LOS ANGELES -- Mitsubishi Motors North America has eliminated 25 jobs -- about 5 percent -- at company headquarters in Cypress, Calif., and one of its five regional offices.
The cutbacks come at a time when Mitsubishi's sales continue to plunge in this country and when dealer profitability is on life support.
The staffers cut from the headquarters are in sales, marketing and finance.
The North Central region, based in Chicago, has been shut down. That leaves the regions in Philadelphia, Orlando, Los Angeles and Dallas.
The company says the 16 district level employees in the Chicago region will be reassigned to other regions. It says all other regional employees in Chicago, except four administrative assistants, also have been offered transfers.
The cutbacks were necessary "for long-term future success," the company said in a statement.
Through the first three months of this year, Mitsubishi's sales fell 25.6 percent to 25,695 units. According to the company, only about half of its 570 dealers say their Mitsubishi operations are profitable.
The most recent cutbacks leave about 525 employees in the Cypress headquarters, down from about 900 in December 2003, when the company pink-slipped 200 employees.
In September 2004, the company laid off 45 employees in Cypress and another 15 in the regions and parts distribution centers. It also eliminated 28 positions in Cypress.
The shutdown of the North Central region has been rumored since new CEO Hiroshi Harunari came on board in January. Sources say Harunari targeted the North Central region because it is one of the worst performing regions for Mitsubishi.
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