Seiji Watanabe - Corporate Officer and Division General Manager of Design, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
An interview with Seiji Watanabe Heads Mitsubishi Motors Design Division about where he draws inspiration and a new design vision for Mitsubishi Motors

My design will continue what Mitsubishi Motors has cultivated – dynamic strength, reliability, toughness, the ability to increase user confidence and invite them to take one step further. In retrospect, we have been infusing new values into our products in each era. In 1917, we manufactured the first mass-produced passenger car in Japan – the Mitsubishi Model A. In the 1960s and the 1970s, we introduced innovative cars such as the Colt series, the Galant and the Lancer. We also marketed the Pajero as a rugged cross country 4WD vehicle which could be used as an urban SUV.

In 2009, we introduced the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, the i-MiEV which demonstrated the innovative technology and design. As a leader in PHEV and 4WD technology, the Outlander PHEV continues to evolve with a tough and robust design. Mitsubishi Motors has now become a brand that inspires drivers to take on any adventure with passion and is recognized by professionals for its functionality.

While continuing the Mitsubishi design strategy, we will pursue a simple (that conveys the design message directly), generous (that makes you feel spacious) and athletic (that excites our nerves from the appearance) design. Our design will express the clarity and beauty of the surface, that you can feel generosity and richness from the car.

We will keep pace with the diversification of consumer preferences, and reflect this in our design. We will challenge ourselves to design a car that clearly differs from other companies and exceeds customers’ expectations.

In addition, electrification and autonomous driving technology will significantly change the design of cars in the future.

In particular, the ways in which vehicles are used and their values will change significantly due to autonomous driving technology, and the importance of UX/UI will increase immensely to improve the user’s experience. I want to consider from various perspectives how people spend their time in cars, then create a design that feels like Mitsubishi.

Based on this idea, we will continue to develop attractive designs that are recognized around the world, and promote a brand that gives customers excitement and trust.

Seiji Watanabe was named Corporate Officer and Division General Manager of Design for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in April 2020.