honda, Mr. Yamada held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Power Product Operations at Honda Motor Co. Ltd., where he oversaw Honda's global power product operations.

Previously, from 2006 to 2008, he held the position of president, Honda Motor Europe (North) GmbH, overseeing the company's operations in Germany.

From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Yamada held a series of positions at American Honda, culminating in being named executive vice president, Automobile Operations/Export Sales Division in July 2005.

Mr. Yamada's career with Honda Motor Co., Ltd. began in 1980. In 1984, he was assigned to the Overseas Operations department within the Power Equipment Division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. In 1985, Mr. Yamada was promoted to assistant manager, serving as coordinator for the Power Equipment Division at American Honda.

In 1987, Mr. Yamada returned to Tokyo to work in the Overseas Power Equipment Sales Division, where he oversaw the export and sales expansion of power products to the Oceania market. In 1990, he was assigned to Honda Australia Pty., Ltd. where he was in charge of automobile marketing and new model introductions.

From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Yamada served as assistant manager of the Asia/Oceania Automobile Division for Honda Motor Co., Ltd., providing support for overall automobile business expansion in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. In 1998, he a manager in the Chinese Automobile department, Chinese Division where he was instrumental in reaching an agreement for automobile sales joint ventures in China and developing and implementing an automobile sales network in China. Mr. Yamada was then assigned to the North American Automobile Sales department within the North American Division in Tokyo in 2000.

Yamada graduated from Dokkyo University in Japan in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Tetsuo Iwamura
Effective April 1, 2014, Tetsuo Iwamura will remain as executive vice president, executive officer and representative director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC), and become chairman of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. He will also assume the newly created position of Corporate Brand Officer for HMC to strengthen the management of all corporate brands.

Iwamura is currently president and chief executive officer of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., with operational responsibility for all American Honda businesses, as well as chief operating officer of North American regional operations, president of Honda North America, and representative director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. He also holds the position of executive vice president and executive officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Immediately prior to becoming president of American Honda, Mr. Iwamura served as president of three major South American subsidiaries -- Honda South America Ltda., and Honda Automoveis do Brasil Ltda. and Moto Honda da Amazonia Ltda., as well as the chief operating officer, Regional Operations South America.

Mr. Iwamura began his career with Honda in 1978. After three years in the Parts Division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., he joined Canadian Honda (now Honda Canada, Inc.) in the area of automobile marketing. In this role he helped conduct the feasibility study and construction of Honda of Canada Mfg. and the launch of the plant's first product (Accord), introduce the U.S.-made Accord in Canada and launch sales of the new Acura Division in 1987.

In fall 1987, Mr. Iwamura returned to Japan to work in a domestic auto sales branch in the Kanagawa Prefecture for two years. In 1989, he joined Honda of the U.K., helping launch sales of the Concerto model and the start-up of Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing Ltd.– Honda's automobile and engine production operation in the U.K. From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Iwamura served as the president of Honda Deutschland G.m.b.H. in a challenging economic market after the reunification of East and West Germany.

Following one year at Honda Motor Europe Ltd., as general manger of European auto sales, Mr. Iwamura returned to Japan as general manager of the North America Sales Division in 1999. In 2000, he became COO of the Parts Division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and, in June 2000, a director of the Board of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

In 2003 through April 2007, Mr. Iwamura served as the COO of South America Regional Operations for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of three major Honda subsidiaries in Brazil – overseeing the rapid growth of Honda's automobile sales operations, the growth of auto production in Brazil and the continued growth of motorcycle production and sales operations.

Mr. Iwamura was named a managing director of the Board of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., in 2006, senior managing director two years later, and representative director in 2012. He joined American Honda as the president and CEO in April 2007.

Mr. Iwamura graduated from Tsukuba University in 1978 with an M.A. in Area Studies.

Hidenobu Iwata
Effective April 1, 2014, Hidenobu Iwata will remain as senior managing officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. until he retires in June 2014.

Iwata is currently president and chief executive officer of Honda North America Services, LLC, which was established on April 1, 2013, to provide essential operational services to Honda facilities throughout North America.

Additionally, Iwata is president and chief executive officer of Honda of America Mfg., where he is responsible for manufacturing operations at Honda's two Ohio auto plants and engine plant. In addition, he oversees Honda's auto manufacturing and engineering functions in North America.

Iwata came to Honda of America with 31 years of experience. Throughout his career, he has played a key role in developing equipment and technology that ensures quality production of Honda vehicles throughout the world.

