The leadership shakeup involves both interdepertmental and international appointments across production and R&D


Nissan North America annoucnes leadership changes: (from left to right) Kevin Hines, Kiichi Namba, and John Schnoes

Nissan North America has unveiled leadership adjustments within its Manufacturing and Research and Development (R&D) departments.

Beginning with Manufacturing, Kevin Hines, currently serving as senior director of Smyrna Plant Support, is stepping into the role of vice president for Production Engineering and New Model Quality.

Hines’ primary mandate will involve upholding high-quality vehicle quality standards across Nissan’s US manufacturing operations. He will also spearhead the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and drive process enhancements to facilitate the company’s transition towards introducing more electric vehicles into its product portfolio. Hines will directly report to David Johnson, senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, and Purchasing, North America, based in Smyrna.

Meanwhile, in the R&D sphere, Kiichi Namba, currently occupying the position of general manager for Interior/Exterior Technology, is being appointed as vice president for R&D, Vehicle Program Engineering at Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA). Namba-san’s expanded role will encompass overseeing Vehicle Program Management, Interior & Exterior Engineering, Body Systems Engineering, and Quality Engineering.

John Schnoes, who currently serves as division general manager for Connected Car & Services at Nissan’s global headquarters in Japan, is transitioning back to the Americas R&D division as vice president for Connected Services Engineering. Schnoes will leverage his extensive global experience to reinforce and expand the regional connected engineering team, thereby facilitating the execution of connected business innovations.

Both Namba-san and Schnoes will report directly to Chris Reed, regional senior vice president of Research and Development, Americas, and will be stationed in Farmington Hills, Michigan. All these leadership appointments are slated to come into effect on April 1, 2024.