Mitsubishi Motors Corp. does not plan to replace its top U.S. supply-chain executive, who has retired.
Sandra Gillespie, senior vice president of procurement and supply for the manufacturing unit of Mitsubishi Motors North America, retired Sept. 1, citing personal reasons, the company said. Gillespie, 56, had worked at Mitsubishi since 1989.
Mitsubishi spokesman Dan Irvin said Gillespie's responsibilities are being assumed by other U.S. supply chain personnel.
Her retirement comes at a pivotal time for Mitsubishi's U.S. manufacturing operations. Executives are expected to announce a new product or vehicle platform to be built at the company's Normal, Ill., plant by year end.
The plant has produced 19,309 vehicles through Sept. 4, well below its 200,000 annual capacity, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Normal builds the Galant sedan, Endeavor crossover, Eclipse coupe and Eclipse Spyder, all derived from the company's aging PS platform. The vehicles were once the bread and butter of Mitsubishi's U.S. lineup, but sales have fallen precipitously in recent years as the models have aged.
Mitsubishi missed a Sept. 1 contractual deadline to commit new product to the plant under terms of its 2008 collective bargaining agreement with UAW-represented workers at Normal. Mitsubishi submitted a proposal to extend the new-product deadline, but UAW workers at the Illinois plant voted it down in late August.
As a result, Mitsubishi increased the base wage of workers at Normal to about $25.60 per hour, from $24.
Gillespie joined Mitsubishi in 1989 and took a lead role in establishing the U.S. service and parts business. She later held a number of leadership roles in manufacturing and supply chain operations until she was appointed to her most recent position in 2004.