27 April 2004

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president Rolf Eckrodt resigned from the helm of the Japanese manufacturer yesterday, laying the blame for his departure at the feet of stakeholder DaimlerChrysler.

As reported in Autocar last week, the two parties were discussing Andreas Renschler's recovery plan, which would see the German manufacturer take a 50 per cent controlling stake in the company, and the Japanese marque receive an extra £2 billion from its would-be parent by 2006.

On Friday, DaimlerChrysler revealed that it would not be increasing its stake in the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; yesterday, MMC's boss Eckrodt, himself an industry veteran of nearly forty years, took the decision to make way for new blood to oversee the marque's Japanese-financed recovery.

Eckrodt pointed to the 'decision of the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler neither to participate in a capital increase nor to grant further financial support' as his motivation to resign.

He will be replaced temporarily by Keiichiro Hashimoto, chief financial officer for MMC. A new business revitalisation plan is expected within a month, supported by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corportation, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

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