TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. no longer is drowning in red ink. Now it's just swimming in it.
In the fiscal first half ended Sept. 30, Mitsubishi surpassed all of its restructuring plan targets for higher vehicle sales and revenues along with reduced losses. But the automaker continues to lose money. It left its full-year forecasts of losses unchanged.
The company trimmed its North American sales forecast for the October 2005-March 2006 half year to 88,000, from the 96,000 it predicted in May. That will be up 7.3 percent from 82,000 a year earlier.
First-half operating losses narrowed to 19.79 billion yen, or $174.9 million at current exchange rates, from $675.1 million a year earlier. Net losses fell to $563.4 million, from $1.58 billion.
Revenues dropped 7.4 percent to $8.76 billion as unit sales fell 6.1 percent to 630,000.
Much of the improvement came simply because this year didn't have last year's problems. Not having last year's high warranty costs, credit losses in the United States, and other asset losses combined to improve operating results by $316.3 million.
Mitsubishi continues to lose money in North America, a market that accounts for the bulk of profits at most other Japanese carmakers.
North American operating losses narrowed sharply to $56.1 million, from $384.6 million. Revenues there dropped 17.6 percent to $1.70 billion as sales fell 12.0 percent to 81,000.
Mitsubishi expects to post more operating losses in the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2006. It will lose money in North America, in Japan, and for the company as a whole.
You may e-mail James B. Treece at