Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will dissolve its engine-production venture with DaimlerChrysler AG by selling its entire stake in the equally owned firm to the German-American automaker, according to MMC officials.

With the dissolution, there will be no more joint ventures between the two companies. MMC terminated its capital ties with DaimlerChrysler in November.

The Japanese automaker has yet to determine the sales price of its stake in the engine venture in Germany, the officials said Monday.

The joint venture has provided engines for MMC’s auto assembly factory in the Netherlands, which has manufactured MMC vehicles and DaimlerChrysler’s Smart compact under contract.

The engine company’s production is expected to be cut due to DaimlerChrysler’s decision to stop making the Smart.

Hino’s net rises 62.4%

Truck and bus builder Hino Motors Ltd. said Tuesday its group net profit in fiscal 2005 expanded 62.4 percent from the previous year to 28.70 billion yen as sales rose 5.9 percent to 1.20 trillion yen.

Consolidated pretax profit in the year that ended March 31 grew 6 percent to 42.13 billion yen.

Hino’s truck and bus sales rose 11.2 percent to 56,356 units in Japan and 2.4 percent to a record 45,894 units overseas.

Its global truck and bus sales expanded 7.1 percent to 102,250 units.

Hino’s truck production for Toyota Motor Corp., its parent company, in the year decreased 23.9 percent to 188,779 units.

Hino’s truck production for Toyota Motor Corp., however, fell 23.9 percent to 188,779 units for the year.

The company offered to raise its dividend for fiscal 2005 to 9 yen per share from 6 yen in the previous year.

For fiscal 2006, Hino expects group net profit to fall 23.4 percent to 22 billion yen on 1.22 trillion yen in sales, up 2.0 percent.

RAV4 gets safety mark

The Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle has received the highest rating in pedestrian safety for fiscal 2005 from the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

It is the first vehicle to win the level-5 mark in pedestrian safety since the ministry began its assessments in fiscal 2003, the ministry said.

The number of models with level-4 pedestrian safety ratings increased to six from only one the previous year.

The ministry gave the awards based on the results of tests done on dummies, evaluating trauma to the head in a front-end collision at 44 kph.

Eleven of 20 selected Japanese models won the highest rating of six stars in collision safety, and 16 received the highest rating in front-seat passenger safety.

The ministry evaluated 20 models in front and side collisions for driver and front-seat passenger safety.

The top rated for both driver and front-seat passenger safety include Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Jimny SUV.

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