Honda and Acura North America have announced a major restructuring of operations in hopes of turning around Acura's flagging business. For 2013, sales for Acura's sedans dropped 10.4 percent, while its CUV sales grew by 21 percent. The newly formed Acura Business Planning Office will attempt to right the ship.

As part of the restructuring, Acura is promoting Erik Berkman from President of Honda R&D Americas to lead a new division called the Acura Business Planning Office. Berkman has been with Honda since 1982 and led development of the 2006 Accord. He was also the first US engineer to head North American research and development and has been head of Honda Performance Development since 2008. "Erik's appointment to the new Acura Business Planning Office is a clear indication of the high priority we place on Acura," said Honda spokesperson Jeffrey Smith to Automotive News.

American Honda Motor President and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura is also going to be working to improve the business. He has been elected chairman of American Honda's board, and has simultaneously taken the new position of Corporate Brand Officer to improve the management of the company's brands.

Acura has already made moves to change its strategy. The new TLX sedan will be on sale by the end of the year and will consolidate the TSX and TL into a single model. The North American restructuring comes just days after Honda announced that Hideko Kunii would become the first woman to join the company's board of directors. Scroll down for the press release with the full list of job changes.
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Honda Announces Executive Changes at its North American Operations

02/24/2014 - MARYSVILLE, OH
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 division manager of 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.


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  • 150 Comments
      Chance Leo
      • 9 Months Ago
      The RDX and MDX sell better because the styling looks better on the CUVs. The RLX is ugly! The ILX is meh! The TLX is a good looking vehicle but it does not look like a luxury vehicle. It looks like a Camry fighte,r not a 5 series or CTS competitor. Acura is basically the Japanese Lincoln, yeah I said it!! They need compelling design, better marketing and an appeal to younger buyers. They need to clean house, not restructure.
      kajohns1964
      • 9 Months Ago
      Do they need a new division or a new sedan?
      Fozy
      • 7 Days Ago

      People can up vote and people can down vote the various opinions, whether you agree or disagree with the opinion but the only thing that matters are the sales figures. The figures are showing that the TLX is being accepted by the market and that Acura is heading in the right direction.

      My belief is that there is a consumer market for a luxury sedan, with a sporty design and sporty handling that is reliable and offers a value proposition. I think Acura has achieved that. I would like to see a TLX variant that is a TLX Elite Sport.

