Mitsubishi Motors minicar sales plunge amid cheating scandal

Sales of scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors’ minicars tumbled in April after the Japanese carmaker acknowledged it had manipulated data on fuel economy tests, an industry association said Monday.

Japan’s sixth-largest carmaker saw its sales of minicars fall 44.7 per cent from a year earlier to 1,477 vehicles in April, according to the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

Sales of Nissan Motor’s minicars dived 51.2 per cent to 5,574 units as some of its vehicles are manufactured by Mitsubishi, the association said.

Minicars or mini vehicles have engines with a capacity no larger than 660 cubic centimetres.

Mitsubishi, which also produces the Pajero sport-utility vehicle and the i-MiEV electric car, admitted last month it had falsified data on fuel economy tests since 1991 for four minicar models to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates.

Since the revelation, Mitsubishi Motors has suspended production of the models at a plant in Kurashiki city, Okayama prefecture.

The production halt is expected to last for at least several months, Jiji Press reported, citing unnamed sources.

The company was also considering pay cuts for 1,300 employees in charge of the production of the affected models at the plant, Jiji said.

The carmaker said last week it would form a committee of outside experts to further investigate the scandal.

Last update: Mon, 02/05/2016 - 12:28

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