Scandal-tainted automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will try to revive itself by promoting overseas sales, which remain stable compared with plunging sales in the domestic market, according to MMC Managing Director Osamu Masuko.

The outlook for sales in China, however, remains uncertain as monetary authorities there tighten their grip on credit, but MMC nevertheless hopes to sell 1.2 million vehicles overseas this fiscal year, Masuko said in a recent interview.

MMC had forecast a sales target of 1.15 million vehicles in a revival plan it adopted to survive the fallout from revelations of its multiple coverups of vehicle defects.

Masuko, who is in charge of overseas sales, said there is growing demand for Mitsubishi cars in Europe. Sales in Russia are expected to total 35,000 units this fiscal year, he said. MMC hopes to expand sales there to 50,000 units the following year.

The Mitsubishi Colt subcompact has also won awards in the Netherlands and Denmark, he said.

He said MMC is enjoying strong demand in other markets, such as Taiwan, Malaysia, South Africa and Brazil.

He said the company “may well consider expanding its production capacity of pickup trucks in Thailand in the near future.”

The Thai plant currently produces 180,000 MMC pickups a year, which are exported to about 140 countries.

Masuko said MMC is trying to reduce inventory the United States, where news of the scandal hit hard, contributing in no small part to MMC’s fall into the red, and has switched from two-shift to single-shift manufacturing operations there.

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