Mitsubishi Chairman Osamu Masuko Abruptly Resigns

mitsubishi chairman osamu masuko abruptly resigns

A longtime presence at the top of Mitsubishi Motors departed his post Friday morning, marking the end of an era for the embattled Japanese automaker. Company Chairman Osamu Masuko, 71, resigned effective immediately today, following a six-year tenure at the top of a company he joined in 1972.

Masuko, who rose to become president of the company in 2005 and CEO in 2014, cited health reasons for his sudden departure.

He’ll stay on a special advisor, Mitsubishi said, with his former role temporarily filled by CEO Takao Kato.

“During his tenure as the president and CEO, Masuko led the company in various areas including the introduction of advanced eco conscious vehicles such as EV and PHEV, as well as the expansion of production and sales in the ASEAN region. Masuko is going to support MMC as a special advisor by fully leveraging his knowledge and experience,” the automaker said in tribute.

Masuko’s final years at Mitsubishi were marked by a crisis not of Mitsu’s making: the shock waves that rippled through the expanded alliance forged with Nissan and Renault in 2016 following the arrest of alliance boss (and Mitsubishi chairman) Carlos Ghosn in November 2018. Masuko stepped in to resume the chairman duties he vacated to Ghosn two years earlier, lending the company a measure of stability as tensions flared between Nissan and Renault.

In his own company, Mitsu’s 2017 “Drive for Growth” plan hit a snag as global volume and market share failed to achieve the goals set out at the outset of the three-year plan. Under the new leadership of Kato, and in response to both the growth plan’s partial failure and the sales-sinking pandemic, Mitsubishi changed course this year, positioning itself for a smaller future.

The new plan will see the automaker focus primarily on its home market and the growth region of Southeast Asia, reducing its investment in markets like Europe and North America. Already, the company has said it will freeze new product headed for Europe. The brand’s North American future looks dire, despite a range of refreshed 2021 product bound for these shores.

[Image: Mitsubishi]

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Aug 07, 2020

    RE; the photo of Masuko and Goshn. Like good Soviet Stalinist purges, appearing chummy in a photo with a disgraced leader was a quick way to end a political career. Perhaps even earn a one way ticket to a gulag.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Aug 10, 2020

    It's fitting that Nissan partnered up with Mitsubishi, since they both now make garbage cars.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.