Fumihiro “Clint” Ohno, who previously held the general manager position at Kawasaki Engines, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., is returning to that post as senior vice president. Ohno (pictured) will replace Naoto “Nate” Kobayashi, a company veteran of nearly 30 years, who will take a public relations role in the Motorcycle & Engine Company planning division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan.
Following his prior stint as the Engine Division GM, Ohno moved to Japan early last year to manage all of Kawasaki’s worldwide general-purpose engine sales activities. The increased focus on U.S.-domestic engine sales and marketing will see Ohno stepping back into a business structure that he helped create, and will allow him to more directly contribute to the future needs of Kawasaki’s business in the U.S. and select areas abroad.
Ohno had overseen the beginning of the company’s recent transition from a marketer of both engines and handheld power products to a more finely honed approach that allows company-wide resources to tailor programs and business development to an engines-only effort. Combined with a broadened research and development program and a production facility in Maryville, Mo., the company is positioned to continue its growth in that area.
“I’m pleased with the opportunity to return to our Grand Rapids offices, both because of the relationships that I’d built over the years, and because of the business opportunities that always offer unique challenges,” said Ohno. “The team here is second to none.”
Kawasaki currently markets more than 40 general-purpose engines, many of which are produced by Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., in its Maryville facility, which has turned out in excess of eight million units.