Oshikiri is new Mitsubishi PH chief
Mirage unveiling caps MMPC’s hectic first half-year
Mid-term of this year will go down in Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.’s history as one of its busiest ever.
After the June 8 celebration of Mitsubishi’s centennial, and the June 29 turnover of 10 electric vehicles (five each of the Outlander and the i-Miev, along with four EV quick chargers) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the first Asean Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Summit, the triple-diamond Japanese marque’s business and assembly unit in the country recently witnessed a major movement in its corporate hierarchy, and the unveiling of a locally assembled mass-market vehicle.
These last two events happened in just one evening last July 27 at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City.
The changing of the guard involved newly appointed MMPC president and CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri taking over the local leadership role from Yoshiaki Kato, who, at 49, was MMPC’s youngest-ever president and CEO.
After just a two-year and four-month stint beginning March 2015, Kato was called back to Australia, where his family is based.
In his short stint here, Kato was lauded by industry veterans, including Board of Investments Governor Henry T. Co, who remarked that Kato performed five years’ worth of work in just half the time.
It was under Kato’s leadership that MMPC’s sales enjoyed continuous, stable growth, culminating in landmark sales of over 61,400 units in 2016, despite the company being hounded by allegations of sudden unintended acceleration from a number of owners and drivers of its flagship mid-size SUV Montero Sport A/T.
This contentious issue led to the British automotive engineering company Horiba Mira Ltd. to scrutinize units of the SUV’s model years 2010-2015 and declaring there was no technical basis for the complaints.
Under Kato’s term, MMPC officially moved its manufacturing plant and corporate offices from Cainta, Rizal to Santa Rosa City, Laguna.
MMPC said that this move also represented its participation in the government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program.
MMPC, thus, became the first automotive manufacturer to receive the DTI-BOI’s approval to join the program, leading to the first locally produced Mirage G4 subcompact sedan rolling out of the assembly line and onto the Malacañang Palace grounds this February for its formal presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Local commercial production of the Mirage hatchback variant started this June. Previously, this was imported this from Thailand.
Following MMPC’s P4.3-billion investment in its production facilities, the company is now able to produce both the G4 and hatchback in sufficient domestic volumes. Both are MMPC’s entry to the CARS program.
Before assuming his role as MMPC president and CEO effective yesterday (Aug. 1), Oshikiri was Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd. CEO starting 2012.
A graduate of management engineering from Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan, Oshikiri’s career highlights include a stint in Mitsubishi in Syria in 1984 as after-service business manager, MMC Asean Department manager from 2002 to 2004, as Mitsubishi Motors Thailand COO from 2004 to 2006, and as Mitsubishi Motors Sales Caribbean Inc. COO from 2009 to 2012.