Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted February 11, 2014 06:18
Aikawa spent most of his tenure in product development and promises new, hi-tech and high-quality.
As we previously reported, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has named Managing Director Tetsuro Aikawa as the next president and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Aikawa will be in charge of rebuilding the brand and boosting their worldwide sales numbers that have been on a slump in that past few years.
This follows the retirement of Takashi Nishioka as Chairman, which has promoted current president Osamu Masuko as Chairman and Chief Operating Officer (CEO). Aikawa's selection was an independent choice made by Masuko who was quoted saying "Finally we are standing at the start line for a fresh competition." as he presented his successor to the press.
The company suffered gaps in their vehicle development brought about by a failed four-year merger with DaimlerChrysler, which saw abrupt ends to shared platforms and models. It has since been under the watch of the three Mitsubishi group companies - Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
An engineer and a car guy, Aikawa is believed to be the lead man in Mitsubishi's new road to revival. He has spent most of his 36-year stint as an engineer in charge of product development. He also worked in domestic sales and manufacturing before taking over the company’s global production division and phasing out the U.S. presence of the Eclipse, Endeavor and Galant paving the way for crossovers like the Outlander Sport and Mitsubishi’s SUV lineup.
Nicknamed 'Prince', Aikawa is a second generation president at Mitsubishi as his father was a former president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in the 1970s.
Aikawa has expressed his commitment to the 3-year business strategy of Masuko, which focuses on SUVs and e-vehicles marketed towards emerging markets.
He also vows to improve overall quality of Mitsubishi vehicles while developing new and more technologically-advanced products for the future. "Through technology and design, I want to reconstruct the Mitsubishi brand," said Aikawa, who is the carmaker's first president to have spent his entire career at the company.
The final approval will be at the shareholders meeting set on June 25, 2014.