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Mitsubishi multiplies losses

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation yesterday revised its forecast results for the year ending 31 March 2004 to a loss of 72 billion yen ($675 million).

In November last year Mitsubishi forecast a far smaller loss of 11 billion yen ($103 million). The forecast increase in losses was accompanied by a sales revenue forecast revised downwards by $1 billion from 2.6 trillion yen ($24 bn). DaimlerChrysler, which owns 10% of MMC and nominated current CEO Rolf Eckrodt, announced support for Mitsubishi's medium-term business review announced this week with a view to fresh restructuring to stem the losses.

MMC managed to reverse years of losses last year, reporting a 2002 profit of $30bn. Announcing yesterday's forecast revisions, CEO Rofl Eckrodt said of his tenure in the job, "It's obviously not my decision," he said. "I don't lose my motivation to help Mitsubishi Motors to be better in the future. And that's what's driving me."

MMC's latest problems have been added to by loan defaults from US customers, requiring MMC North American to write off $375m in bad debts. MMC now expects to sell 275,000 vehicles in the US and Canada in the current financial year, 45,000 fewer than budgeted for. Its sales in its domestic market and in Asia and Europe have on the other hand been rising.

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