When current president Osamu Masuko took the helm of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, the company had very nearly run aground.
In the 18 months prior to Masuko-san's arrival, the company had become embroiled in scandal over their efforts to cover up vehicle defects amidst voluntary recalls. A financing program designed to lure young buyers to the brand had backfired and DaimerChrysler — then the majority shareholder — dumped their shares, backing out of a $4 billion bailout package in the process.
Three years on, Masuko has lead the company back to solvency. MMC is on course for a record sales year in Russia, capitalizing on the emerging SUV market with the new Pajero Sport, which premiered at the Moscow Motor Show this week.
As NMM reported last month, Mitsubishi is aiming to be the first Japanese car maker to mass-produce an electric vehicle with the launch of the i-MiEV electric car in Japan in 2009. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Masuko said that while an exact start date for US sales hasn't been set, the i-MiEV will begin production in left-hand-drive by 2010.
Masuko offered more details on the forthcoming EV as well. On a single seven-hour 110-volt charge, the car will travel about 100 miles. Price is still up in the air; for the Japanese market, the car will likely sell for 3 million yen (about $27,600), including a government subsidy. As the economies of scale begin to take hold, the company expects the price to drop to about 2 million to 2.5 million yen.
For the full scoop, check out the video below:
[Source & Video Credit - WSJ.com]