After accumulating some $9 billion in losses, Mitsubishi Motors is bringing its financial house in order. According to Reuters, “Mitsubishi Motors is considering asking shareholders to approve plans for a 10-for-1 reverse stock split. At the same time, the company may ask shareholders to approve a capital reorganization – a change in accounting that would make it possible to resume paying dividends.”
Reuters’ sources say the first steps could be announced as soon as Friday and put it before shareholders at the annual meeting at the end of June, “to close a chapter that began with a 2004 bailout for Mitsubishi Motors.”
Being part of the Mitsubishi group, one of the largest in Japan, Mitsubishi Motors has rich parents that were able to finance an often rocky career of its offspring. Mitsu had a partnership with Chrysler, which was dissolved in the 90s. A decade later, Mitsubishi and Chrysler were back together, as part of a tumultuous threesome with Daimler. In 2004, Mitsubishi dropped out after a boardroom drama at DaimlerChrysler prevented a financial salvage operation of the money-leaking company. At this point, Mitsubishi Motors basically moved in with its well-to-do parent.
Mitsubishi gave up production in Europe by the end of 2012, and is focusing on the developing markets, mostly Southeast Asia, where it is strong. Mitsubishi has three assembly plants in Thailand alone. At home in Japan, it is streamlining its production. At the Mizushima plant on Monday, I saw nearly to complete catalog of Mitsubishi cars come down the same assembly line. Mitsubishi had two lines, one for Kei cars, one for regular cars. Even those were combined into one – rather long – multi-model line.
Mitsubishi’s best-selling models on a global basis are the Triton pickup truck and the small SUV sold as both the RVR and Outlander Sport.