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Mitsubishi focused on battery-powered cars to energize sales

The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Credit: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the maker of i-MiEV electric cars, is counting on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles to boost growth as it plans a mini-electric vehicle for the global market with Nissan Motor Co.

Mitsubishi is also considering sales of battery-powered vehicles in China by 2020 as the Tokyo-based carmaker strives to meet tighter fuel-efficiency standards in the world’s largest auto market, president Tetsuro Aikawa told reporters Wednesday.

In Japan, Mitsubishi aims to boost annual vehicle sales to 200,000 units by 2020, compared with 140,000 units last year, according to Aikawa. The carmaker will maintain its current domestic production volume of about 600,000 units while expanding overseas output, he said.

In June, Mitsubishi recalled more than 920,000 vehicles worldwide over a defect related to light switches, its largest recall since 2012. The company last month posted a 71 percent increase in first-quarter net income, beating analyst estimates.

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