Mitsubishi North America could break even this year, according to the Japanese automaker’s President Osamu Masuko.
Mitsubishi has been struggling in North America and hasn’t registered any operating income since in half a decade. And even then, it was for a modest profit of $6.37 million. Since then, North America has been a drain on the automaker’s finances but favorable exchange rates and increased local production could put it back in the black.
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At this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, Masuko revealed that Mitsubishi could break even this fiscal year in North America, which was originally estimated to happen next fiscal year. The automaker has shrunk production at its Illinois plant to 70,000 units this year but has ramped up output closer to full capacity. If overseas demand continues to increase, Mitsubishi plans on lifting production to 100,000 units per year.
The company predicts that U.S. sales will climb 23 percent to 70,000 vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
Critics have doubted the automaker’s viability in the North American marketplace with a limited product portfolio, but these latest comments seem to suggest Mitsubishi is committed and is on its way to turning around its business.
[Source: Automotive News]
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