Mitsubishi supply chain chief resigns, U.S. operations in question

by Drew Johnson
Mitsubishi supply chain chief resigns, U.S. operations in question

Mitsubishi's U.S. supply chain head has officially resigned, throwing into question the automaker's future on American soil.

Potentially putting Mitsubishi's United States operations into question, the company's top supply chain executive has announced her retirement. Mitsubishi has already announced that it will not restaff the position.

Sandra Gillespie, senior vice president of procurement and supply for Mitsubishi Motors North America's manufacturing unit, officially retired from her post on September 1. Gillespie, 56, has worked for Mitsubishi since 1989.

Mitsubishi spokesman Dan Irvin confirmed that the Japanese automaker has no plans to hire a direct replacement for Gillespie. Instead, Gillespie's former responsibilities will be shared by other members of the company's supply chain team.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for Mitsubishi as the automaker was expected to announce a new product for its Normal, Illinois plant by the end of the year. However, Gillespie's retirement casts some doubt on that plan, with the door potentially open for Mitsubishi's exit from the U.S. market. Adding fuel to the fire, Mitsubishi missed its September 1 UAW deadline to commit to a new product for the Normal plant.

So far this year, Mitsubishi's Normal plant has produced 19,309 vehicles - well below the plant's annual capacity of 200,000 units.

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