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Mitsubishi Motors sees tie-ups with peers as road to recovery

TOKYO -- With years of restructuring in its rearview mirror, Mitsubishi Motors is hanging hopes for the future on partnerships with other carmakers across the globe.

     The Japanese company, which with sales of about 1 million vehicles in 2013 ranks 16th globally, already has tie-ups with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Peugeot Citroen.

     In coming days, Mitsubishi Motors is expected to announce a deal to supply Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with sedans it makes in Thailand, a move seen helping stabilize operations. The Japanese company sells a large share of its vehicles in Asia, but competition is fierce in emerging markets and factors like political instability in Thailand present business risks.

     Mitsubishi Motors is moving to step up its efforts in Asia as it closes the book on a decade of struggles. Reeling from repeated recalls, the carmaker was forced to accept bailouts from sister companies like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2004 and 2005. This left the affiliates with large amounts of preferred stock, which Mitsubishi Motors finally eliminated last fiscal year.

     The carmaker has partnered with Chrysler in the past. In 1985, the two established a joint production subsidiary in the U.S. The partnership continued after Chrysler merged with Daimler in 2000, only to be dissolved amid concern over Mitsubishi Motors' quality controls in 2005.

(Nikkei)

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