Honda Australia’s director and chief operating officer, Stephen Collins, will leave his role on November 4, 2022.
Mr Collins has been director of Honda Australia since September 2011, and has been COO of the automotive business since April 2022.
He’ll be succeeded by Carolyn McMahon, who’s a current Honda Australia board member and a director elsewhere in the Honda Australia group.
“First and foremost, we thank and appreciate Mr. Collins’s dedication to Honda’s business operations in Australia,” said Honda Australia managing director and CEO Yoshitaka Okamoto.
“Stephen has given advance notice of the timing of his departure but is committed to working with the team to finalise a number of important projects and initiatives.”
“His leadership, strategic thinking and strong relationships across the network, industry and government, have been critical in establishing a strong base for the future of Honda,” Mr Okamoto said.
Honda Australia has undergone a massive overhaul since Mr Collins took the reins, most notably the switch from franchise dealer sales to an agency model in July 2021.
The shift, described as “probably the biggest change” in the brand’s history Down Under, was designed to allow Honda to sell fewer cars at a higher margin locally in search of greater profits.
Honda is targeting 20,000 sales per year under the new model; based on sales to date this year it’s on track to deliver around 15,000 in 2022, although supply shortages make it hard to read whether those figures are supply or demand constrained.
As part of the switch, Honda has pared back its range of cars in Australia, and will focus more closely on high-spec models.
Gone are the Civic sedan, Jazz hatchback, City sedan, NSX supercar, and Odyssey people mover, while the Civic hatch and HR-V SUV ranges have been cut back.
The HR-V and CR-V crossovers will be joined by another SUV model at some point before the end of 2023, however, likely dubbed ZR-V.
The Civic e:HEV hybrid and Civic Type R are both due Down Under shortly, while the new CR-V was “more than 12 months away” when it was revealed in July 2022.