According to a statement from the Japanese company, its European Research & Development Centre in Oberursel, Germany, will be headed by a new VP, Kenichiro Saruwatari.
Saruwatari is a powertrain expert and makes the move after he successfully managed the development of the Mazda3 compact model from its previous position as program manager at Mazda Motor Corporation’s Product Division. On his almost five years tenure there, the 49-year-old engineer oversaw the global Mazda 3 program.
“As a long-time powertrain professional, Kenichiro Saruwatari has intimate knowledge of what is the heart and soul of Mazda’s unconventional cars—and indeed the Mazda brand,” says Jeff Guyton, CEO & President Mazda Motor Europe. “So he is definitely the right man to lead our European R&D Centre into the future and will be a major asset for our development activities.”
Joining Mazda as far back as 1987, Saruwatari over the years held various other posts at the company, mainly in powertrain development, engineering and testing. Among other things, he also played an important part in the development of Mazda’s engine technology. Saruwatari takes over from Ichiro Hirose, who will head Mazda’s Powertrain Development Division as General Manager at Mazda Motor Corporation in Hiroshima, Japan.