Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito has positioned the company for a big increase in sales and a return to its performance engineering roots. Ito expects U.S. sales volume to set a record this year and climb higher next year on the back of new product.... Read More »
When Masamichi Kogai, 59, took over as Mazda's CEO in June, he inherited a company that had just recorded its first annual profit in five years. As the company's former production and purchasing chief, he was instrumental in the overhaul that put Mazda Motor Corp. back on track.... Read More »
Subaru brand boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga is determined to ensure his company can cope with its sales explosion. The all-wheel-drive specialist is on pace to notch its fifth straight year of record U.S. sales in 2013. Now the tough part: Dealing with the demand.... Read More »
Audi has slowly but steadily improved its U.S. market share since 2006, and Chairman Rupert Stadler sees an opportunity to continue to grow -- but not by piling on lease deals. "We are taking the necessary time to grow organically," he said. "Maybe with a little higher lease penetration we quickly could sell much more, but then our profitability would probably suffer."... Read More »
Hakan Samuelsson had been a Volvo board member and a trucking executive when he became Volvo's CEO in October 2012, taking over a company with slumping U.S. sales and a dearth of fresh product. Now, he says, Volvo executives have developed plans to hit 800,000 global sales by 2020, up from about 450,000 annually today.... Read More »
President Akio Toyoda says Toyota Motor Corp. is finally ready to go on the offensive again, after being hobbled in recent years by such crises as the global financial meltdown following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, unintended acceleration recalls and Japan's killer earthquake.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: JIM LENTZ, CEO, NORTH AMERICA REGION, TOYOTA MOTOR CORP.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda restructured the company's management this year to give more authority and autonomy to local regions. Nowhere was this more evident than in North America, where Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, was placed in charge of all Toyota sales and manufacturing for the region.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: LUDWIG WILLISCH, CEO, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA
Mercedes-Benz led the U.S. luxury-brand sales race through April of 2013, but BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch expects BMW to repeat as No. 1 for the year. Willisch says help is on the way in the form of three models debuting this fall: the 3-series GT crossover, 4-series coupe and a redesigned X5 crossover.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: MARK REUSS, NORTH AMERICAN PRESIDENT, GENERAL MOTORS
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, says GM is staying vigilant on the June launch of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-sized pickups, its most important rollout since the company's 2009 bankruptcy. He says GM is closely monitoring suppliers to avoid bottlenecks that could delay the launch or hurt quality.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: JOE HINRICHS, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAS, FORD MOTOR CO.
After three frenetic years overseeing Ford's ambitious Asia Pacific expansion plans, including the construction of nine plants, Joe Hinrichs returned to the Dearborn, Mich., world headquarters in December to take over as president of the company's most profitable region: the Americas. Hinrichs found Ford's North American operations in the midst of a major growth spurt.... Read More »
Audi of America President Scott Keogh is presiding over a brand with momentum, with U.S. sales up 16 percent through April and a batch of new vehicles launched or on tap. Keogh, 44, became president of Audi of America in June, a promotion from chief marketing officer.... Read More »
Last year, Colin Dodge juggled a long list of responsibilities for Nissan Motor Co. He was global chief performance officer and in charge of Nissan's markets in North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. Last year also was a period of product renewal and expansion for the Nissan and Infiniti brands in the Americas, and Dodge acknowledges that it was challenging.... Read More »
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is steadily putting his stamp on the automaker. He has shaken up the marketing ranks and brought in new blood, such as Bob Ferguson, GM's former Washington lobbyist turned global head of Cadillac.... Read More »
After Mazda Motor Corp.'s fourth straight year of net losses, CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has the company poised to rebound to profit and big sales growth. Yamanouchi, 67, also is banking on Mazda's new line of chassis, frame, engine and transmission systems, known collectively as Skyactiv technologies, to move the brand upscale. The goal: Minimize incentives and command better residuals.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: OSAMU MASUKO, PRESIDENT, MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. President Osamu Masuko has a big fix-it list. Mitsubishi's U.S. lineup has shrunk to four models, sales were down 29 percent through October, market share has dwindled and the i electric vehicle is a flop.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: YASUYUKI YOSHINAGA, PRESIDENT, FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn is chasing ambitious goals under his current business plan: a 10 percent market share in the United States and 8 percent globally by 2017. But things aren't going as planned. The company's U.S. market share hovered at just 7.9 percent for the first 10 months of 2012, down from 8.2 percent in all of 2011.... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: TAKANOBU ITO, PRESIDENT, HONDA MOTOR CO.
Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito is prepping his company for growth. He wants to boost North American sales 18 percent to 2 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. A redesigned Honda Fit small car and new derivatives will account for the biggest increase in U.S. sales. But Ito, 59, says the Acura luxury brand also will rebound... Read More »
TALK FROM THE TOP: ALAN MULALLY, CEO, FORD MOTOR CO.
Alan Mulally, 67, will stay on as Ford CEO for at least two more years, while Mark Fields, 51, currently president of the Americas, will become COO on Dec. 1. Ford appears to be cruising along smoothly, but some problems persist. Ford's scores on quality surveys continue to suffer, largely because of its troubled MyFord Touch system. And recent vehicle launches have stumbled.... Read More »