JAPAN: US Mitsubishis for China, Middle East
Mitsubishi Motors will export US-built sports cars to the Middle East this summer and China from next October, company president Osamu Masuko has said.
The car is the Eclipse, assembled at the company's plant in Illinois, Kyodo News said.
''It may be difficult for us to increase sales in the United States for the immediate future,'' the Mitsubishi Motors president said. ''We are planning China as a new export destination.''
Mitsubishi also plans to export the car to the Middle East from this summer. Annual exports to the Middle East and China will total 1,500 units, he said.
According to Kyodo News, Masuko said MMC would like to make a decision within three months on a car plant in Russia, where sales have been growing fast. Mitsubishi is considering forming a joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroen that has decided to build a plant in a Moscow suburb, he said.
The president also said Mitsubishi has offered to participate in the Thai government's eco-car project to produce fuel-efficient small vehicles.
On the i MiEV electric vehicle that Mitsubishi has been testing in cooperation with electric utilities, Masuko told Kyodo News: ''We would like to launch the vehicle's sales mainly to corporate customers in the summer of 2009 and to consumers in 2010.''
Customer's purchase cost for the electric vehicle should slip below JPY3m, excluding government subsidies, he said, according to the report.