Phoenix Capital of Tokyo still wants to become Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s top shareholder, but a slump in the ailing carmaker’s stock could jeopardise its support, the investment fund’s head was quoted as saying on Wednesday, according to Reuters . He also reportedly said MMC should refocus on off-road vehicles and sports cars rather than its new Colt small car.


“From now on, though, should very extraordinary events lead to a fall in the share price to 120 yen, I am not sure whether we could still invest 100 yen per share in the company,” Phoenix CEO Yasushi Ando reportedly said in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.


Ando reportedly told the paper Phoenix, whose planned $US910 million investment would lift its stake to about 40%, will “seize the initiative” in restructuring Mitsubishi Motors and believes a pure investor must lead the revamp so as to win back market confidence.


According to Reuters, the paper reported his aim is to reorganise the company and sell the stake for a profit within three to five years and added that he had promised his backers a return of 10% to 15%.


Ando did not rule out reducing Mitsubishi Motors’ model range or even pulling out of making small cars altogether, the newspaper said, according to the news agency.


Ando reportedly said that, under fellow shareholder DaimlerChrysler , which declined to take part in the bailout, Mitsubishi had been forced to make small cars such as the Colt but the company should refocus on off-road vehicles and sports cars.


“Thus the company can become very profitable again,” he told the FT , according to Reuters.


Ando reportedly said DaimlerChrysler, whose stake in Mitsubishi Motors is set to shrink from 37% to around 22%, had not necessarily done a bad job but it had destroyed any independent, decision-making structure.


“Everybody was just looking toward Germany. We must therefore rebuild the decision-making structure,” he told the FT, according to Reuters.