Australian industry veteran Robert McEniry is resigning as president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd.

He will be replaced March 31 by Vice President-Corporate Strategy Masahiko Takahashi.

McEniry is leaving to pursue other business interests, a Mitsubishi statement says.

Takahashi has 27 years of global experience with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. He has worked extensively in Japan, the Middle East and Latin America overseeing marketing, distribution and sales for markets across these regions, including the establishment of MMC’s operations in the Middle East.

Takahashi moved from his position as general manager of MMC’s Australia and New Zealand operation in 2005 to work with McEniry at Mitsubishi Australia and says he has come to appreciate the uniqueness of the Australian market over the last four years.

“I see significant opportunity for further growth and success of the Mitsubishi Motors operation in Australia, building on the sound base established by Mr. McEniry,” Takahashi says.

“We are seeing strong results across our product range, with both (the) Lancer and Triton reaching all time record sales levels for 2009, and the management team is committed to building on that momentum.”

McEniry joined Mitsubishi Australia in 2005 after extensive experience in the global and local automotive industry at the former General Motors Corp. and Saab Automobile.

He presided over a period of significant challenge for Mitsubishi Australia, including the tumultuous end of local production in 2008 and the auto maker’s transition into a successful distribution and retail company.

McEniry says he believes the Australian subsidiary and the Mitsubishi brand have a solid foundation for future growth.

“The company has a strong balance sheet to support growth, has returned to profitable operations over the last 18 months following transition to the full-import model and, importantly, is well-positioned for sustained profitability into the future,” McEniry says.

“After four and a half years at the helm, I now feel it’s the right time to move on to a new challenge.”