Masato Suwaki has been named to temporarily oversee the North America design activities for Mitsubishi Motors. He is the Senior Vice President for Company Strategy for Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA), where he is responsible for the overall strategic planning for future Mitsubishi vehicles manufactured in North America. From 1997-1999 Mr. Suwaki served as Executive Vice President for Mitsubishi Motors R&D Europe (MRDE). He served as MRDA's President from 2003-2004. From 1972-1997, Mr. Suwaki worked in the Body Design Department, Car Research & Development Center of MMC where he was charged with the design and development of automotive body design and served as General Manager.
MRDA will name a new General Manager of Design later this year.
Dave O'Connell, a 23-year veteran of MRDA has been promoted to Chief Designer. O'Connell joined Mitsubishi Motors in 1984. Since that time he has worked in all aspects of vehicle design. He currently has administration and management responsibility for MRDA designers.
Suwaki replaces Dan Sims, General Manager of Design, who resigned to accept a position with Proctor & Gamble as Associate Director, Design AAI, in charge of design activities in the Southeast Asian region including ASEAN countries, Australia, New Zealand and India.
"We appreciate the expertise Dan has shown in designing various Mitsubishi models including the Eclipse, Spyder, Galant and Endeavor," said MRDA President Shinichiro Koiwai. "We wish him great success as he enters the global design arena."
Sims said, "I have enjoyed and value my relationship with Mitsubishi that spans 23 years. It is difficult to leave a brand and industry I know and love, particularly as the turn around we have worked so hard to achieve is gaining traction and showing results. However, a tremendous opportunity for a unique global experience in a high-growth region with personal growth potential for my family and me was difficult to pass up. I wish Mitsubishi all the success in the future and will continue to support and believe in the brand."
Source: Mitsubishi Motors R & D of America