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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 12:11 GMT
Mitsubishi gets pledge of support
Mitsubishi is struggling to regain domestic sales
Japan's second largest bank, Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG), has reaffirmed its commitment to struggling carmaking subsidiary Mitsubishi Motors.

Despite denying newspaper reports that it was planning 100bn yen ($974m; 507m) in fresh investment, MTFG said it remained committed to the auto firm.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC), Japan's only unprofitable carmaker, has seen domestic sales plummet.

Customers deserted the firm after a series of defect cover-up scandals.

"As a member of the Mitsubishi group, there is no change in our plan to support MMC," said an MTFG spokesman.


According to two Japanese newspapers, MTFG is preparing a fresh support package for the carmaker, and is trying to enlist help from the Development Bank of Japan.

Last month MMC said losses for the three months to September had widened to 91.5bn yen, compared with a 29bn-yen shortfall a year earlier.

The deteriorating performance partly reflected a steep drop in sales, which fell 14% on the year to 513bn yen.

MMC said it was on track to lose 240bn yen for 2004 as a whole, up from its previous projection of 230bn yen.

Back In June Japanese police arrested six Mitsubishi executives as part of an investigation into allegations that the firm failed to report defective vehicles to the transport ministry.

Prior to that it came close to collapse in April when former majority owner DaimlerChrysler withdrew financial support.

MMC was eventually bailed out by a 465bn rescue package led by MTFG.

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