Kawasaki Fills Vacant General Manager and Applications Engineer Positions

Kawasaki staff appointments support the division’s recently announced focus on engines.

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, MI. 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. 

“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.”

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. 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.

Kawasaki’s Engine and Power Products division has also appointed a new applications engineer to work closely with their OEM partners. Jeff Streit, a team member at the Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. facility in Maryville, MO, will fill the open position of applications engineer. An experienced engineer and member of the Society of Automotive Engineers since 1995, Streit has responsibility for coordinating new product development between Kawasaki and the OEMs with whom the company has ongoing relationships. Among his daily assignments will be conducting application reviews with the OEMs, providing technical support for developing new engine specifications, and working with OEM counterparts in support of field testing. He will also have primary responsibility for the investigation of application-related engine issues.

Streit began his career with Kawasaki in 2006, joining the manufacturing operations as a senior engineer in the Research and Development group. He had responsibility for new test projects, working with both outside contractors and vendors as well as internal Kawasaki departments. He has worked on several projects evaluating engine performance and durability, both with single and v-twin, air-cooled carbureted and digital fuel-injection models. 

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