Just one day after Subaru revealed that the U.S. market would play a pivotal role in its new five-year plan, the company has announced a new leader for Subaru of America. Effective April 1st, Tomohiko Ikeda (shown) will assume the role of CEO of Subaru of America, replacing Kunio Ishigami who held the post since June of 2004. Ishigami is retiring after leading Subie to three record sales years in a row and achieving 200,000 sales in 2006.

Ikeda had already worked for Subaru of America as vice president from 1988 to 2002 before becoming corporate vice president of Fuji Heavy Industries according to Automotive News, so the man has some insight into what makes the automaker's U.S. unit run.

[Source: Automotive News, Subaru]

PRESS RELEASE:

SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN
--Ishigami retires after leading company to three consecutive sales records--

CHERRY HILL, N.J., March 1, 2007 -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that Mr. Tomohiko Ikeda has been appointed chairman, president and chief executive officer effective April 1. Mr. Ikeda succeeds Mr. Kunio Ishigami who served as the chairman, president and chief executive officer since June 2004.

Mr. Ishigami led the company to three consecutive record sales years and also achieved the corporate milestone of 200,000 unit annual sales in 2006. Mr. Ishigami has been with Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent company of Subaru, for 38 years and has held a variety of management roles. Mr. Ishigami will be returning to Japan as Advisor to FHI.

Mr. Tomohiko Ikeda has been with FHI for 30 years. Before being appointed to his new role at Subaru of America, he most recently served as corporate vice president for FHI. Prior to this role, Mr. Ikeda served as vice president for Subaru of America, Inc. at its headquarters in Cherry Hill, N.J., from 1998-2002, where he was responsible for business planning, the management of capital assets, as well as the sales and marketing coordination with FHI.

Prior to this position, Mr. Ikeda served in the Subaru Overseas Division of FHI from 1992 -1997. He was the manager for North America sales and marketing, and prior to that he served as the manager of Asia, Oceania and Latin America sales and marketing for the Overseas Division.

Mr. Ikeda also held a number of positions in the training, finance and accounting areas of the company. He began his career with FHI in 1977 as a staff member in the personnel section on the FHI Utsunomiya manufacturing plant. Mr. Ikeda received a bachelor's degree in political science from Waseda University in Japan.

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