/

Mitsubishi Motors announces first business plan since mileage scandal

Kyodo

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plans to boost annual global sales and revenues by more than 30 percent over three years and introduce 11 new models, aiming to restore public trust after a fuel-efficiency data manipulation scandal.

Under its midterm business plan through fiscal 2019, the automaker said Wednesday it plans to boost global sales and revenues to 1.3 million units and ¥2.5 trillion ($22.3 billion), respectively.

It also said it will increase annual capital expenditures by 60 percent to ¥137 billion while boosting R&D expenses 50 percent to ¥133 billion, resulting in a total of ¥600 billion in investment during the three-year period.

“Through our midterm plan, we hope to quickly recover the trust that has been hurt by the fuel-economy scandal,” CEO Osamu Masuko told a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. “Last year, we caused so much trouble and I don’t think we have been able to rebuild our reputation yet. During the next three years, we will work to set the next stage and get back on track for a V-shaped recovery.”

In spring 2016, Mitsubishi Motors was found to have manipulated data to make some of its minicar models look more fuel-efficient, including those supplied to Nissan. It was later found that improper practices related to fuel-efficiency data were prevalent at the automaker, implicating additional models.

The midterm plan is the first since MMC came under the wing of Nissan Motor Co. last year after the scandal broke. Mitsubishi Motors is now counting on synergistic effects to develop from the deal, which saw Nissan acquire a 34 percent stake so it could deepen cooperation on autonomous driving and other technologies.

“We hope to become competitive through the alliance,” Masuko said.