Haq (left) and Kosaka

Haq (left) and Kosaka

A General Motors executive with operational expertise and a Honda executive who oversaw four assembly plants will lead a new joint venture to develop hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems, the companies have announced.

Suheb Haq, GM's director of operational excellence, will serve as the first president of Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC. Tomomi Kosaka, who oversaw three assembly plants and an engine plant in Ohio as president and CEO of Honda of America Mfg., Inc, takes over as vice president.

The board of the venture will feature three executives from each company with a rotating chairperson. GM executives include Charles Freese, executive director of global fuel cell business; David Maday, executive director of corporate development; and Robert Portugaise, executive director of manufacturing engineering.

Honda executives on the board include Takashi Sekiguchi, managing officer and director/COO of automobile operations with Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Mitsugu Matsukawa, operating officer/COO of IT operations/head of production planning supervisory unit and production operations of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; and Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc.

The companies established the joint venture in late January with equal investments totalling $85 million. The companies have been collaborating under a master agreement since July of 2013.