CYPRESS, CA: Gael O?Brien has resigned her position as VP of corporate communications at Mitsubishi Motors North America. No immediate plans have been set to replace her.
O?Brien left Mitsubishi just before 200 corporate staffers were laid off in December.
The automaker also announced plans to lay off up to 425 workers in the first quarter of 2004 at an assembly plant in Illinois.
Mitsubishi communications lost ?some junior level people, no other senior level people,? said the company?s acting public affairs head Nancy Carollo of headquarters staff cuts. No change is expected in the automaker?s relationship with Fleishman-Hillard, which runs the Mitsubishi News Bureau, Carollo added.
Mitsubishi recently hired a former Foote, Cone & Belding senior executive for a new position, SVP of marketing.
Mitsubishi US sales were down 24% through the first 11 months of 2003. The company got caught up in the incentives wars started by General Motors and other larger rivals, offering 0% financing, no money down, and no payments for a year on new car purchases. As recently as this spring, the company had been talking about expanding its Illinois plant.
The communications staff changes came at a time when Mitsubishi was preparing for key auto shows in LA and Detroit at the start of 2004.