      TsarBomba
      • 9 Months Ago
      Warning: Complaining about Acura's failing design language will get you down voted. I think the design team is trolling through here.
        mikeybyte1
        • 9 Months Ago
        @TsarBomba
        Quite true. But notice the number of negative comments about design outweigh the "go Acura you are great" comments. So the trolls can do tons of down votes but it doesn't change the number of critical opinions.
          carguy1701
          • 9 Months Ago
          @mikeybyte1
          It's just Aaronm_mt and hi sockpuppets. Guy needs a hobby. I recommend ships in a bottle.
        NightFlight
        • 9 Months Ago
        @TsarBomba
        Nope, it is a single troll on this forum who goes by zoom zoom zoom, AKA Mary Keana, animekyoto. He drives a Honda Element and aspires to own an Acura one day....
          carguy1701
          • 9 Months Ago
          @NightFlight
          animekyoto has said that not only does he not know how to drive stick, but he doesn't want to learn. Considering how aaronm_mt hammers me for not driving stick, I'd say that its either a disinformation tactic or they really are two different people.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @NightFlight
          [blocked]
      carguy1701
      • 9 Months Ago
      So, are they going to grow a pair and start demanding their own unique platforms or are they going to keep trying to convince everyone that gussied up transverse FWD platforms are true competitors to cars like the 3-series, ATS, IS, et. al? There's also this http://blog.caranddriver.com/differential-distribution-where-rwd-awd-and-fwd-vehicles-are-sold-in-the-u-s-infographic/
        zoom_zoom_zoom
        • 9 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        LOL, cartroll trying to sound informed. cartroll, name one "unique" Infiniti platform.
          carguy1701
          • 9 Months Ago
          @zoom_zoom_zoom
          FM is primarily used by Infiniti, at least for markets that are not Japan. Lexus is in the same boat, but the Toyota badged cars that use RWD platforms (not counting the GT86) are all exclusive to the Japanese market, so very few people know about them. It isn't my fault that your precious Honda doesn't have the cojones to compete with the big boys but hey, that's what happens when yes men run a company.
          carguy1701
          • 9 Months Ago
          @zoom_zoom_zoom
          FM IS Infiniti, and its unique to that brand everywhere that isn't Japan (and I didn't even MENTION Infiniti in my original post). I answered your question, now you answer mine.
      NightFlight
      • 9 Months Ago
      LOL at the Honda fanboys downvoting anything critical of Acura. Get a life, seriously. Acura is failing, and the brand is lost. The ILX is a HUGE flop, the RLX is a flop, the ZDX was a flop, and the current TL lost all momentum that was built up with the last generation. Yeah, great job Honda. I've never seen a mainstream manufacturer launch so many models that turned out to be failures. Do they not do any market research or focus groups? Right now they are hanging their hat on RDX and MDX sales, which isn't a great idea. If the TLX flops, then they've got a serious problem on their hands. There are so many other great alternatives on the market currently, and all of the Acuras seem to be nothing than a slightly nicer Honda with more features. I moved away from the Acura brand after owning two brand new Acuras in a row. They offer absolutely nothing that appeals to me, and apparently nothing that appeals to many other people other than a soccer mom transportation device. Get it together, Honda. Hire a team from the outside to bring some fresh ideas in or the sales slide will continue.
      404 not found
      • 9 Months Ago
      If anyone from Acura is reading this, your cars are not aesthetically pleasing. At all. Please change your design language.
        Jermaine Perkins
        • 9 Months Ago
        @404 not found
        Took the words right out of my keyboard!
        H
        • 9 Months Ago
        @404 not found
        This is why after owning a TL, CL3.0, and a 04 TSX I dropped Acura. I absolutely hate the beak grill thing and current styling direction in general. I loved my TSX but I needed a bigger car and Acura had nothing to offer. My wife ended up getting a Lexus and I'd take the spindle grill to Acuras beak anyway.
        TsarBomba
        • 9 Months Ago
        @404 not found
        Amen. Please Acura.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 9 Months Ago
      LOL, I pissed off carguy1701, so he's whipping out his tiberious1701, his Nightflight, his yonomo200, his yomama1701 accounts.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        [blocked]
        angryinch_10
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        You are a hoot Rob.
          NightFlight
          • 9 Months Ago
          @angryinch_10
          Pretty sure this guy is Aaron, of aaronm_mt, Wrangler_Unlimited, Mary Keana, zoom zoom zoom, and animekyoto fame....
          • 9 Months Ago
          @angryinch_10
          [blocked]
          • 9 Months Ago
          @angryinch_10
          [blocked]
        carguy1701
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Told you before, bro, I don't know who Tiberius1701 (you keep misspelling it, BTW). NightFlight and I aren't the same person either.
      mikeybyte1
      • 9 Months Ago
      At the end of the day it all comes down to having a competitive product. The ILX and RLX are not anywhere close to best in class. The TL used to be great until the ugly beak attack. Jury is out on the upcoming TLX. The TLX sounds promising with some great transmissions and other options to differentiate it from its Accord roots. Product will make or break any company. I personally think they need to abandon the beak no matter how toned down it is. They need a new design language.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's so comical to read the "revisionist" history the kids on here now view the old Legend. Somehow now people wax eloquent about the Legend as being some sort of ground breaking target Acura needs to return to. Go read the 1980s reviews and even then it was called a "fancy" Accord, receiving the same criticism as today's Acuras. This new TLX is going to be a huge hit. I think it hits the perfect size and styling that an Acura sedan needs. The new powertrain options look to be very promising.
        carguy1701
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Well gee, if it was, don't you think there was a reason for that, maybe because it looked like it could have been based on the Accord? Perception goes a long way. Why do you think the 2nd gen used a FMF platform?
        • 9 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        [blocked]
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 9 Months Ago
      REAR. WHEEL. DRIVE. NO (NO!) BEAK.
      JD
      • 9 Months Ago
      I have never liked the "beak" on these cars. I have seen the same opinion on other forums. Sorry, but looks like an easy fix. Change the front fascia.
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