Fumihiro "Clint" Ohno returns to Japan to oversee international sales.
Naoto "Nate" Kobayashi has been named as the new General Manager at the Engines and Power Products Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., based in Grand Rapids. The veteran of nearly 30 years with the company assumes his new position as the outgoing General Manager, Fumihiro “Clint” Ohno returns to Japan. Ohno will now manage all of Kawasaki’s worldwide general purpose engine sales efforts.

Kobayashi was most recently Senior Manager of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Parts Sales Department. He joined the organization  in 1985, originally employed in the General Purpose Engine Group. His career with Kawasaki saw him assume increasingly more responsible roles in both the engine category and with consumer products.

This is not his first assignment in the United States. Kobayashi spent several years at KMC’s Irvine, Calif. headquarters, beginning in the late 1990s. He was in charge of support for the sales and marketing functions for both motorcycles and Jet Ski personal watercraft. The position entailed business plan development, sales program budget controls and new product management.

He returned to KHI in 2003 to lead the New Product Management Group in the company’s Sales Administration Department.

“I’m looking forward to working with the entire team here in Grand Rapids as we focus our attention on the many growth opportunities that are in front of us,” said Kobayashi. “We have the products, programs, and people to achieve all of the objectives we’ve laid out,” he said.

The division recently announced that its supplier will no longer make power products as of the close of this calendar year. Kobayashi sees the renewed emphasis on engines as being a significant factor in that growth pattern.

“We have always been strongly identified with premium engines, and returning all of the focus to our core products will benefit the company, our OEM partners, dealers, and the end-users,” concluded Kobayashi.

Kawasaki currently markets more than 40 general purpose engines, many of which are produced by Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A., in its Marysville, Mo. facility, which has turned out in excess of seven million units.