By Maki Shiraki
TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp <7211.T> will seek voluntary retirement from 500 to 600 employees, mostly in management, in Japan from mid-November to cut costs, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.
The auto company is expected to post a net loss of 360 billion yen in the financial year to March 2021, hurt by a plunge in sales due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mitsubishi has already embarked on a plan to cut 20% of fixed costs in two years by shrinking its workforce and production and closing unprofitable dealerships.
The company plans to solicit voluntary retirement from management employees aged 45 years and over in Japan at its headquarters and other sites, such as its Okazaki plant in Aichi prefecture and Mizushima plant in Okayama prefecture, the sources said.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment.
The coronavirus crisis has worsened conditions at the company, which is already battling falling sales in its largest markets of China and Southeast Asia, which account for a quarter of its sales.
As part of its restructuring plan, Mitsubishi, a junior member of the Nissan-Renault automaking group, has said it would stop making the Pajero SUV crossover model next year and close the plant in Japan that makes the vehicle.
(Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Sam Holmes)