Iwata joined Honda Motor Co. in April 1978 and was part of the maintenance staff in charge of weld machine maintenance. In 1992, while working for Honda Engineering, Iwata became the project leader responsible for introducing new equipment needed to launch the 1996 Civic. He came to Ohio for the first time in 1994, to lead the ‘96 Civic launch for Honda Engineering North America.

In June 1997, Iwata returned to Japan where he became engineering division manager for Honda Engineering. In 1999, he was named to Honda Engineering's board of directors and was named director and general manager of the body frame area. His work included preparing for the 2001 global launch of the Civic.

In June 2004, Iwata was named managing director of Honda Engineering Co., Ltd., where he was responsible for production engineering, production equipment and tooling manufacturing. Iwata was promoted to president of Honda Engineering in April 2005 and in June 2005, he became an operating officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

In April 2007, Iwata became general manager and operating officer at the Suzuka Factory, which produces the Civic and Fit. In June 2008, he took on the role of managing officer, making him responsible for overseas plant support, as well.

Iwata is a native of Aichi prefecture, Japan. He earned a master's degree in engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University.

Tomomi Kosaka
Effective April 1, 2014, Tomomi Kosaka will become president & CEO of Honda of America Mfg, Inc. and executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. He also will become an operating officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Since April 2013, Kosaka has served as senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., which operates two auto plants and an engine plant in Ohio.

Kosaka joined Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in April 1984, and in April 2007 became general manager of the Power Train Production Engineering Division of Honda Engineering Co., Ltd.

In April 2008, Kosaka became engine division manager at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama LLC, and in April 2010 he became plant manager at Honda's engine plant in Anna, Ohio.

Frank Paluch
Effective April 1, 2014, Frank Paluch will become president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA), and an operating officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

Frank Paluch is currently senior vice president of Honda North America Services, LLC, which was established on April 1, 2013, to provide essential operational services to Honda facilities throughout North America.

Paluch joined Honda R&D in 1992 and soon thereafter spent one year at Honda's R&D Center in Tochigi, Japan, working on the body design of the 1st generation Accord V6. Beyond developing his capability in automotive body engineering design, this experience enabled him to grasp the Japanese culture and language.

Upon his return to the United States in 1994, he continued to advance his knowledge of vehicle development and, after completing various projects, rose to the level of chief engineer with overall responsibility for the development of two all-new vehicles: the 2001 Acura MDX, 2003 Honda Pilot and 2nd generation Acura MDX which was introduced in 2007.

He was promoted to vice president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in 2007, then senior vice president and director in 2011, where he was responsible for direct oversight of complete-vehicle research, design and development, and enterprise IT systems.

Paluch maintained this role until moving to his position with Honda North America Services in 2013, where he is responsible for manufacturing cost, new model development and regional profit strategy.

A graduate of the Ohio State University, Paluch holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He was previously employed by McDonnell Douglas Corporation as a lead project engineer for aircraft modification programs throughout the United States and in Italy, Portugal, England and Thailand.

Erik Berkman
Effective April 1, 2014, Erik Berkman will become an executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. and division manager of the new Acura Business Planning Office. This new office will develop strategies aimed at accelerating the revitalization of the Acura brand.

Erik Berkman is currently President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., overseeing North American research and development operations for automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. He is an Operating Officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., and serves as a director on the boards of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda North America, Inc., and Honda Research Institute USA., Inc. He also serves on Honda's North American Regional Operations Board.

Berkman has held a number of leadership roles in his 30-year career with Honda. He joined Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in 1982 as an engineering coordinator, helping the company launch its U.S. automobile production. He gained experience at the company's original four production facilities, developing engineering functions at the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant, and Anna Engine Plant.

In 1991, Berkman moved from manufacturing to research and development at Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and was assigned a leadership role to develop the 1994 Honda Accord Wagon. In 1996, he was promoted to Chief Engineer and was responsible for development of the 1998 Honda Accord Coupe and pre-development of the 1999 Honda Odyssey, Honda's first full-size, V6-powered minivan. In 1999 Berkman was promoted to Executive Engineer, and led the development of the 2001 Acura CL, 2004 Acura TL, and 2006 Honda Accord.

In 2008, he became President of Honda Performance Development, Inc., where he evolved Honda's high performance and racing programs, including IndyCar. In 2009, he took on the additional responsibility of Vice President of Corporate Planning & Logistics at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., where he led strategic planning activities for Honda and Acura automobile and light truck product lines.

