Mitsubishi President Resigns Over Fuel Economy Scandal

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mitsubishi president resigns over fuel economy scandal

He’s been with the company since the Plymouth Sapporo/Dodge Challenger era, but Mitsubishi president Tetsuro Aikawa’s tenure comes to an abrupt end in June.

Aikawa stepped down today after less than two years at the helm, the victim of his company’s ongoing fuel economy scandal, according to an announcement from the automaker. Ryugo Nakao, the company’s executive vice-president in charge of quality, is also out the door.

Both men will leave after Mitsubishi’s annual shareholders meeting on June 24, which promises to be an interesting event.

Next week, Nissan makes official its purchase of a 34 percent controlling stake in the embattled automaker, after announcing a $2.2 billion share-buying plan on May 12. Mitsubishi’s board of directors will see a Nissan-appointed chairman and a host of new directors join the table.

After Aikawa leaves the top spot at Mitsubishi, CEO (and former president) Osamu Masuko is expected to hold down the fort until a replacement arrives.

Masuko came on board as president in 2005, and will have his hands full managing both the Nissan alliance transition and the fallout of the mileage scandal. Mitsubishi faces serious fines and suffered a massive blow to its reputation (not to mention its stock value) when it admitted to fudging gas mileage numbers in Japan since 1991.

Nissan blew the whistle on Mitsubishi after misleading mileage claims sidelined the Japanese market minicar they produced via a partnership. The alliance was forged when Masuko visited Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn to apologize.

[Source: Automotive News] [Image: ©2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on May 18, 2016

    All these instances of saying "alliance." I get this image in my head... Mitsubishi directors and board members await the arrival of their new French-Sino boss. Wearing their suits, they head down to the front of the building to greet the incoming party. Ghosn drives up in a light yellow Renault Alliance convertible. With a wave of his hand, he clatters to a stop and grins. *Slight accent* "You see, I bring the Renault quality to Mitsubishi, day one!"

  • 05lgt 05lgt on May 18, 2016

    Ghosn gets to say "Bring me my money" after he B* slapped them. Did Nissan decide to buy controlling interest before or after blowing the whistle? Weren't they talking about acquisitions during the restructuring of arrangements with the Renault owning French government?

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.