Mitsubishi Motors is targeting an operating profit of JPY90bn in fiscal year 2010 compared with the JPY70bn forecast for fiscal 2007.

It expects net profit of JPY50bn (JPY200bn) on sales of 1.42m vehicles (1.34) worth JPY2.76 trillion (JPY2.67 trillion).

Unit sales growth is expected in Russia and Ukraine, as well as expansion in resource-rich areas such as the Middle East and Latin America, the company said on Friday as it announced a new mid-term business plan, called Step Up 2010, for the fiscal years 2008 to 2010 (ending 31 March, 2011).

Mitsubishi said it was "stepping up" from the current revitalisation plan to build a base for sustainable growth by "bolstering strengths and securing steady profits".

It plans to provide competitive products in its 'focus' markets and increase unit volumes; ensure steady profits through cost reductions and improved profitability in after-sales; improve efficiency of its global production operations in line with its sales strategy; invest in R&D for "leading-edge" environmental technology and invest in areas that will provide a base for sustainable growth.

Rather than developing regional products, MMC will focus on global models - minicars and small cars, medium-sized cars, and SUVs.

Its environment technology will be concentrated on the development of core technologies, including emphasis on the development of clean diesel engines and the high-efficiency automated manual transmission Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission).

It will release the next-generation electric vehicle i MiEV, which is currently under development, ahead of competitors in the marketplace.

Future new model plans include more mid-size platform models, an SUV based on the one-tonne L200/Triton pickup truck, a small, 'lower-impact' SUV, adapting Japanese domestic market minicars for export sales, adding global models to the line, and selling an electric vehicle worldwide.

In Japan, Mitsubishi Motors aims to be back in the black by fiscal 2010. It said it would improve the profitability of new vehicles by marketing distinctive products, implementing measures to strengthen sales while improving the percentage of dealership sales, and by working to increase customer satisfaction. It will also improve the efficiency of its sales network, including streamlining back offices.

In North America, MMC will work to improve relations with its dealers and customers, as well as working to improve brand image. It will add the hatchback Lancer model to the current sedan line and make best use of the local plant by cost-cutting and expanding exports.

In the mature western European market, MMC will address environmental awareness and tightening CO2 emissions regulations by promoting environmental technologies and compact vehicles. In the expanding central European market, it will try to increase sales by focusing on SUVs.

The automaker has also singled out so-called focus markets for special attention.

In Russia and the Ukraine, it will increase the number of sales outlets and enhance the SUV line. Local production in Russia is still being considered for import tax benefits.

In the Middle East, a company will be established to integrate sales, marketing, parts and after-sales service.

In Brazil, new products and variations of SUVs will be added to local production. The company will also increase sales by boosting its line of full-range flexible fuel vehicles.

In China, the company will strengthen sales networks for Mitsubishi brand vehicles, including those locally produced by South East Motor.

In India, Mitsubishi will expand sales of locally produced vehicles including new model SUVs, as well as growing the sales network.

On top of transferring production of the Outlander for Europe from Japan to the Netherlands plant, MMC plans to build another SUV for Europe there.

"In this way, sales opportunities will not be lost due to overcapacity at production facilities in Japan, paving the way to an efficient and more profitable production system responsive to increasing demand in the global market," MMC said.