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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will release a new small car in the fall called the Colt, taking the same name as a sedan made by the automaker between 1962 and 1972, company president Rolf Eckrodt said Tuesday.

According to Eckrodt, the revival of the Colt name is symbolic of a turnaround at MMC.

The Colt will be the first car jointly produced by MMC and its largest shareholder, DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, for the global market.

Earlier in the day, Eckrodt was formally installed as MMC president and chief executive officer, replacing Takashi Sonobe, who is now chairman.

Meanwhile, in an address to an MMC shareholders’ meeting the same day, Eckrodt said the firm will enter the Canadian and Mexican markets in the second half of this year to build on the firm’s success in the United States and extend its reach into the three countries that make up the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We will do this by using the distribution network of our alliance partner (DaimlerChrysler),” Eckrodt said, noting it would give the company a huge advantage in terms of cost and time.

Eckrodt added that MMC will shortly start producing cars in China, an arrangement stemming from the development of its partnership with the German auto giant.

“This is a great chance to take part in the future growth of this huge market,” he said.

Assigned to MMC by DaimlerChrysler, Eckrodt worked as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Tokyo-based carmaker.

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