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Mitsubishi Looks to Russia for Growth

2008-08-25    Source:english.chinabuses.com

On Tuesday, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s president Osamu Masuko will unveil a key part of the company's new overseas growth strategy with its brawny Pajero Sport SUV at the Moscow Auto Show. While U.S. drivers are spurning such gas guzzlers, Mitsubishi is betting the demand for larger vehicles will remain strong in resource-rich Russia and help lift Mitsubishi's profit in the years ahead.


When Mr. Masuko took the helm of Mitsubishi in 2005, the car maker was in ruins. Scandals involving vehicle defect coverups and recalls had tarnished its reputation. A finance program in the U.S. designed to lure young car buyers backfired. Finally, DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi's major shareholder, dumped its stake in the Japanese car maker just as it was about to help it with a $4 billion bailout package.


Three years later, Mr. Masuko, 59 years old, has led the company into the black and is now aiming to double its profit and expand global sales to 1.42 million vehicles from 1.33 million by the 2010 fiscal year. While Mitsubishi was late entering emerging markets like China, it has been reaping the rewards of almost two decades of experience in Russia. This year Mitsubishi hopes to sell 140,000 vehicles in Russia, which would make it the single largest market for the company outside of Japan.


Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi looks to launch the i-MiEV electric car in Japan in 2009, a year ahead of rival Nissan's electric vehicle.
Mitsubishi also wants to be a leader in ecofriendly cars. It is looking to be the first Japanese car maker to mass-produce a pure electric vehicle with the launch of the i-MiEV electric car in Japan in 2009, a year ahead of rival Nissan's own electric vehicle.



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