Veteran Mazda engineer Hiroyuki Matsumoto is the new head of the carmaker's European research and development center.
Matsumotois, 47, succeeds Norihiro Tomita, who has led the unit since May 2007 and now returns to Mazda's headquarters in Japan to take up a management post in the company's vehicle development center.
Matsumoto, an engineering graduate of Kyoto University in Japan, joined Mazda's product development division in 1985. He was general manager for chassis development before being appointed to his new post.
In his new job at Mazda Motor Europe in Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Matsumoto will have a key role in adapting the automaker's cars to European tastes and regulations, working closely with Mazda's European design studio, also in Oberursel.