Home Motoring Mitsubishi Motors announces death of former chairman Osamu Masuko

Mitsubishi Motors announces death of former chairman Osamu Masuko

Osamu Masuko

Osamu Masuko, the former Mitsubishi Motors chief executive who engineered the Japanese automaker’s alliance with Nissan, died Aug. 27. He was 71.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced that he died of heart ailments. Other details were not immediately available. Mr. Masuko was named a special adviser to the company when he resigned for health reasons on Aug. 7.

Mr. Masuko joined former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in forming an alliance in 2016. Ghosn was arrested and charged with alleged financial misconduct in late 2018, but he skipped bail and fled to Lebanon.

After he was named president of Mitsubishi Motors in 2005, Mr. Masuko sought to rebuild its brand image, which had been hammered by a massive, systematic and decades-long coverup of defects that surfaced in the early 2000s.
Mr. Masuko had said he was stunned and saddened by Ghosn’s arrest.

Osamu Masuko

“I still can’t figure out why, and I just don’t understand,” he told reporters at the time.

Mitsubishi’s alliance with Nissan and Renault of France was seen as an astute move, giving the automakers an edge in an increasingly competitive global market.

“During his tenure for about 16 years at MMC, Masuko made great achievements by fully demonstrating his management skills, which also enabled the company to overcome difficulties,” Mitsubishi Motors said.

Mr Masuko helped build the company’s business in Southeast Asia, a key source of growth. He also aggressively pushed the development of ecological models.

Mr. Masuko was born Feb. 19, 1949. He studied political science and economics at Waseda University in Tokyo and did not have an engineering background. He joined trading company Mitsubishi Corp. in 1972.

In 2004, he joined Mitsubishi Motors, which makes the Pajero and Outlander sport utility vehicles, as managing director of its overseas operations. A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.

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Source: washingtonpost