A native of Indiana, Berkman is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Chitoshi Yokota
Effective April 1, 2014, Chitoshi Yokota will become the senior executive vice president and Automobile Business Managing Officer of Honda North America, Inc., and remain as a managing officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Yokota is currently executive vice president and director of Honda North America Services, LLC, which was established on April 1, 2013, to provide essential operational services to Honda facilities throughout North America.

Additionally, Yokota is executive vice president and director of Honda of America Mfg., where he is responsible for manufacturing operations at Honda's two Ohio auto plants and engine plant.

Throughout his career, Yokota has played key roles in global R&D and automobile operations.

Yokota joined Honda Motor Co. in April 1981 as part of the Body Design Group, where he worked on initial vehicle design drawings. In 2001, he joined Honda R&D Europe as the Product Planning Manager and in 2004 he was announced as the project leader for the 2008 model Accord.

Following the launch of the 2008 Accord, Yokota was named operating officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. A year later, he was given responsibility for automobile products and operations with Honda Motor Co. in Japan. In April 2009, Yokota was named operating officer of Honda Motor Co.

Yokota is a native of Tokyo, Japan. He earned a degree in engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering, Kogakuin University.

Rick Schostek
Effective April 1, 2014, Rick Schostek will become executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. responsible for planning, support and governance.

Schostek is currently senior vice president of Honda North America, Inc. and Honda North America Services, LLC, which was established on April 1, 2013, to provide essential operational services to Honda facilities throughout North America.

As part of Honda North America, Schostek is responsible for planning in that region. In addition, he leads the strategic planning and support function for Honda North America Services.

Schostek joined Honda in 1987 as an attorney in the Legal Department, concentrating in commercial and environmental areas. He was named general counsel and assistant vice president of the Legal Department and Corporate Affairs in 1998. In 2001, he was promoted to vice president and given additional responsibilities over the support services area.

In 2004, Schostek joined Honda Manufacturing of Alabama where he provided overall operational leadership at this facility, which currently produces the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline, and the Acura MDX.

Schostek joined Honda Manufacturing of Indiana in 2008 to take a leadership role in the start-up of Honda's newest auto manufacturing plant in North America. In 2011, he returned to Honda in Ohio and was promoted to senior vice president in 2012.

In addition to his roles at Honda North America and Honda North America Services, Schostek is chairman of the board of directors of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, as well as a member of the boards of trustees for the National Association of Manufacturers and Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation.

A Cleveland native, Schostek is a graduate of the Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University and General Motors Institute (now the Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan.

Jon Minto
Effective April 1, 2014, Jon Minto will become a senior vice president of Honda North America, Inc. with responsibility for engineering planning.

Minto is currently president of Honda Engineering North America, Inc. (EGA), and an operating officer of Honda Engineering Co., Ltd

Minto previously served as senior vice president of Honda of Canada Mfg.(HCM), responsible for the operations of two auto plants and an engine plant.

Minto joined Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) in May 1999 as Manager of the Stamping Department. He was promoted to Senior Manager level in May 2000 while retaining his role as Department Manager for Stamping.

Minto became Plant 2 Assembly Frame Department Manager in February 2001. During his time in Assembly Frame, he oversaw the introduction of a third new model, the Honda Pilot, into Plant 2.

In October 2002, Minto assumed the role of General Manager of HCM's Purchasing Division. He was assigned as Project Leader for HCM's new Engine Plant Project in July 2006 and then became Plant Manager for Plant 2 in December 2006.

Minto was promoted to Vice President of HCM March 5, 2007. With an organizational re-alignment in April, 2008, he was assigned as Division Manager for the Assembly Division, which included the Assembly Frame departments at both Plant 1 and Plant 2, as well as Material Service.

Prior to joining Honda of Canada Mfg., Minto worked for seven years at Honda of the United Kingdom Manufacturing (HUM) in Swindon, England. While at HUM, he worked in many areas of the business, ranging from launching the Engine Plant and Stamping Departments to a managerial role with Honda Engineering Europe.

Minto has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, from the Polytechnic of Wales (UK).

Tom Shoupe
Effective April 1, 2014, Tom Shoupe will become executive vice president and COO of Honda of America Mfg. Inc.

Shoupe is currently president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA) and is responsible for all HMA operations.

