FRANKFURT -- Honda named veteran executive Toshiaki Mikoshiba to head operations in Europe as the carmaker seeks to strengthen its local management team amid stalling sales in the region.
He succeeds Manabu Nishimae, who returns to Japan as a managing operating officer at the carmaker following three years in charge of Honda's European operations.
Mikoshiba will take up the role of Honda Europe president on April 1. He will also serve as chief operating officer in the region.
Honda Europe's three senior vice presidents - Ian Howells, Philip Ross and Koji Arai - remain unchanged and will support Mikoshiba as he makes the transition into the new position, the company said in a statement.
Mikoshiba joined Honda in 1980 and has held a number of senior management roles at the company. In 2008, he was promoted to executive vice president and director of Honda Europe before becoming president of Honda Russia two years later. In 2011, he was appointed to his current job as head of Honda's China operations.
Mikoshiba's appointment comes as Honda prepares to boost its lineup in the region starting next year with a new-generation Jazz subcompact and a European version of the Vezel small SUV.
Last year, Honda vehicle sales in the EU and EFTA markets fell 1 percent to 139,712, giving the automaker a market share of 1.1 percent, according to industry association ACEA.