Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is undergoing a top management change. Keita Muramatsu, the current president and CEO, will assume the new role of executive vice-president at American Honda Co Inc. He is being replaced by Minoru Kato from April 1, 2017.
During Keita Muramatsu’s six-year stint in India, HMSI rapidly grew to become the leading contributor to Honda’s two-wheeler sales globally for the first time ever in 2016. Under his leadership, the company aggressively invested in ‘Make in India’ and expanded from a single manufacturing plant in 2010-11 to four plants by 2016-17. This in turn increased the total annual production capacity from 1.6 million units to 5.8 million units in the same period.
By strategically meeting customer demand with supply, HMSI’s sales jumped 200 percent from 1.65 million units (FY’10-11) to a targeted 5 million units (FY’16-17) this fiscal. Under Muramatsu, Honda has doubled its market share from 13 percent to 27 percent and risen from fourth position to become the second largest two-wheeler company in India.
Minoru Kato, who has been CEO of Honda Vietnam Co since April 2014, is to assume charge as HMSI chief from April 1 this year. Born in 1965, he began his career in Honda Japan from 1988 in production control division of automobile operations at the Saitama plant. From 1994 to 1998, he moved to motorcycle operations at the Japan headquarters where he was involved in planning and, subsequently, domestic sales.
In 2001, he held the position of manager at Honda Thailand. Four years later, he gained more experience of the Asia Oceania region by taking over the same responsibility in Honda Indonesia. In 2007, he returned to Japan in the business planning division of motorcycle operations. In October 2011, he shifted base to the UK as the CEO of Honda Motor Europe Co. In his 29 years of rich experience within Honda, Kato brings with him domain expertise like production control, motorcycle planning, and sales across Europe, Japan and South East Asia.