Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), the fastest-growing Asian brand in the U.S. for the second consecutive year*, will relocate its headquarters from Cypress, California, to Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, the company announced this week.
The announcement brought an immediate condemnation of state policies from the Cypress Chamber, though they wished Mitsubishi well.
According to the statement, “the Cypress Chamber of Commerce is sad to see a longtime member and supporter leave Cypress and the state, but we wish them well.”
Further, the Chamber said, “this is more evidence that the State of California is falling down on its responsibilities to support a healthy business climate and is instead actively chasing our best business citizens was with their policies and practices.”
Nevertheless, Mitsubishi said the move is part of an ongoing plan to reinvent every aspect of Mitsubishi Motors in the U.S., from corporate leadership to dealer partners to every touchpoint in a customer’s relationship with their vehicle and will sharpen the company’s focus on future growth and innovation.
Since 1988, MMNA has been rooted in California — now Cypress, and Fountain Valley prior to that. This move will begin in August and be completed by the end of 2019, the company said in a statement.
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. 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.
While MMNA has seen an ongoing strengthening of the business for multiple years – six straight years of annual sales gains, the last two years now over 100,000 sales, and retaining its “fastest-growing Asian brand” title for the second year – it is the past 12 months that have seen the greatest changes across MMNA.
“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.”
There are nearly 200 people working in MMNA’s Cypress office. All corporate departments will be relocating, including sales, marketing, IT, human resources, communications, parts and service, product planning, dealer operations, finance and legal.
MMNA’s west coast parts distribution center (PDC), currently located on the existing headquarters campus, also will be relocating. MMNA is working with Nissan North America to establish its PDC in a newly constructed shared facility in Riverside, California — further proof of the streamlining and cost savings the Alliance partnership brings to Mitsubishi’s business.
Additionally, 25 employees representing the company’s Western Region operations will move to new offices elsewhere in Orange County, California.
No other Mitsubishi Motors facilities in the U.S. are affected, including Mitsubishi Research and Development North America (MRDA)’s R&D operations in Ann Arbor, Michigan and MRDA government relations operations in Washington, D.C.
“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 Bill Lee, governor of the State of Tennessee.
Initially, MMNA will be transferring operations to a temporary office in Franklin. Beyond that, MMNA officials are working with representatives from commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, to identify the company’s permanent offices.
For more information on Mitsubishi Motors North America, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com.