Mitsubishi has appointed Gayu Uesugi has the new Chairman of its North American division, effective 1 November. Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) has been operating without a Chairman for the past few years. Uesugi currently serves at the parent company as Executive Vice President and Head Officer of the Headquarters Product Projects & Strategy Group, in charge of product strategy and development, cost innovation control, and procurement.
“With his involvement in MMC’s Global Product Plan, Uesugi has successfully achieved a profitable growth in emerging markets. With the new decision from the Board of Directors to appoint him as the Chairman of MMNA, Uesugi’s new role will include leadership in developing a product plan and growth strategy for the US market,” commented Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko.
Uesugi joined Mitsubishi in Japan in 1977 as a Project Engineer of Product Development. He has since held a number of management positions within product engineering, new product projects, and strategic product leadership.
“As we commence this year with the production and export of the Outlander Sport at our plant in Normal, Illinois, we will begin a new initiative to further revitalise the plant, demonstrating our upmost commitment in appointing MMC’s Executive Vice President to oversee the market and production in North America,” added Masuko.
Mitsubishi’s sales in the US are falling. Last month’s sales in the country contracted 17.2% to 4,806 units. The OEM has attributed the weakening performance to the ending of production of certain models. It phased out the Endeavor, Galant sedan, and Eclipse Coupe and Spyder last year. For the year-to-date, the OEM’s sales in the country remained down about 30%.
Automotive News reports that the North American division’s Chief Executive Yoichi Yokozawa will remain in his post, which he took up in March 2011.