Accavitti (pictured above at left) had been promoted to the job from his previous position as senior vice president of auto operations after Honda separated the Acura brand into its own division. He had previously served as a senior executive at Chrysler, rising up the ranks to run the Dodge brand, and joined Honda in 2011 as its chief marketing officer. At this point it remains unclear why Accavitti is leaving and where he might land, but Honda says he's leaving the company altogether.
To replace Accavitti, Honda has named Jon Ikeda (pictured above at right), a veteran designer with the company. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Ikeda has worked for Honda on both sides of the Pacific since 1989. He previous headed up the design and product planning divisions at Honda's American R&D operations, and was instrumental in creating an independent design office for the Acura brand, separate from Honda's.
This isn't the first time we've seen Accavitti replaced in his role as a senior executive by a design veteran. After only four months at CEO of the Dodge brand, he was replaced by Ralph Gilles, who retained his role as senior vice president of design for the entire Chrysler group in parallel. Gilles was ultimately replaced as head of Dodge as well, but was recently promoted to serve as head of design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
TORRANCE, Calif. July 27, 2015 – Acura today announced that Jon Ikeda has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the Acura Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. In this role, Ikeda will oversee all Acura brand activities including sales, marketing and parts and service.
Ikeda was formerly Division Director of Auto Design at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA). He began his career at Honda in Japan in 1989, joining the advanced design studio in Tokyo, where he worked on the award-winning Honda FSX show car. After six years in Japan, he returned to Los Angeles in 1995, to continue his career at Honda R&D in Torrance, California. Ikeda has been actively involved in numerous production and research related projects for both Honda and Acura vehicles, including leading the design team for the 2004 Acura TL, the best-selling Acura model of all time. He was instrumental in the creation of the Acura Design Studio in 2006, a facility exclusively devoted to Acura vehicle design. He also led the Product Planning Division at HRA.
Ikeda holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
"Jon Ikeda brings tremendous knowledge and talent to Acura. From deep R&D experience with the brand, he has emerged as the ultimate advocate for Acura and has built a record of solid achievement and success," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc, and leader of both the Honda and Acura Automobile Divisions.
"The Acura brand is enjoying a great deal of positive momentum with the most competitive luxury SUVs in the business, a revitalized sedan line-up, and a clear path forward," said Mendel.
Ikeda succeeds Michael J. Accavitti, who had been with American Honda since 2011, and who led Acura since April 2014. Accavitti is no longer with the company.
Acura also announced that Matthew Walsh, who has served as Senior Manager of Acura Field Sales since April 2014, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Acura Field Sales. Walsh is responsible for all dealer relations, field sales activities and sales operations.