HONDA MOTOR COMPANY has sworn in new president Takanobu Ito, best known for designing the all-aluminium chassis for the Honda NSX sports car.
Ito succeeds Takeo Fukui, president of Honda for the past six years and the man who presided over a Honda that has fared better than world number one Toyota and fellow 'top 3' Japanese manufacturer, Nissan, during the global economic downturn.
Ito said this week that despite its relative success during the financial crisis, Honda must regroup and recapture the spirit of the past - the 'power of dreams' - if it is to maintain its strong position.
The new president will also lead Honda's research and development department, allowing important decisions to be made and pushed into production faster. Insiders at Honda have said that Ito has already made a number of significant internal changes, though they could be two to three years away from bearing any obvious results.
After starting with Honda as an R&D engineer specializing in chassis design, Ito has held a number of important roles within the company.
He has been involved in the development of small sedans for the Japanese market, worked as Executive Vice President of R&D for Honda and Acura in America and was involved in the development of the original NSX.
Ito has also held a mind-boggling array of simultaneous positions with Honda: Sitting on the Board of Directors of Honda Motor Company and being Managing Director of Honda R&D, then onto President and Director of Honda R&D as well as General Supervisor of Motor Sports.