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The time has come for a changing of the guard at Honda, as current president & CEO Takanobu Ito prepares to step down and cede control to Takahiro Hachigo, a veteran R&D engineer with more global experience.

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In a bid to get back quality control back on track, Honda is dropping its global forecast of six million vehicles for 2017. Last year, the company was plagued by the huge Takata airbag recall in the US and several problems in Japan.

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Taking charge of a major corporation will never be without its challenges, and one of those – as Honda CEO Takanobu Ito is finding out – is filling the big shoes of those that came before. Ito's predecessors are apparently not pleased with what he's doing to the company, and are wasting no time in telling him so.

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Generally, the best policy in life is to admit when you're wrong and just accept the consequences. However, that attitude generally seems to be a bit less common in the world of business – at least without some government or legal prodding. So, it's especially surprising to learn that top Honda executives in Japan are taking a pay cut for the next three months following the fifth recall of the Fit Hybrid (pictured above) in the last 12 months.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito believes that China's nascent car-buying demographic isn't all that interested in hybrid cars – at least not yet. The emissions story doesn't resonate with them, and certainly not for the higher purchase premium such models usually carry. What they really want, Ito believes, is reliable, affordable cars that fit their needs. When it comes to Honda sales, the numbers would appear to jibe with his thoughts: Honda sold 598,577 vehic

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The increasing sales success of Honda North America (HNA) has led to Honda brass in Japan reorganizing regional operations here. The management shuffling here and in Japan is intended to both streamline and confer more responsibility on HNA "as the region assumes a larger role in shaping Honda's global business," and as Honda builds more facilities that serve several roles in the product development pipeline.

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Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently "success in the face of economic uncertainty," or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China. See the list below, and you'll understand why:

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Automotive News reports Honda expects the popularity of its Fit subcompact to grow significantly over the next four years. President Takanobu Ito says he expects the model and its variations to sell around 200,000 units per year in North America by 2016. That's up from 64,177 units in 2011. The goal is part of a larger strategy to step up sales on this continent by 18 percent, and from the sounds of things, Ito expects the Fit to lead that charge. The tiny hatchback is slated for a redesign next

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With a goal of earning 39 million global customers across its power equipment, automobile and motorcycle line of products by 2017, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced a handful of exciting new models for the latter two that range from high performance to fuel efficient. While the U.S. news was essentially limited to the confirmation that the Acura RLX will be debuting in production form at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show, Honda fans in Europe have a lot more to look forward to.

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Honda hasn't been profitable in Europe since 2007, and would like to break the two-percent market-share barrier in the EU and Russia. To do that, it is looking at a rival to Nissan's Qashqai. Nissan's compact CUV alone outsold the entire Honda lineup in Europe in the first nine months of this year, and by no small margin: 153,079 to 105,918.

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There are plenty of ways to know an automaker has made a misstep. Diminished sales and high inventory are typical markers of a lackluster model, as is a paucity of critical acclaim. All three factors are currently weighting on the 2012 Honda Civic. And while stopping short of an actual apology, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has reportedly stepped in to take responsibility for the model's reception. At a Tokyo Motor Show roundtable, Ito told media members that he takes full responsibility for the vehicl

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Last year, 34 percent of all Honda vehicles sold around the globe were produced in Japan, but that number could change drastically over the next decade. Reuters reports that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told Japan's Asahi newspaper that the automaker will drop its exports to 10-20 percent over the next 10 years.

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The original Acura NSX was an enthusiast's dream car come true. It had supercar looks, a lightweight aluminum chassis and a big chunk of Honda engineering soul. Unfortunately, the original NSX went through life without many adjustments, and Honda's supercar dream died quietly in 2005.

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Automotive News (sub. req.) reports that Honda is once again working on a "spiritual "successor" to the long-dead Acura NSX. Though we've heard ramblings that Honda was developing a new-generation NSX, this is the only time we can remember hearing direct quotes from Honda execs confirming the project's existence.

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Automotive News reports that the long-dead NSX is back under development after its spiritual successor was sent to the round file in 2008. We've heard an increasing chorus of rumors that the project has been taken off the shelf, but this is the first time we can recall reading direct quotes from higher-ups within Honda confirming its existence. Takanobu Ito, Honda's President, reportedly disclosed that his company is currently working on a successor that will be both entertaining to drive and ef

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The March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan hit Honda hard, as production was down for weeks and the automaker's research and development center was badly damaged. In fact, the quake damaged the Tochigi facility so badly that one employee died and 17 others were injured after a cafeteria wall collapsed.

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The Detroit Auto Show is coming up. After that, we go to the Chicago Auto Show. Then New York and maybe Geneva. We are going to hob-knob with most of the auto industry titans: CEOs, Design Chiefs, Product Development Bosses.

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The other day, Honda's chief executive officer, Takanobu Ito, said that:

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During the unveiling of the CR-Z at the Detroit Auto Show, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced that Acura will be adding a hybrid drivetrain to its models. Ito gave no further insights as to timing or which vehicles would get the systems, but it's safe to speculate that the TSX and TL sedans would be the first recipients of the new system. However, when we spoke to Ito last fall in Japan, he did say that Honda was developing a hybrid system suitable for larger vehicles. It's not clear how much it w

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While speaking at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday to unveil the production version of the new CR-Z coupe, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito announced that Acura will be adding hybrid models. Ito gave no further insights as to timing or which vehicles would get the hybrid drivetrains, but we're going to guess that the TSX and TL sedans would be the first recipients of the new system. However, when we spoke to Ito last fall in Japan, he did say that Honda was developing a hybrid system suitable for larger ve

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Following our time visiting this week's Tokyo Motor Show, we had the opportunity to sit down for a small group interview at Honda's world headquarters with freshly-minted CEO Takanobu Ito, who took over the reigns at Honda from Takeo Fukui just this past June. Among the questions posed to Ito-san was "When will Americans see another performance car from Honda?" Honda has a tradition of performance vehicles and motorsports participation that goes back to the earliest days of the company. Ito hims

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