Honda’s US Top Executive John Mendel Will Be Retiring To Create His Own Distillery Business; Jeff Conrad To Replace Him

Feb 23, 2017 04:00 AM EST | Paula

Honda's US Executive Vice President John Mendel will be retiring to create his own micro-distillery with his sons. His distillery called Devil's Creek Distillery will be located in Mammoth Lakes. 

Mendel explained that he and his sons plan to start with clear spirits that include moonshine products. John Mendel said that they will be also creating bourbon and rye, Los Angeles Times reported.

He also said that lately, he became interested in the distilling business. It is probably safe to assume that this is probably the reason why he decided to put up a distillery business.

This is probably odd considering that he is one of the top executives of one of the most recognizable car company in the world. Mendel had an impressive resume working at Mazda Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Corp before becoming part of Honda. 

John Mendel became part of Honda in 2004. Under his management, Honda sales managed to increased up to 3.2 percent. He helped Honda focus on what the US customers specifically want namely, Civic, Accord, Pilot and CR-V.

Bloomberg reported that John Mendel had a wonderful run at Honda. He managed to keep Honda afloat despite natural calamities like the 2011 Japan earthquake. Through his supervision, the company also managed to survive the Takata Corp. air bag recall scandal.

Mendel even compared his feelings to Michael Jordan. He explained that he feels like the legendary NBA player not from a personal accomplishment standpoint but for his affiliation to great brands.

John Mendel will be replaced by US General Manager Jeff Conrad. Conrad is responsible for the marketing and sales of Acura, Honda's luxury brand.

However, Mendel revealed that he is not closing his doors for companies that might need his help. He said that he is willing to take up auto-related board positions and consultations. Automotive News reported that John Mendel's retirement will officially start on April 1.

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