The new head of Mitsubishi Motors’ European operations has been revealed -- 57-year-old Tomohisa Nishina. He is the successor to Akinori Nakanishi who was named the corporate general manager of the North American office at Mitsubishi's global headquarters in Tokyo. From 2003 and 2007, Nishina was Mitsubishi's general manager for ordering and planning in Europe. When he returned to Japan, he served as the general manager for the export department. He has been with Mitsubishi for 33 years. His current responsibility is to stabilize Mitsubishi sales in a challenging European region where three new products will arrive within the next 18 months. In 2011, Mitsubishi’s sales climbed by around 7% to 150,000 units in its 34-market European region, including the EU, Turkey and Israel.
A spokesman said that the company is aiming to maintain last year’s volume however he didn’t provide a specific target for 2012. He explained that it isn’t a good idea to offer a solid forecast for 2012 due to the “volatile and unpredictable economic environment.” Mitsubishi will begin selling the second generation Outlander medium SUV in Europe this autumn. This vehicle was presented at the Geneva auto show in March. An Outlander gasoline plug-in hybrid will be coming out next year.
The Colt subcompact will be replaced by a new subcompact model assembled in Thailand. It will be launched in Europe in early 2013. The Colt is produced at Mitsubishi's plant in Born, Netherlands. Mitsubishi will halt its production at this facility this year. In 2011, the top three Mitsubishi models in Europe in terms of sales are the five-seat ASX medium SUV, the sales of which rose by 131% to 48,418 units; the Colt (which had its volume falling 14% to 26,012; and the Outlander, which had its sales falling 18% 17,815. These figures were determined by the market researchers of Jato Dynamics.