TOKYO, Japan, February 19, 2021 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. held a press conference at 5:00 pm today (Japan time) at its global head office in Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan, attended by Takahiro Hachigo, the current President and Representative Director, and Toshihiro Mibe, the current Senior Managing Director, who will become the next President and Representative Director effective April 1, 2021. Following is a summary of formal remarks made by Messrs. Hachigo and Mibe.
■ Remarks by Takahiro Hachigo, the current President and Representative Director
Since I assumed the presidency from my predecessor in June 2015, I have led the company while focusing on a direction to “solidify existing businesses” and “prepare for future growth” so that Honda will continue to be “a company society wants to exist” into the future as our industry undergoes a period of great transformation, which some people describe as a “once in a hundred years” transformation.
As for “solidifying our existing businesses,” in order to strengthen our business structure, primarily with our automobile business, we carried out fundamental reforms without being bound by conventional ways of doing things. This included the optimization of our product development system and production capacity, which resulted in making some major decisions for Honda such as discontinuation of production at our plants in Sayama (Japan) and in Europe.
On the other hand, in China, which has become the world’s largest automobile market, our production capacity nearly doubled over the past 5 years. As a result of pursuing the “selection and concentration” of our corporate resources on a global basis, regarding the solidifying of our existing businesses, we have reached the stage to begin harvesting the fruits of our efforts.
As for “preparing for future growth,” we advanced the operational structure of Honda R&D toward the realization of both carbon neutrality and zero traffic collision fatalities by 2050, a challenge Honda will take on as the responsibility of a mobility maker, and also for offering new value that will turn our customers’ dreams into reality. We will pursue these goals based on a belief that “the purpose of technology is to help people,” which was the starting point of Honda.
I made a decision to hand over the baton of presidency to Mr. Mibe at this timing because I want everyone at Honda to take on new challenges with a fresh mind so that "new Honda” can take off toward the new era under new leadership.
I am confident that Mr. Mibe will apply his wealth of knowledge and strong leadership and enable Honda to overcome this challenging business environment and create new value unique only to Honda.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all the support I received during the last six years, and I thank you in advance for your continuous support.
■ Remarks by Toshihiro Mibe, the next President and Representative Director
I feel a great responsibility in being named to assume the presidency. I would like to lead “new Honda” by demonstrating my own strengths to the fullest extent. In particular, I will further accelerate our “preparation for future growth” and start putting our plans into action. In other words, I am now going to construct a “building,” which is the future of Honda, on the foundation of existing businesses that Mr. Hachigo solidified. And this building must have a resilience that can withstand this period of this “once in a hundred years” transformation.
To this end, we are going to embody and accelerate our initiatives toward the realization of both carbon neutrality and zero traffic collision fatalities by 2050, and also, we will offer new value that makes the daily lives of our customers more enjoyable and expand their life’s potential. In doing so, we will strive to continue to be a company our customers and society want to exist.
To date, as the President of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., I have been facilitating the research and development of new technologies and value creation, which will forge the Honda of beyond 2030. And now, as the President of Honda, I want to give shape to what we have been working on and create Mono (tangible things/products) and Koto (experiences) which are attractive for our customers. Being able to provide these values is why people want Honda to exist. We will take on challenges to keep offering products and services which excite and please our customers.
In order for Honda to continue to be a company people want to exist in the midst of turbulent times, all of Honda must undergo a major change and act with speed. For the early realization of the new value Honda envisions, if necessary, we will consider utilization of external expertise and explore possible alliances, and I will make such decisions and take action without hesitation. I will pursue my responsibility while positioning myself as a “challenger” in a true Honda spirit. I will appreciate your continuous support.