Honda Provides a Little Insight into Future Lineup From Head of R&D

The head of R&D at Honda, Kotaro Shige, is quite the dynamic man. He is by no means, the stoic suit, people who have worked for large corporations might expect. An integral part of the Honda team since the late '70s, he has, in fact, been referred to as Honda's 'Rock-Star Exec' and 'the Jimmy Page of Japan's auto industry', by Motor Trend magazine.

While you might think Motor Trend was just being complimentary to Shige, there's actually quite a bit of truth to the comparisons. For example, in his teens Shige played in a band inspired by the Ventures, Eric Clapton, and Cream. He has also just married a woman 19 years younger than he. Exuding fervor and a strong rock-star's persona, he's anything you'd expect a top exec to be. And, we at Barber Honda find it a welcome contradiction.

In addition to shedding light into the person Shige is and the role he's played in transforming Honda during his tenure there, Motor Trend's interview also offers invaluable insight into what we can expect from the Big H in coming year.

For example, Shige conceded Honda is contemplating upgrading the CR-Z. He also revealed Honda is examining the possibility of adding other smaller cars to its lineup. "We want to promote our environmental technology globally mainly through hybrids. But we will do small cars too," he said. "That's my area of focus now. The move in the world is towards smaller cars so we must follow that - downsizing."1

Stay tuned for more Honda news coming soon. Barber Honda, located at 4500 Wible Rd. Bakersfield, CA 93313, is dedicated to keeping you informed.

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