There will be a change of guard at Honda in a few months. By April 1, 2021, they will have a new person at the helm of the company. His name is Toshihiro Mibe, and he succeeds Takahiro Hachigo as president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., LTD.
Hachigo was the head of Honda from June 2015 until April 2021. He steps down from his role as he announced his retirement earlier this month. During the past six years, Hachigo took the initiative and formulated Honda’s 2030 Vision as “a company society wants to exist” into the future. His retirement wraps up nearly 40 years with the brand where he started as a chassis engineer in 1982.
But whereas Hachigo is a chassis specialist, Mibe is a powertrain engineer. The incumbent CEO started in Honda in 1987 with a background in engines and transmissions. After spending decades in research and development, he became the Managing Officer for that division in 2012. He then became the Executive in Charge of the Powertrain Business Unit in 2015. He was among the top executives of Honda's powertrain and drivetrain division until his recent appointment.
With a resume like that, Mibe has the knowledge that makes Honda engines tick. His engineering background seems promising too, and we're looking forward to more exciting, and hopefully, enthusiast models down the line.
"Honda imagines a future, then realizes it through technologies and products. The technical capabilities and steely determination needed to make this future real are the qualities cultivated through "human development," the legacy of Honda’s visionary founder, Soichiro Honda. Honda R&D constantly sharpens its insight into the future, and will continue to act as Honda’s driving force through creating technologies and products to bring joy to customers around the world," said Mibe regarding the company's direction for research and development.
Mibe has a new challenge on his hands. As more automakers rush into the electric vehicle market, he has to make Honda more competitive in that segment. So far, Honda has one dedicated EV, the Honda :e, but there might be more on the way now that Mibe is in charge. They also have the new-generation hybrid powertrains in several models, namely the Jazz, City, City Hatchback, and the recently revealed all-new HR-V/Vezel. With that, we might also see the expansion of hybrids in other markets because of this electric push.
Of course, we would like to see high-performance and efficient engines under the hood of more Honda models in the future. After all, Hibe arrived in Honda during the height of VTEC development.