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"TOKYO, Japan -- The future of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors is hanging in the balance following a decision by its principle stake-holder to pull out.

DaimlerChrysler said it would not provide any further financial support to the ailing car company and planned to sell its controlling 37 percent stake.

"This clearly means separation," a spokesman for the German-based auto giant said.

Until the sale is complete, the Mitsubishi investment will be booked as discontinued business in DaimlerChrysler accounts.

Japan's fourth largest -- and only unprofitable auto maker -- had been seeking a capital injection of more than $6 billion.

Mitsubishi shares ended down by their daily limit, plummeting nearly 25 percent in Tokyo on Friday at 241 yen ($2.20) after a break in trade.

"This is a disaster for Mitsubishi Motors," Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in Tokyo, told The Associated Press. He said the company would probably try to find a new partner.

"The company is about to vanish if things continue in this way.

The Mitsubishi group of companies, the major shareholder in Mitsubishi Motors, issued a statement pledging to support the company. However, it stopped short of promising more cash.

The Japanese government also expressed concern. "It's a crucial matter that could affect the fate of the company," Transport Minister Nobutero Ishihara told reporters.

Thursday's announcement by Daimler is the latest in a series of blows for Mitsubishi. Sales in Japan have plummeted after it admitted hiding defects in its vehicles for decades, according to AP. "

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So here's a company that's been hiding vehicle defects for decades, with plummeting sales in Japan, and several high profile cases of people here in Japan being killed by wheels flying off of Mistsubishi Canter trucks.

(Last week on TV, the Caucasian president of Mitsubishi trucks was seen on TV appologizing and bowing very low to the mother who's daughter was killed by one of his company's prematurly-detached wheels. Tragic.)

Their stock price is going way down, their own parent company won't back them, and people are steering clear of their vehicles in droves.

And yet, according to most of the NA media, Isuzu is the one in trouble??

The same Isuzu that offered the first DI engine in US for under $100,000? The company whose products are in-demand around the world? The company whose clean diesel technology and DI diesel engines have put it back on top of domestic light truck sales in Japan? The company who is selling over 100,000 D-Max pickups per month in Thailand?

I shake my head.

Isuzu considered buying Nissan not too long ago, perhaps the same consideration will be given to long time and bitter rival Mitsubishi...

Yoshiori Ida must be very pleased.

This, my Isuzu-loving friends, may actually turn out to be one of the best times to be a fan of Isuzu. For nothing feels quite the same as witnessing the underdog climb back to the top, knowing all the while that you never gave up and that your belief in the product and company was justified.

Ganbatte ne Isuzu!

BH
 

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I thought the same thing about Isuzu buying it. Or at least the facilities and designs for Lancer, Galant, Diamante, and Eclipse. Isuzu can build cars again! Maybe the Endeaver and Outlander too, theyre not that bad.
 

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I think it would be awesome to see a Monty/Trooper hybrid flagship of some sort. I'm impressed with the latest Mitsu designs - I think there could be some real design potential there.

And, with ISUZU/Holden having such a strong history with the Australian rally, it would be neat to see some competition to Subaru's Outback/Forester line and perhaps even the WRX :shock:

From the larger perspective, imaging the possibilities should Mitsu and ISUZU merge. With Mitsu being such a domineering power in the Dakar Rally - ISUZU could finally re-enter that arena bringing their heavy-duty truck engineering and Mitsu's Dakar experience and compete against the up and coming BMW X5 crews with their diesels - lots stuff to consider. The Mitsus do wel year after year, but with massive mechnical support. The Mitsus just don't seem to be 'heavy' enough to withstand the torture without constant repair but the Evolutions and Pajeros are awesome vehicles.

Cheers,
 
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