Honda Malaysia names new CEO

Honda Malaysia has appointed Toichi Ishiyama as its new managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), succeeding Katsuto Hayashi. Ishiyama will officially assume office in Malaysia on 1 November 2017. He is currently the president and CEO of Honda Atlas Cars, Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Hayashi who led Honda Malaysia for one and a half years, will be taking on a new role as the general manager for overseas operation division (Americas) and regional operation (North America) at Honda Motor in Japan.

In a statement, Honda's spokesperson said, Ishiyama has indicated that he will continue to focus on total excellence in products and customer experience to emphasise the "joy of buying" for Malaysians. "He believes the strategy put in place by Hayashi will see Honda Malaysia through to another achievement year, reaching the target of 100,000 units in sales for this year," it added.

Ishiyama brings in 25 years in Honda in various roles in Japan, USA, Thailand, China and Pakistan. During his assignments in Thailand and China, Ishiyama delved deep into understanding local markets in relation to automobile.

With more than 20 years of experience in researching markets and product planning, the company said Ishiyama’s forte is an advantage towards ensuring the Honda Malaysia continues its strong momentum as one of the top car brands in the country. This includes ensuring Honda Malaysia maintain its position as the top non-national segment and number two in overall total industry volume (TIV) under Hayashi's watch.

Hayashi has also helped the car brand to attain number one position in terms of market share among Honda automobile operations worldwide in some of those months. Under his leadership, the company achieved the highest local market share in history in March 2017, at 20.5%. Honda Malaysia recorded 100,000 sales units in the fiscal year of April 2016 to March 2017, as well as hitting its historical 600,000th production unit.

Preparing Honda Malaysia for the next growth phase, Hayashi has strategically switched focus to offer more advanced technology to customers. Under the theme of "Next Generation Advanced Technology," turbocharged engine was introduced last year. "Hayashi was praised greatly for the success of the Civic with turbocharged engine variant as an option for Malaysians. Civic was the pioneer mass production Japanese model in Malaysia to be fitted with turbocharged engine to suit local demand," Honda's spokesperson said.

This focus was further expanded with the launch of Sport Hybrid i-DCD variants, making Malaysia the only country outside of Japan to introduce the highly accepted environmental-friendly powertrain that does not compromise the fun-to-drive element of the car. Hayashi has steered Honda Malaysia’s launch of five new models and expansion by four new dealers to a total of 90 Honda dealers nationwide.

Meanwhile, the soon-to-be launched All-New Civic Type R 2.0L VTEC Turbocharged, which has been recorded as the "fastest front-wheel drive production car," is set to exhilarate customers who demand the thrill and fun of the throttle in their drive.