“Ah, Chris-san, thank you for coming to our event.” Simple words and small gestures that mean so much. When the CEO of a major car company like Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia takes the time and effort to remember all our names, and personally greet us at MMM events, and then continue to enthral and enrapture us with his enthusiasm and obvious love for the brand, it’s hard to not admire and respect a man like Tetsuya Oda (1965-2014). It pains me deeply to be writing this, it is something I never thought I’d be writing.
Oda-San, as we fondly referred to him as, had been at the helm of MMM since 2010. He was very well-liked and respected amongst his co-workers, and among the Malaysian Motoring Media as well. Leaving his family back in Japan, Oda-San lived alone, and often engaged in his other passion, running. It would be this hobby of his that would ultimately cause his untimely demise on Thursday 4th December 2014. While out for his usual early morning run before heading to office, Oda-San was struck by a lorry, and died of head and chest injuries. He was 48.
AF received the official statement from MMM recently:
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) is deeply saddened to announce the demise of Mr. Tetsuya Oda, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Tetsuya Oda has helmed MMM since July 2010. The company remembers Mr. Oda for his tremendous contribution and for the lives he has touched.
Mr. Oda has led his life – with dedication, honour and an unquenchable desire to drive Mitsubishi Motors to success. In his public life, Mr. Oda was known as a down-to-earth and a visionary man. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Mr. Oda have lost a great friend and an inspiring mentor.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mr. Oda’s family and all those who mourn his passing. – MMM.
I consider it a great honour for me personally to have known Oda-San, and it was a privilege to have been able to meet and interact with him at various MMM events, during which he was always open and friendly.
Never one to leave the area once his official duties were done, he’d always stay back and mingle with us, eager to hear our thoughts and opinions, and even our criticisms and suggestions. It’s a terrible loss for the motoring community to have lost such a great leader who inspired so many around him, and an even greater loss to humanity to have lost such a great person.
On behalf of Autofreaks.com, we extend our deepest condolences to Oda-San’s family and everyone at Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia, he will be terribly missed. Domo Arigato Gozaimas Oda-San, may you rest in peace. – Chris Wee.