Mitsubishi Motors To Consolidate North American Operations

Tokyo, July 17, 2002 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced plans to consolidate its North American sales, manufacturing, finance, and research and development operations into a new single organization.

The company, to be formed by the first quarter of 2003, will be called Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA). It will be led by a new management structure composed of executives who have recently overseen a complete overhaul of the company’s operations in the United States, including three consecutive years of record U.S. sales, profits, brand awareness and productivity. The company’s success in the United States has become one of the primary engines driving MMC’s global turnaround.

Pierre Gagnon, President and COO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc. (MMSA), will be promoted to president and CEO of MMNA, responsible for leading all operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Under Gagnon’s leadership, MMSA has successfully established a strong and popular brand identity, especially among the increasingly important market segment of young consumers. MMSA sales have increased 69 per cent over three years, driving three consecutive years of record profits as well.

Mitsubishi Motors also announced the promotion of Greg O’Neill to President and COO of MMSA, replacing Gagnon and also assuming responsibility for all sales and marketing functions as Executive Vice President and COO of MMNA’s Marketing and Sales Division. O’Neill previously served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of MMSA, and played a critical role in driving the company’s brand strategy, implementing new technologies at the corporate level and expanding Mitsubishi’s U.S. dealer network.

Rich Gilligan, currently President and COO of Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Inc. (MMMA), will retain his current responsibilities and will assume an expanded role for quality and procurement throughout North America.

"North America has emerged as a thriving market for Mitsubishi Motors and is now recognized in Japan as an important target for further growth and investment," said MMC President and CEO Rolf Eckrodt. "Creating a single, unified organization allows for better synergies within Mitsubishi’s global operations and reflects the recent success and the enormous potential we see in this critical region."

As Mitsubishi Motors prepares for an unprecedented wave of new product launches in North America, introducing seven new products over the next three years, the company’s expansion plans in Canada are several months ahead of schedule. Through its alliance with DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi is also developing plans to begin selling cars in Mexico in early 2003.

MMC expects the new consolidated organization to provide several important benefits as the company enters the next phase of its North American growth strategy. The new company’s integrated structure will increase Mitsubishi Motors’ competitive advantage in North America, from engineering and design to distribution and marketing strategies. It also will ensure development and delivery of the best products to meet customer needs.

Published : 17/07/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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