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Honda replaces chief executive amid slowdown

February 24, 2009|Associated Press

TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. named Takanobu Ito, head of core automaking operations, as its new chief executive Monday in an effort to provide fresh leadership to battle a global crisis in the auto industry.

Ito, 55, a research and development expert with U.S. experience, replaces Takeo Fukui, 64, as chief executive and president. Fukui will remain on the board as an advisor.

Both Fukui and Ito said the change demonstrated Honda's determination to rethink operations and press ahead with technological innovations -- its longtime strength -- to be prepared to take advantage of a recovery, when it comes.

Ito said he would continue Fukui's mission of developing ecological and affordable cars.

Ito was already scheduled to take over Honda's research and development unit in April.

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