DaimlerChrysler drops Mitsubishi

No more money for the Japanese partner -- Gentz: joint ventures will continue

Stuttgart. Now that DaimlerChrysler has stopped investing in its partner Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), the whole of the group's Asia strategy will need to be re-examined, said Manfred Gentz, member of the board responsible for finance.

After examining the business plan, the supervisory board decided last Thursday -- apparently on an initiative by CEO Juergen Schrempp -- to stop any further financial support for Mitsubishi.

DaimlerChrysler owns 37 percent of MMC shares. Gentz said it has not been decided yet what will happen to the shareholding. A possible sale will depend on the development of the MMC share price and on a meeting between all of MMC's large shareholders on April 30.

The largest stockholders beside DaimlerChrysler are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. They intend to continue supporting the Japanese automobile manufacturer.

Gentz affirmed that joint ventures between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi will be continued, regardless of the future of MMC. This specifically concerns the Smart ForFour, which is produced in Holland, together with the Mitsubishi Colt.

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