Mazda Motor Europe has appointed Ichiro Hirose to the position of Vice President European Research & Development, Mazda Motor Europe, effective immediately. He replaces Hiroyuki Matsumoto who is returning to Japan to work as Platform Programme Manager at Mazda headquarters soon, after having completed a seamless handover.

Ichiro Hirose, 51, is a leading engineer on Mazda’s award-winning development team.

He has been instrumental in creating Mazda’s outstanding powertrain line-up for the last 28 years –18 of which were in management positions. In fact, he headed this Division for nearly three years before recently coming to Europe. Prior to this, he held a variety of executive positions in the CE Development Group, and the Powertrain Technology Development Group.

“We want to thank Hiroyuki Matsumoto for the great job he did heading our R & D centre during the last two years,” said Jeff Guyton, President and CEO Mazda Motor Europe. “And we’re very grateful to have as his replacement Ichiro Hirose, who is an outstanding development engineer with almost two decades of management experience. Like Matsumoto-San, he helped develop our innovative SKYACTIV Technologies, and was important in making the new CX-5 the great car it is. With the continuity he provides, we’re confident our new SKYACTIV Technology line-up will be a success in Europe.”