New MMPC country head

In Photo: The first locally manufactured Mirage hatchback

Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino

MITSUBISHI Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) recently introduced its new president and CEO. Yoshiaki Kato passed on the torch to Mutsuhiro Oshikiri—a 37-year veteran of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC).

Yoshiaki Kato (left) welcomes Mutsuhiro Oshikiri

Kato assumed leadership only in March 2015, but expressed his gratitude for the opportunity nonetheless. “My time in MMPC is quite short, but I’m extremely happy with my stay here in the Philippines as I recall all the accomplishments that I was able to make with your cooperation and support,” he said. In his considerably short stint of over two years, Kato led the company in achieving numerous and significant milestones. “My assignment in MMPC has always been challenging, given the company’s situation in the past years. But, despite this, I was able to witness remarkable milestones of MMPC,” he added.

Interestingly, Kato is by far considered as the youngest MMPC top honcho at the age of 49. But, during his term, the company witnessed numerous milestones, starting off with the company’s manufacturing plant’s relocation from Cainta, Rizal to Santa Rosa, Laguna, for expansion. This propelled MMPC’s full participation in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program. Officially awarded late last year, the participation into the program aimed to locally manufacture two of MMPC’s best-selling passenger cars—the Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan subcompacts. Just in February this year, the company finally presented to President Duterte in Malacañan Palace the first locally built Mirage G4 unit. Furthermore, it was during Kato’s leadership when MMPC posted its 10th consecutive sales growth with the record-breaking 61,400 vehicle units sold, along with the recently concluded 100th anniversary motor show. “Again, all these achievements were made possible with everyone’s hard work and cooperation. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity given to me to work here in the Philippines. Truly, my stay here has been fruitful as I’ve grown so much and I believe in my ways that I contributed to MMPC to the best that I can,” Kato concluded.

Oshikiri, on the other hand, has a solid background in marketing and aftersales, with countless offshore assignments and experience in foreign markets under his belt. “I’m very happy to be able to come here in the Philippines. Since joining Mitsubishi Motors, I have requested my bosses to dispatch me here, which didn’t happen for a long time. But now, my wishes came true so I’m very lucky,” he said.  He started his career with Mitsubishi Motors in 1980 under the Export Service Department and was eventually assigned to Syria to handle After Service business four years later. Since then, he assumed numerous executive positions under MMC in the Oceana region.

Oshikiri went on to assume various leadership roles, such as the CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand in 2004, general manager of MMC North Asia B department in 2006, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Sales Caribbean Inc. in 2009, and as the CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) from 2012 up to 2017. “What I want to do here [Philippines] is very simple. I’d like to work in dedication to the Filipino society by means of our product providing unique and beneficial to the community through cooperation, support and working together with you. Everybody tells me that the Philippine economy is continuously developing and that life here is getting better and richer. So I’d like to continue to contribute in this development by leading a car manufacturer,” Oshikiri explained.

Meanwhile, presented during the leadership turnover ceremony was the first locally manufactured Mirage hatchback. Previously importing units from Thailand, this hatchback, along with the G4 sedan, will now be rolled out straight from MMPC’s assembly line. Thanks to the CARS Program, it created more jobs and benefited 31 local businesses in producing parts. “MMPC will continue to exert great efforts to make a contribution to the society and the economy to support the government in its effort to support the automotive industry,” Oshikiri concluded.

Image Credits: Randy S. Peregrino

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Randy is our contributing writer for motoring and journey sections. If he is not doing test drives for monthly feature stories, he finds delight in covering travel events once in a while. His passion for cars goes beyond appreciation and knowledge as he takes pleasure in fixing stuff all by himself - as long as he have the right tools. Previously, he led teams of associates in the BPO industry from several offshore companies for almost a decade. He is a proud Thomasian.