Tokyo, April 22, 2003 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that Takeo Fukui will become the company's sixth President and Chief Executive Officer effective in late June 2003. Fukui, 58, currently a Senior Managing and Representative Director, will succeed Hiroyuki Yoshino, 63, who will assume the post of Director and Advisor to Honda Motor Co. This management succession will occur following the final decision of the Honda Motor Board of Directors after the company's annual shareholders meeting in late June 2003.
Fukui brings a vast 34 years of experience with Honda to his new role, including expertise in research and development, engineering, environmental technology, racing activities and the manufacturing of automobiles, motorcycles and power products.
Fukui joined Honda in 1969, after graduating from Waseda University with a B.S. in Applied Chemistry. He started his career at Honda as a member of the Honda project team that developed the Honda CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) engine, which made the Honda Civic the first car to meet the strict emissions standards set by the U.S. Clean Air Act. In 1978, Fukui was transferred to the area of motorcycle racing, where he devoted almost a decade to Honda's racing success including in the World Grand Prix 500cc class - where Honda won the championship for the first time in 1983.
After 19 years with Honda R&D Co., including serving as Managing Director as well as President of Honda Racing Corp., Fukui was appointed to the Board of Directors of Honda Motor Co. in 1988.
As Managing Director and later as Senior Managing Director of Honda R&D Co., Fukui assumed the entire responsibility for motorcycle development from 1987 to 1992. In 1992, he became General Manager of the Hamamatsu Factory - a production facility with one of the most complex product mixes of any Honda factory in the world, including motorcycles, power products and auto transmissions.
From 1994 to 1998, he served as Executive Vice President and later as President of Honda of America Mfg., Inc. in Ohio, where production volume significantly expanded under his tenure in order to meet increasing customer demand for Honda products in the North American market. In 1998, Fukui was named President of Honda R&D Co., his current post, and promoted to Senior Managing Director of Honda Motor Co. in 1999 with the additional responsibility for Honda's motorsports activities, including Formula One Grand Prix racing.
Yoshino has served as Honda's fifth CEO since assuming the position in June 1998. He has been with Honda more than 40 years, including the past five years as President and CEO. Under Yoshino's strong leadership, Honda has expanded its global business from 10 million customers in 1998 to more than 15 million customers in 2002 while creating two new autonomous regional operations in South America and China. The company also has continued to advance its technological leadership, including the introduction of two gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the "FCX" fuel cell vehicle and ASIMO, the world's first bi-pedal humanoid robot. Significantly, over the past four years, Honda has innovated its global manufacturing operations to the flexible "New Manufacturing System" that enables Honda to quickly and flexibly respond to changes in the marketplace on a global basis.
Yoshino joined Honda in 1963 as an engineer. In 1969, he became the first Honda R&D engineer assigned to the U.S. with the responsibility to work with the U.S. auto industry on the new Clean Air Act. As President of Honda R&D Co. and later Honda Motor Co., he guided the company to a leadership position in meeting both the environmental and safety challenges.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its line-up of motorcycles, automobiles and power products. This diverse product lineup has made Honda the world's preeminent engine-maker, with production of more than 15 million engines globally in 2002.