Mitsubishi cars’ boss steps down

Mitsubishi Motor Corporation executive vice-president and international sales and marketing chief Steven Torok has left the company. It is not known whether he has another job to go to. His departure last week came days before the struggling Japanese car manufacturer sought another financial bail out.

Torok was part of the senior management team appointed when DaimlerChrysler took over the ailing Mitsubishi operations in 2000. DaimlerChrysler owns 37.3 per cent of Mitsubishi, which is trying to raise a &£2bn rescue package.

A Mitsubishi spokesman would not comment on the reasons for Torok’s resignation, but emphasised that the company’s troubles relate mainly to the US. In Europe, Mitsubishi is on track to make a profit for the first time after its first sales increase since 1999.

In March, Volkswagen poached Mitsubishi Europe president Stefan Jacoby to become its top global marketer, overseeing all Volkswagen group brands (MW March 11).

Mitsubishi’s European advertising is handled by Strawberry Frog in Amsterdam, which is responsible for all creative activities and brand positioning for the marque.

Mitsubishi is in the throes of the European launch of the Colt, a radically styled small hatchback jointly engineered with the manufacturer’s Smart ForFour model.

The company plans to launch another 13 models over the next four years, including the Grandis, a full-size 4×4.

The marque is best known for its Evo, a cult, high-performance version of its Lancer saloon.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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