TOKYO: Mitsubishi Motors’ mini-vehicle sales slumped in April after the Japanese automaker admitted to overstating the mileage of its pint-sized cars sold at home, while Nissan Motor’s sales also tumbled as some of its cars are made by Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi sales of mini vehicles, or “kei” cars, fell 44.9 percent to 1,477 vehicles in April from a year ago, monthly figures released by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association showed on Monday.
The embattled automaker on April 20 stopped sales of its eK Wagon and eK Space models after admitting to manipulating mileage data for those vehicles, along with two similar but separate models it produced for Nissan. Mitsubishi has said that more models may also be non-compliant with Japanese regulations.
Sales also plunged for Nissan, whose Mitsubishi-manufactured Dayz and Dayz Roox models also had falsified mileage readings. Nissan’s overall mini-vehicle sales fell 51.2 percent to 5,574 last month.
Even before the scandal broke, Mitsubishi has been a small player in Japan’s mini-vehicle market, which caters to first-time car owners, lower income families and small businesses.
In the year to March, it ranked fifth out of the country’s eight major small car makers, comprising 3.2 percent of total sales in the country and far lagging industry leaders Daihatsu Motor Co and Suzuki Motor Corp, which each hold market shares of around 30 percent.
Mitsubishi Motors’ Chief Operating Officer Tetsuro Aikawa said last week Japanese orders for its cars had halved since the scandal broke.
So far, the scope of the scandal appears to be contained to Japan as the incidents of fuel economy manipulation apply only to vehicles with 660-cc engine displacements which are only marketed in Japan.
Mitsubishi has said that the mileage ratings on its vehicles sold in the United States are correct, while adding that it is examining vehicles sold in other markets.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder