The company’s director of sales, Greg Cook, died last Friday. The cause of his death is not believed to be suspicious.
News Limited reported that Cook was questioned recently over some “unusual business practices” allegedly implicating a Sydney-based Mitsubishi dealership owned by Automotive Holdings Group.
Suggestions that the investigation centred around a scam to fraudulently inflate sales numbers to boost Cook’s personal bonus are believed to be incorrect.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia today confirmed an internal investigation was conducted and has been concluded.
“A matter was being investigated internally. The investigation has concluded and Mitsubishi Motors Australia is satisfied this was an internal issue and no further action will be taken.”
The investigated matter is believed to have involved only a small amount of money.
CarAdvice also understands that reports that Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri had been summoned to Japan by Mitsubishi head office for urgent discussions about Cook’s death and the fraud allegations are inaccurate.
It is believed Oshikiri is spending time with his family in Japan during the national holiday period known as Golden Week, and his trip overseas is entirely unrelated to business. Oshikiri is expected to return to work in Australia next week.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia released the following statement about Cook’s death:
“Unfortunately, a member of staff has passed away and the circumstances of this death are being investigated by the police.
“It's a very private matter for the staff member's family, and our priority is to provide support to the family and respect their privacy in this difficult time.”
Mitsubishi Motors Australia executive director of marketing Tony Principe has taken over Cook’s role in the interim.
The news is a dark spot on what has been an otherwise bright start to the year for Mitsubishi, which broke its import sales record in Q1, with sales climbing 16.7 per cent to 16,629.