A former general manager of Kawasaki Engines is returning to Grand Rapids this month to serve as the division’s senior vice president.
Fumihiro “Clint” Ohno has been in Japan for the past year managing Kawasaki’s worldwide general-purpose engine sales activities.
He 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.
Kawasaki is increasing its focus on U.S. engine sales and marketing and selected Ohno for the SVP position, saying he would be “stepping back into a business structure that he helped create.”
The company said the role would allow Ohno to “more directly contribute to the future needs of Kawasaki's business here in the U.S. and select areas abroad.”
Ohno oversaw the beginning of the company's transition from a marketer of both engines and handheld power products to an engines-only effort, a focus it plans to continue and one where the company expects to see growth.
“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. The team here is second to none,” Ohno said.
Kawasaki markets more than 40 general-purpose engines, many being produced by Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., in its Maryville, Mo. facility, which has turned out in excess of 8 million units.
The Kawasaki Engines division is headquartered in Grand Rapids and serves customers through a network of more than 7,500 independent dealers through the U.S., Canada and the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific, including Guam.