Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India appoints Minoru Kato as new CEO
27 March 2017
Honda Motor Co Ltd (HMCL) has appointed Minoru Kato as its new president and chief executive officer, with effect from 1 April 2017, replacing Keita Muramatsu who moves on for a new role. Most recently, Kato was CEO of Honda Vietnam Co from 1 April 2014.
Born in 1965, Kato started his career in Honda Japan from 1988 in production control division of automobile operations at Saitama plant. From 1994 to 1998, he moved to motorcycle operations at Japan headquarter where he was involved in planning and subsequently domestic sales.
In 2001, Kato held the position of Manager at Honda Thailand. Four years later, he gained more experience of Asia Oceania region by taking over the same responsibility in Honda Indonesia. In 2007, he returned to Japan in business planning division of motorcycle operations. Later in October 2011, he shifted base to UK as the CEO of Honda Motor Europe Co.
In his 29 years of rich experience within Honda, Kato brings with him domain expertise from production control to motorcycle planning, sales across Europe and Japan, and South East Asia.
Keita Muramatsu, the current president and CEO, will move on to assume a new role as executive vice president, American Honda Co. During his in India, Honda 2 Wheelers India grew to become the number one contributor to Honda's two-wheeler sales globally for the first time ever in 2016.
Under his vision, Honda 2Wheelers India aggressively invested in 'Make in India' and expanded from single manufacturing plant in 2010-11 to four plants by 2016-17. This, in turn, increased the total annual production capacity from 16 lakh to 58 lakh units in same period.
By strategically meeting customer demand with supply, Honda 2Wheeler India's sales sky-rocketed 200 per cent from 16.56 lakh units (FY'10-11) to planned 50 lakh units (FY'16-17). Under his leadership, Honda 2Wheelers India doubled its market share from 13 per cent to 27 per cent and rose from fourth position to become second largest two-wheeler company in India in just 6 years.