TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. predicts its U.S. sales will rebound in the fiscal year that began April 1.
Mitsubishi expects North American sales to increase to 100,000 this fiscal year, after dropping to 85,000 in the year that ended March 31. That was down from 106,000 a year earlier.
U.S. sales will climb to 64,000, from 57,000, the company predicted. But that will still fall shy of the 75,000 sold in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.
Mitsubishi plans to introduce new models, including the next-generation Outlander and Mirage small car, to the United States.
Those offerings should help bolster U.S. business after a tough year in which Mitsubishi dropped several U.S.-oriented nameplates.
Mitsubishi also aims to cut its North American operating loss by increasing exports from its Illinois factory, which makes the Outlander Sport compact crossover. It shipped 24,483 vehicles overseas in the fiscal year ended March 31. Mitsubishi aims for 38,000 exports this fiscal year.
The forecasts came as the company released strong earnings for the fiscal year just ended, helped by currency rates. Net profit surged 59 percent to an all-time high of ¥38 billion, or about $403.3 million, even though revenue was flat at $19.28 billion. Operating profit rose 6 percent to $715.8 million.
The yen's slide against the dollar in the January-March quarter reversed what Mitsubishi previously had forecast would be a drop in net income, and allowed the company to book a foreign exchange gain of $199.7 million.