Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has asked domestic and foreign banks for about ¥300 billion in loans in total amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, sources said Wednesday.

The banks approached by the firm include Japan’s three megabanks and the government-affiliated Development Bank of Japan, the informed sources said.

Mitsubishi Motors aims to keep ample funds at hand in preparation for the possibility of global automobile demand slumping for a long period of time amid the epidemic, the sources said.

For fiscal 2019, which ended in March, the automaker expects to report a group net loss of ¥26 billion, the first red ink since fiscal 2016, when the company struggled due to its fuel efficiency manipulation scandal.

In March, Mitsubishi Motors’ global vehicle sales by volume dived about 50 percent year on year, hit by a slump in demand mainly in the United States and China.

As of the end of 2019, the company had about ¥370 billion of cash and deposits.

“We have asked for funds from major banks to ensure stable management of our business, in anticipation of prolonged impacts of the coronavirus crisis,” a Mitsubishi Motors official said, while noting, “We are not concerned over our financial strength at the moment.”

Among other Japanese automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have also asked banks for loans.

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