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New CEO for Mitsubishi Australia

New man: Mutsuhiro Oshikiri returns to Australia as president and CEO after previously serving here as senior executive for sales and marketing from 2000 to 2003.

Oshikiri returns to Australia as MMAL chief as Nishina leaves after only 12 months

29 Mar 2012

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has announced the appointment of Mutsuhiro Oshikiri as its new president and CEO, following Genichiro Nishina’s departure after only 12 months in the job.

In a statement, MMAL said Mr Nishina had elected to leave Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) altogether after a career spanning 32 years with the company.

Mr Oshikiri, who has worked for Mitsubishi in Australia on two previous assignments, will be MMAL’s fourth president and CEO in the space of two years.

At the beginning of the MMC’s 2011/12 financial year (commencing April 1 last year), Mr Nishina took over from Masahiko Takahashi, who in turn had succeeded Robert McEniry 12 months earlier.

Mr McEniry had been in the role since 2005, having taken over from Tom Phillips who left just weeks after the launch of the ill-fated, locally built 380 sedan.

Joining MMC in the same year as Mr Nishina – 1980 – Mr Oshikiri has had extensive experience managing markets outside Japan, most recently as president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Caribbean.

He was MMAL’s senior executive for sales and marketing from 2000 to 2003, and also worked for the Australian subsidiary from 1987 to 1992.

Other senior positions held by Mr Oshikiri include general manager of the ‘North Asia B Department’ at MMC headquarters in Tokyo, and chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand.

MMC president Osamu Masuko said Mr Oshikiri was well placed to improve Mitsubishi’s standing in the Australian marketplace.

“(His) extensive experience in overseas markets, in particular his previous experiences in Australia, will help his ability to continue to grow the Mitsubishi Motors brand in that market,” Mr Masuko said.

Mr Oshikiri said the company had “a major but exciting challenge ahead of us in preparing for the introduction of a range of all-new products which will commence later this year”.

This will include the crucial new-generation Outlander compact SUV and the reborn Mirage light car.

Mitsubishi finished in seventh position on the Australian sales charts last year, increasing its market share to 6.1 per cent (up from 5.8), although its 61,108 sales were down 2.2 per cent on 2010 and well behind its full-import Asian rivals in Nissan (sixth, 67,926), Hyundai (fifth, 87,008) and Mazda (fourth, 88,333).

Mr Nishina described his short period at the helm of MMAL as “challenging” but nonetheless “interesting and enjoyable”.

“My short tenure in Australia was quite challenging due to the natural disasters of 2011, such as the ones in Japan and Thailand,” he said.

“Nonetheless, I have found my time in Australia to be a most interesting and enjoyable period of my working career with Mitsubishi Motors.”

In a letter to dealers, Mr Nishina added: “I do regret the inconvenience that this will cause to MMAL after having spent only one year with the company, but this timing will allow the new CEO to lead the preparations for our new model surge from late 2012.

“I would especially like to thank the entire Mitsubishi Motors dealer and employee family for their loyalty and co-operation during my Australian stay, and note that my only real disappointment was that I had so little opportunity to visit and meet dealers around the country.”

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