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Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Continues to Grow

Media Release 29 April 2004

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Continues to Grow

John Leighton, managing director Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand said today there has been much media speculation over a decision by partner DaimlerChrysler not to participate in a planned capital increase by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC).

“DaimlerChrysler’s decision has been precipitated by several factors including the financial problems MMC has experienced through the vehicle financing deals it was offering in the American market and the impact of a major recall four years ago.

“However, Mitsubishi Motors is a very large global conglomerate with extensive design and research capabilities, and state of the art manufacturing facilities. Three quarters of global sales and half of global production occur outside of Japan and it has 45,000 employees worldwide. It is a very substantial, well-resourced, multinational corporation.

“The other major shareholders have grouped together and are devising a management and financial plan that will be announced by the end of May. They have stated unequivocally that they are committed to building on the strength of MMC worldwide.

“It should also be remembered that DaimlerChrysler still has a 37% stake in MMC. It will be continuing with all existing joint projects, and has not excluded participation in additional projects which may come up in the future.”

Mr Leighton says in the New Zealand market, Mitsubishi has gone from strength to strength, increasing both sales and market share.

“We sold 9,500 vehicles in 2003 compared with 5,500 in 2001, our market share has increased from 7.4% in 2001 to 10.2% in 2003. Last year MMNZ recorded a net profit of $11 million, with our vehicle sales growth double the industry average. We are continuing on this growth path with sales for the first quarter of this year up 8% over the same period last year. MMNZ’s strong performance lies in the strength of MMC as a leading innovative automotive manufacturer.

“Local recognition of the innovative design of MMC product can be seen in the recently introduced Colt winning this year’s AA Autocar Small Car of the Year Award. It will be further manifest in the launch of the stunningly designed new people mover that will be released in New Zealand in four weeks’ time.

“MMNZ is in good health and good spirits as we await the announcement of the new management plan from our major global shareholders,” Mr Leighton said.


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