Mitsubishi heads South later this year

The fast-growing Asian car maker will move its headquarters from the Golden State to Tennessee.

The automotive sector in the South is expected to grow by one OEM by the end of the year when Mitsubishi Motors North America relocates offices to the Nashville, Tennessee area from California.

Mitsubishi announced the move from Cypress, California to Franklin, Tennessee as part of what the company website calls “an ongoing plan to reinvent every aspect” of the company in the U.S. Corporate leadership, dealer partners and customer relations are all expected to get a refresh in the move, the company release said.

MMNA has been in California since 1988. The move will begin in August and is expected to be finished by the end of 2019.

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Mitsubishi partner Nissan already has a base in Tennessee. “MMNA’s move highlights efforts taken across the entire global landscape of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to bring the companies closer together in key areas including procurement, development and cost efficiencies,” MMNA’s release notes. “The company chose Franklin as its new home because it allows MMNA to focus its efforts on company-wide reinvention and take advantage of the area’s vibrant technology skillset, all while realizing cost savings through the business-friendly work environment and proximity to sister company, Nissan.”

The move follows six straight years of annual sales gains, with MMNA selling more than 100,000 units each of the last two years. The past year, the company said has been one of substantial change, with 80 percent of the leadership team being “new to the company or newly promoted to the role, bringing new experiences, backgrounds and a diversity of thought to the team,” expansion of the company’s regional network, and a rating of most improved brand in the J.D. Power and Associates 2018 Customer Satisfaction Index.

“Mitsubishi Motors is changing the way we go to market in the United States, and it is leading to a rebirth of the company,” said Fred Diaz, MMNA’s president and chief executive officer.  “This is an exciting time for us, with a refreshed leadership team, new-look dealerships and redesigned and all-new vehicles.  As we drive toward the future, this is the perfect time for us to move to a new home.  While we say farewell to the Golden State with a heavy heart, we’re excited to say hello to Music City.”

All 200 positions in the California office will be relocating to Tennessee. Parts distribution will relocate to a new facility in Riverside California. While the process of locating a permanent Tennessee office is ongoing, MMNA will work out of a temporary space in Franklin.

Not surprisingly, the Volunteer State took the news well.

“The reputation of Tennessee’s business climate and skilled workforce has attracted countless world-class businesses to our state. Over the years, Tennessee has become the epicenter of the Southeast’s thriving automotive sector, and I’m proud Mitsubishi Motors will call Franklin its U.S. home and bring 200 high-quality jobs to Middle Tennessee,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

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