DETROIT -- Richard Gilligan, the manufacturing executive who was drafted to lead Mitsubishi's North American sales organization as the company's U.S. sales were crumbling earlier in the decade, will retire at the end of this week.
Gilligan, 62, brought some stability to Mitsubishi Motors North America as many sales and marketing people were fleeing the company in 2004. He moved on to become president and CEO of the sales company from his position as president of Mitsubishi's assembly plant in Normal, Ill.
Gilligan's departure means that day-to-day management of the sales company falls more heavily on Hiroshi Harunari, who was named president of Mitsubishi Motors North America in January.
Mitsubishi has dispatched many Japanese executives to replace Americans since the company fell into crisis in 2004.
Under former sales chief Pierre Gagnon in early 2000, Mitsubishi pushed a 0-0-0 incentive program that offered 0 percent interest with no money down and no payments for a year.