Honda of America Mfg. Inc.’s Larry Jutte, 53, senior vice president, will retire, effective July 24.

No replacement for Jutte, who oversaw HAM’s environmental program and set direction and policy for Honda’s North American manufacturing and engineering activities, has been named, says HAM spokesman Ron Lietzke.

“After much reflection and deep consideration, I have made the difficult decision to move on to the next phase of my life,” Jutte says in a statement. “Over the years, I have had so many wonderful experiences and the opportunity to make many friends and acquaintances throughout Honda. I will always remain a champion for Honda.”

The auto maker says Jutte will leave to spend more time focusing on his “health, family and community.”

Jutte joined Honda in 1985 as an engineer at its Anna, OH, engine plant, and moved on to positions as manager of the East Liberty, OH, vehicle assembly plant and general manager-Parts & Procurement for HAM in February 2000. Jutte is based at Honda’s Columbus-area HAM facilities.

Meanwhile, Lietzke says Honda’s voluntary separation program has been a success, without disclosing how many HAM employees took the auto maker’s buyout offer.

“At this point we are not planning any further activity with regard to any early separation type opportunities,” he says, adding Honda had no numerical targets. “At this time we are at where we need to be” in regards to staffing levels.

Honda announced April 1 it would offer buyouts to U.S. and Canadian staff, including non-manufacturing workers, for the first time in the company’s North American history.

Honda did not detail the size of the separation packages but said they would be available to those workers who were of retirement age, 55 with 10 years of service, as well as some who were not.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com