TOKYO— Honda Motor Co.’s new chief executive, an engineer who has worked on electric vehicles, is poised to accelerate Honda’s move into EVs and build
TOKYO— Honda Motor Co.’s new chief executive, an engineer who has worked on electric vehicles, is poised to accelerate Honda’s move into EVs and build on its growing partnership with General Motors Co.
Toshihiro Mibe, named CEO on Friday effective April 1, takes over after six years under Takahiro Hachigo, who closed factories, cut back on models and streamlined Honda’s development unit.
Mr. Hachigo’s changes cut costs and helped Honda earn a profit even in a pandemic—it expects net profit of 465 billion yen, equivalent to $4.43 billion, in the year ending March 31—but he leaves the company without a hot EV model in its lineup.
“It’s not enough to come out with products we can call an EV,” said Mr. Mibe at a news conference Friday. “We have to accelerate our efforts to make it a viable business.”
Mr. Mibe, currently in charge of research and development, is a 59-year-old Honda lifer who joined the company in 1987. He was seen as heir apparent after serving as point man on Honda’s alliances with General Motors and Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. He has worked on both electric and hybrid gas-electric vehicles. The company has said two-thirds of its sales will be in those categories by 2030.