Mitsubishi North America is getting a new president and CEO. Starting March 1, Ryujiro Kobashi will take over from Yoichi Yokozawa, 49, who has been in charge since April of 2011. Kobashi has been with the automaker since 1983, holding various positions throughout the company. Before being named Mitsubishi NA's president, Kobashi was the corporate general manager of the NA office at Mitsubishi's headquarters in Japan, where he kept an eye on the regional operations for the US, Canada, and Mexico.
"I am very much looking forward to this new opportunity as we navigate Mitsubishi Motors North America to thrive in the U.S. market under MMC's 'New Stage 2016' business plan," said Kobashi in a statement.
Kobashi has a daunting task ahead of him as the Japanese automaker begins to build back up from a stagnate lineup. However, Mitsubishi seems to be on the right track with 2013 sales climbing up eight percent thanks to the introduction of the new Outlander and Mirage.
Press Release is on Page 2
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Appoints New President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced that effective March 1, 2014, Ryujiro Kobashi will succeed Yoichi Yokozawa as President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA).
Prior to his new position as President and CEO of MMNA, Kobashi was the Corporate General Manager of the North America Office at Mitsubishi Motors headquarters in Japan as the head manager of the main division coordinating North American operations including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Kobashi's distinguished career with MMC began in April 1983 when he joined the company's Overseas Planning Department, supporting activities for sales and advertising/publicity in foreign countries, as a recent graduate of Hitotsubashi University, where he earned a Bachelor of Sociology degree.
Over the years, Kobashi has lived in a variety of diverse regions around the globe where he served in key management positions including overseeing the marketing, sales promotions and advertising for Mitsubishi Motors in Germany and the Netherlands, as well as coordinating the company's business operations in the ASEAN regions.
"I am very much looking forward to this new opportunity as we navigate Mitsubishi Motors North America to thrive in the U.S. market under MMC's 'New Stage 2016' business plan," said Kobashi.
Yoichi Yokozawa will be returning to Japan for an executive assignment in MMC's Corporate Planning Office. He became President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. in April 2011, and oversaw three critical North American product launches: the new all-electric i-MiEV, the completely-redesigned 2014 Outlander, and most recently, the all-new 2014 Mirage. He also oversaw the commencement of U.S. production, in 2012, of the Outlander Sport at MMNA's Manufacturing Division in Normal, Illinois.