Shoupe previously served as Senior Vice President of Honda of America Mfg. (HAM) and was a member of the Honda of America Operations Committee (HOC). This committee serves as the senior management team with responsibility for planning and establishing business strategies as well as supporting each plant and the president of Honda of America Mfg. in the total management and operation of the company.

Shoupe was appointed to the HOC and promoted to senior vice president in 2006. In his positions at HAM, he provided specific guidance to the Administration, Company Services, Accounting and Finance, Information Services and Compliance and Ethics divisions of the company.

He joined Honda in 1988 in Corporate Planning. In 1990, he was named manager of two departments: Government and Community Relations; and Foreign Trade Zone and Customs (Production Control). Shoupe was named Senior Manager of Honda of America's North American Task Group in 1993 and served a two-year assignment in Japan with a concentration in New Model Development.

He returned to Ohio in 1995 and was named Senior Manager of the Company Services Group. In December 1995, Shoupe was named Senior Manager of the Manufacturing Planning Group at Honda of America's East Liberty Auto Plant. He was named Plant Manager of East Liberty in 1998.

In 2000, Shoupe was promoted to Vice President and Plant Manager of Honda of America's Marysville Auto Plant. During his tenure at the Marysville Auto Plant, he oversaw the plant's "Innovation Project," which replaced major weld systems and reorganized the assembly line to increase production flexibility, efficiency and quality.

Before joining Honda, Shoupe served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Representatives Thomas N. Kindness and Michael G. Oxley. Shoupe earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Jeff Tomko
Effective April 1, 2014, Jeff Tomko will become president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA).

Tomko is currently a Senior Vice President at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. In this role, he serves as one of five Operation Leaders, responsible for daily operations of the entire Lincoln facility, including automobile and engine production.

Prior to joining HMA in 2013, Tomko served as chief advisor at Honda of America Mfg. and plant manager of the Marysville Auto Plant, in Marysville, Ohio. He joined Honda of America in 1987 as a staff associate in the Purchasing Development Group at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant.

In 1991, Tomko moved to Purchasing's new Planning & Export Group as budget controller and special projects team member. Promoted to assistant manager in 1994, Tomko headed strategic sourcing activities for the Plastics and Interior Group. He became manager of the Stamping and Plastic Groups in 1997, where he developed long-term commodity purchasing structures. He also led the procurement study for Honda's new auto plant in Alabama.

In 2004, he moved to the Power Sports Product group, where he managed the new model cost and strategic sourcing for Motorcycle, ATV, and Watercraft products. Tomko was promoted to assistant vice president of Honda of America's Purchasing Procurement Group in 2005. His responsibilities included automotive North American OEM strategic sourcing, diversity sourcing and overall supplier development for Honda's 600 suppliers in North America.

In October 2007, he became vice president of Honda Transmission of America Mfg., Inc., in Russells Point, Ohio, which manufactures automatic transmissions for Honda automobiles and SUVs produced in Ohio and Canada.

Tomko received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, where he majored in purchasing, materials, production and operations management.

John Spoltman
Effective April 1, 2014, John Spoltman will become president of Honda Engineering North America, Inc.

Spoltman is currently a chief engineer at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant.

Spoltman joined Honda of America Mfg., Inc. in 1988 as an engineering coordinator, overseeing the start-up of the suspension assembly department. He was promoted to assistant manager of the department in 1989.

In 1992, Spoltman was named manager of the ferrous machining department and became manager of the ferrous casting department in 1993.

He was assigned as head of business planning and management systems of the HAM Planning Group in 1995 where he was responsible for the HAM business strategy and planning. In 1996, Spoltman was promoted to senior manager. His responsibilities included strengthening the coordination of Honda's North American manufacturing operations and promoting best practices.

Spoltman was promoted to assistant vice president of corporate planning in 2000, overseeing Honda of America Mfg. business planning, production planning, production control and technical planning. Following his role as project leader of both the Honda Transmission Plant expansion and establishing the Automatic Transmission Plant in Georgia, he was promoted to plant manager of Honda Precision Parts of Georgia LLC in 2005.

Three years later Spoltman was named chief engineer and, in 2009, became plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant.

He served on the Haralson County (Ga.) Chamber Board of Directors and Haralson County Schools Community Advisory Board prior to returning to Ohio. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney, Ohio and on the advisory board for Workforce Partnership of Shelby County.

Spoltman is a graduate of Lehman Catholic High School, located in Sidney, Ohio, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati.

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