Honda, like most major carmakers, is experiencing one of its worst performance slumps in decades. Shrinking demand worldwide for new vehicles and a strengthening yen have had disastrous effects on the company’s bottom line, with the most recent profit warning predicting a $3.7 billion operating loss for the past year.

In the midst of this turmoil, the company has sought a new savior in the form of Takanobu Ito. The current senior managing director will step into the role of president and CEO in June this year. Ito joined Honda in 1978 and began his career in the R&D labs.

The man was also in charge of developing the original NSX supercar, and it this R&D focus that will become the company’s new goal under the guidance of Ito. Sadly, there has been no mention of plans for a NSX successor being reinstated or a replacement for the S2000 sports car ever being introduced.

Takeo Fukui, the current chief, will remain on the board and assume the post of director and advisor to Honda. This management succession will occur following the final decision of the Honda board of directors after the company's annual shareholders' meeting, scheduled for late June.