By on February 21, 2017


Captain of industry John Mendel is retiring as the executive vice president of American Honda’s sales division this April, following ten years of service to the company. Mendel is probably best-known for ensuring that Honda and Acura’s marketing and sales focus remained on North America’s retail markets, not fleets.

Also retiring this spring is Honda Canada’s current president and 42-year company veteran, Jerry Chenkin. Filling the vacuum created in Chenkin’s absence is Dave Gardner, currently senior vice president and future president. Gardner will assume the role of president and provide direct oversight for the automotive and motorcycle divisions, power equipment, ATV, and small engine businesses. 

Chenkin emigrated from England to join Honda Canada in 1975, overseeing Honda’s growth from an importer of motorcycles and rust-happy first-gen Civics to the supper-massive multinational conglomerate that we all know it as today. Chenkin also serves as a board member for Honda’s North American regional operations, which oversees business development for the entire continent.

Meanwhile, America’s Mendel will be succeeded by Jeff Conrad, general manager of the Honda division and soon-to-be head of the currently troubled Acura, too. With the exception of the problematic luxury brand and leftover Takata drama, Mendel is leaving the automaker on a high note. After clawing out of a recession-induced slump, Honda had a record sales years in 2015, 2016, and predicts more of the same for 2017.

According to Bloomberg, Mendel plans to start a distillery business with his sons.

Prior to joining the ranks of American Honda, Mendel spent almost three decades with the Ford Motor Company, eventually serving as its executive vice president and chief operating officer for its Mazda operations in North America. He came to American Honda in December 2004 and was promoted to executive vice president in 2007.

Honda also noted in its extensive executive transition announcement that Masayuki Igarashi will become the executive vice president for auto operations and export sales at American Honda. Igarashi currently serves as the chief operating officer for North America’s power product operations.

[Image: Honda Motors]

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