TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. forecast its first loss in eight years after setting aside compensation costs related to manipulating fuel-efficiency ratings and falsifying test data.
The net loss in the year ending March 31 will probably be 145 billion yen ($1.4 billion), the company said in a statement today. That compares with the 60-billion-yen average loss of eight analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Mitsubishi Motors sees a 205-billion-yen impact from the fuel-economy scandal this fiscal year.
Chairman Osamu Masuko aims to resume minicar production early next month and has said he's prepared to cut prices on models that aren't as efficient as previously advertised. Mitsubishi's ongoing disclosures about the extent of mileage ratings manipulation and test data falsification has damaged its brand, claimed two top executives and forced the automaker to turn to Nissan Motor Co. for a bail out.
Nissan, which plans to spend about 237.4 billion yen for a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi, expects common platforms and joint purchasing will result in synergies equal to about 20 percent of its investment, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Peter said today. Mitsubishi’s latest announcements have been within Nissan's expectations and won't impact its plans, he said after the company's annual shareholders' meeting.
Mitsubishi estimates as much as 9 billion yen in costs related to tax rebates after reclassification of vehicles, Masuko told reporters Tuesday. The financial impact from the scandal won't carry over to the next financial year, he said.
The automaker will book 150 billion yen in one-time charges related to fuel tests, which will include 100 billion yen in payments to Nissan, suppliers and the costs of halting production at its Mizushima plant. Mitsubishi said last week it'll book a one-time charge of 50 billion yen this fiscal year to compensate buyers.
Japan's Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii said Tuesday the scandal has damaged the reputation of Japan's auto industry and Mitsubishi will face stricter type certification for some time to come.