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Honda moving top officers to Marysville

Honda is transferring 50 corporate jobs from California to Marysville and will create a new company in Marysville to handle all service operations for North America.

Honda, a major employer of people from the Dayton, Springfield and Urbana areas, announced the executive changes Friday. The automaker has about 13,500 employees at 11 facilities in Ohio.

“Ohio is a lynchpin for Honda, it’s an incredibly important state and the operations they have are just significant for them,” said Mike Wall, auto industry analyst for IHS, a business information and analytics company. “If anything (the restructure) reinforces that for sure.”

Hidenobu Iwata, the current president of Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, has been named president of the new subsidiary Honda North America Shared Services.

Tetsuo Iwamura, head of Honda’s North American sales in California, will move to Ohio to continue his position as president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co. Although Iwamura brings 50 transfers from California with him, the company is not conducting any layoffs. Honda’s U.S. sales and marketing will remain in Torrance, Calif., home to 2,500 workers, said Ron Lietzke, Honda spokesman.

Marysville is about 30 miles northwest of Columbus.

Honda corporate’s “function is changing and expanding as we evolve what we’re doing in North America,” Lietzke said. He said Ohio is already home to the bulk of Honda’s manufacturing operations with three plants and also has the research and development arm responsible for engineering new products.

“Each of these areas have conducted their strategy based on what they’re doing,” Lietzke said. “What the direction will do is bring together all three areas from a strategic point.”

The new shared services subsidiary will provide information services, human resources and accounting and finance to all of North American Honda operations.

“As we evolved starting in Ohio more than 30 years ago we added a lot of operations in North America,” Lietzke said. The moves announced Friday “will streamline and reduce duplication.”

Wall said a more streamlined operation will benefit Honda’s North American operations as a whole as Honda increasingly looks to the region as a place to produce cars for export to other countries. Lietzke said North America is the company’s biggest sales market.

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