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TOKYO -- Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will cut nearly 11,000 jobs, or 22 percent of its global work force, close an assembly plant in Japan and receive a $4 billion infusion from the Mitsubishi group and other investors under a revival plan its chief executive described as its “last chance.”

Under the plan announced Friday, Mitsubishi Motors will keep open its U.S. plant in Normal, Ill., but will shutter an engine plant in Australia while keeping a passenger car plant there. The company will close a passenger car plant in Okazaki in fiscal 2006.

The automaker, burdened with more than 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) in debt, plunging car sales and a spate of recalls, also reported a much steeper than expected loss of $1.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31.

The automaker had been dealt a serious blow by a surprise announcement last month by U.S.-German automaker DaimlerChrysler that it would not provide a fresh cash infusion. Its image has been badly tarnished by recurring defect cover-ups that began four years ago.

“This is our last chance to continue as an automaker,” said Mitsubishi Motors CEO Yoichiro Okazaki.

Standing before a packed room of reporters at Tokyo headquarters, Okazaki also apologized and bowed deeply to the families of the two people who had died in 2002 accidents, suspected of being linked to defects in wheels and clutches of Mitsubishi trucks, resulting in thousands of vehicles being recalled this year.

The proposed job cuts will reduce the company’s global work force to 38,200 by April 2007 from the current total of 49,100, officials said. Mitsubishi, which employs workers in factories and offices in Japan, the United States, Europe and Australia, did not give a regional breakdown of the job cuts.

Under the plan, DaimlerChrysler’s stake in Mitsubishi Motors will be diluted to between 22 percent and 23 from the current 37 percent, but officials said the alliance projects will continue such as the joint development of small cars and engines as well as sharing parts called platforms.

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Poor Mitsubishi...they're really trying hard to reorganize...
 

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Even if Mitsubishi is able to turn around, it's going to be a while before the Mitsubishi Group recovers a $4 billion investment. I guess it's nice to have cash to burn.
 

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Well Mitsu' Motors is great advertizing for the larger group. Even if they never make their money back think of all the free advertizing they get by having MM around, running huge numbers of commercials and print ads and plastering the Mitsu' logo everywhere.
 

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Does this mean we get to see another generation of Mitsubishis? It would be nice if they made a lightweight Eclipse that looked ok. Lots of people will be looking at the Mustang already but one last try at a small iconic racer would be something to blow money on. I dont expect this company to sell cars unless they offer something really radical in design.
 

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The Japanese are getting good at this turnaround thing:

In the 90s Subaru woke up to the fact that they wern't a mainstream player in the market, so they focused on their sporty, AWD, premium-mainstream niche and have thrived.

Mazda was in even worse shape that Mitsu' is now ~10 years ago and almost nobody thought it was salvageable, but look at it now! I don't think there's a faster growing company going (just passed Mitsu' for the #4 spot in Japan). They took what they did best: handeling and dynamics, and ran with it.

And of course Nissan, which was (like Mazda) trying to out-boring Honda and Toyota for much of the 90s. Then finally they smeled the coffee, changed strategies completely, and began to out-flash everyone else. And it worked! Sales are way up! (just passed a struggleing Honda for #2)

Mitsu' has to define what they stand for as a company and as a car and run with it. The problem is I don't know what that is :unsure:
 

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They should revamp the 3000 GT give it a V8 and make it a new pony car.

make the eclipse a bit larger give a V8 or a good Turbo V6 and push it against the Grand Prix.
 
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