Break out the champagne and the tiny sake cups. But fill the glasses only half full.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s sales in Japan in May rose, on a year-over-year basis, for the first time in 17 months.
It was a welcome bit of good news for the troubled automaker.
Not that the gain was spectacular. Mitsubishi's total May sales rose 0.8 percent to 14,800 units.
And Mitsubishi continues to rely on sales of low-margin minivehicles with 660cc engines. Minivehicles accounted for 10,741, up 2.7 percent, of the automaker's May sales.
At the risk of wet-blanketing the party even further: Despite the small gain in Japan, sales continue plunging in the United States. Mitsubishi's U.S. sales in May fell 30.5 percent from May 2004, to 11,380.