Mazda Motor Europe Names New Head of R&D

After achieving positive operating profits for fiscal year 2009 (April 2009 through March 2010), Mazda’s European division announced it is making a change in its management team. Norihiro Tomita, who has led Mazda’s R & D organisation in Europe since May 2007, is moving to a new position as Programme Manager in Mazda’s Vehicle Development Division in Japan.

Tomita will be replaced by Hiroyuki Matsumoto, who has just been appointed new Vice President and General Manager of Mazda’s European Research & Development Centre in Oberursel, Germany.

Matsumoto, 47, holds a degree in technology from the Kyoto University and has a great deal of experience in product development.

Considered as a worthy successor of Tomita, Matsumoto joined Mazda in 1985 working for the Test and Research Department No. 2 in Japan, and further added the Manager and General Manager in the NVH Development Department positions to his resume. His last job before coming to Europe was General Manager for Chassis Development.

“I want to welcome Hiroyuki Matsumoto to this vital position,” said Jeff Guyton, President and CEO Mazda Motor Europe, in a release, “and to thank Norihiro Tomita for the great job he did leading our R & D and Design Team these last three years. I’m certain that Matsumoto-San, like his predecessor, will be a great asset to my management team. His experience in product planning, development and certification will ensure that our vehicles continue to exceed the expectations of European drivers.”

As said, Mazda Motor Europe posted a sales increase in 14 countries for fiscal year 2009 in difficult market conditions. Retail sales were at record levels in two European countries.
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