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New ‘Gen’ takes the reins at MMAL

New charge: Former Mitsubishi Motors Europe CEO Genichiro Nishina in 2009 launching a test fleet program for the i-MiEV electric car in England.

Former Mitsubishi Europe chief bound for Australia as Takahashi heads to Japan

Mitsubishi logo7 Mar 2011

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation has announced the appointment of Genichiro (Gen) Nishina as president and chief executive of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited, effective April 1.

He will replace Masahiko Takahashi, who will relocate to the Japanese auto giant’s head office in Tokyo to oversee sales and manufacturing programs for Mitsubishi Motors North America.

Mr Nishina, 58, has worked for Mitsubishi since 1980, most recently as corporate general manager of the company’s ASEAN operations, overseeing sales and production in the region.

He is a former president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe and has held a number of other senior positions for the European, North American and Asia-Pacific regions, including general manager of product marketing for the US, Europe and Australia in 2003-04, and director and executive vice-president of MME from 2004 to 2008.

He also previously served as vice-president of product marketing management for MME, general manager of Mitsubishi Motors Research Europe GmbH, group manager of MMC’s International Advertising Group and director of marketing services and corporate planning for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America.

 center imageLeft: Outgoing president and chief executive Masahiko Takahashi

Mr Takahashi took the reins at MMAL in March last year, replacing Robert McEniry and moving from his previous role as vice-president of corporate strategy at the Australian subsidiary.

He has almost 30 years’ experience with Mitsubishi, having worked in Japan, the Middle East and Latin America overseeing a range of marketing, distribution and sales programs, including the establishment of MMC’s operations in the Middle East.

In a statement released last Friday, MMC president Osamu Masuko said the latest moves reflected the company’s “growing global orientation” under its ‘Jump 2013’ program, which aims for “growth and a leap forward”.

This was reflected at the Geneva motor show last week with the introduction of a near-production Mitsubishi ‘Global Small’ light car, which will be sold from next year across the world in emerging markets and established western countries alike, including Australia (where it is sold as the Colt).

Mr Takahashi said his tenure in Australia had been “richly rewarding”, despite the challenges of closing Mitsubishi’s Adelaide assembly plant and moving the Australian operations from a local manufacturer and importer to a distributor and retail company.

“Assisting MMAL’s full-line importing operation to become established during difficult times, and then growing the business over the past 12 months, has been one of the highlights of my career,” said Mr Takahashi.

“I would especially like to thank the entire Mitsubishi Motors dealer and employee family for their loyalty and co-operation during my Australian stay.”

Mr Nishina said he was looking forward to working in Australia.

“Over the coming years, we have several very exciting international products on the drawing board, and I look forward to introducing them to the Australian market,” he said.

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