Long-struggling Mitsubishi Motors is reportedly preparing for a changing of the guard at home. According to Reuters, Osamu Masuko will step aside in favor of Tesuro Aikawa, currently the company's managing director. Masuko won't be leaving the fold entirely, however – he will take the role of chairman, displacing Takashi Nishioka, who will resign. The shakeup has not been confirmed by Mitsubishi, but word is that the changes will take effect April 1.
Mitsu's US troubles are no secret, but the brand's struggles in its home market haven't been quite so publicized. The company was bailed out by other arms of the Mitsubishi empire, and it just raised $2 billion this month to buy back preferred shares that were issued during the bailout. Masuko served as president for nearly ten years, during which the brand's US efforts utterly stalled out, recalls cropped up in Japan and an alliance with Daimler (which was DaimlerChrysler at the time) disintegrated.
According to Reuters, establishing the kind of alliances that will allow the brand to grow, such as its tie-up with Renault-Nissan, are key to Mitsu's long-term success. The thought is that an alliance will allow the brand to come up with some innovative models that won't be compromised by its lack of production scale. It looks like Aikawa has his work cut out for him.