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MMNZ promotes Tony Johnston to COO

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ) is delighted to announce the promotion of its highly successful head of sales Tony Johnston to chief operating officer (COO). 

MMNZ managing director Warren Brown said: “Over the past decade, Tony has proven himself as a strong leader. He played a central role in MMNZ becoming the number one passenger car brand in 2022 and is a natural successor to the role that will be vacated by Dan Cook at the end of the month.” 

Johnston worked for the three-diamond brand with two stints bookending the 90s, before spending 13 years working in senior roles in the vehicle leasing industry. He re-joined MMNZ in 2013 as national fleet sales manager and became Head of Sales in 2018. 

“I am thrilled that we have the pedigree of personnel to be able to appoint with confidence from within the Mitsubishi family,” said Brown. “It ensures continuity, albeit with a different approach, but it also reinforces for our team that there are pathways for promotion at all levels of the business.”

A leader in a record-breaking team

MMNZ has enjoyed a record-breaking five years, which included Covid-19 and the introduction of Clean Car Rebates. In 2022, it sold 23,899 vehicles, including 17,265 passenger vehicles making it the most popular passenger car brand in the country in that period. 

It is also the Industry leading and most prolific PHEV brand in the country, with 22% of the EV/PHEV segment in 2022.

“In FY21, we sold 12,360 new vehicles and 23,665 in FY22,” said Brown. “Tony and his team had to really pull out the stops to deliver 92% sales growth in that 12-month period, which in turn lead us to become the market-leading passenger car brand in 2022. This promotion is recognition for Tony’s exceptional commitment to that goal and the path to its achievement.” 

Building on the brand's success

As the company prepares for the upcoming launch of the all-new Triton later this year, Johnston says he’s keen to maintain and build on the brand’s success in New Zealand to ensure sustainable operation for MMNZ and its dealer network going forward. 

“There are now over 79,000 Mitsubishi’s under four years old on New Zealand roads, that provides a strong pipeline of service work for our dealers over the short to medium term,” says Johnston. “I will be looking to ensure that that pipeline remains strong, which in turn allows us to maintain a dealer network and a customer satisfaction rating that is second to none. I’m excited by the opportunity and looking forward to viewing the business through a slightly different lens.” 

Johnston’s first day in the new role will be 17 April 2023.


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