Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Chairman Takashi Nishioka is set to double as chairman of struggling carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp., sources close to the Mitsubishi group said Thursday.

He will succeed Yoichiro Okazaki, who is scheduled to step down over the firm’s poor earnings results.

Mitsubishi Motors Managing Director Osamu Masuko is expected to be promoted to the post of MMC president, replacing Hideyasu Tagaya, the sources said.

With the appointment of 68-year-old Nishioka as MMC chairman, Mitsubishi Heavy will spearhead the automaker’s rehabilitation, they said.

The sources also said MMC will close or combine more than 100 sales outlets and receive a capital injection of 270 billion yen from three leading Mitsubishi group companies. Such measures will be announced Friday in the automaker’s new revival plan, they said.

The plan calls for MMC to bring the number of sales outlets in Japan to around 800 by the end of fiscal 2006 from 929 at the end of last March.

To strengthen its capital base, Mitsubishi Motors will raise 120 billion yen by allotting 50 yen billon worth of new shares to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and 70 billion yen to Mitsubishi Corp.

In addition, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi will acquire 100 billion yen in new shares and carry out a 50 billion yen debt-for-equity swap.

Okazaki, 62, and Tagaya, 57, are shortly expected to step down to take the blame for unsuccessful rehabilitation efforts following a series of defect coverups and recalls.

Nishioka has served as Mitsubishi Heavy chairman since June 2003, having previously served as president.

The sources said the choice of Nishioka as MMC chairman could provoke objections, as he decided to extend about 500 billion yen in financial assistance from the Mitsubishi group and other firms to the troubled carmaker last year.

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