Mitsubishi Motors Corp will slash more than 2,000 temporary jobs in Japan by the end of March as the country's fourth largest automaker struggles in the face of a severe slump in sales worldwide, media reports said on Thursday.
The job cuts, the latest in a slew of setbacks for Japanese carmakers, underlined a rapid deterioration in the global auto market as major developed economies grapple with recession and emerging economies slow.
Mitsubishi announced last year it would cut 1,100 temporary jobs by the end of March 2009. But faced with a plunge in global demand, the Japanese automaker will slash another 900 temporary jobs, bringing the total number of job losses to over 2,000, the Sankei newspaper said on Thursday, citing no sources.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK also said Mitsubishi will trim an additional 900 jobs by the end of March at the company's auto plant in Okayama, western Japan.
A Mitsubishi spokesman declined to confirm the reports.
Separately, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday that Mitsubishi will supply its electric passenger car, i MiEV, for French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen as early as next year.
Mitsubishi's i MiEV will go on sale in Japan this year. Mitsubishi said on Thursday it aims to set the vehicle's price under three million yen ($32,000).
The Japanese automaker said it is considering business cooperation with Peugeot in the area of electric cars, but stressed nothing has been decided at this moment.
Apart from Mitsubishi, Japan's No 1 automaker, Toyota Motor Corp, plans to produce a next generation electric vehicle by early in the next decade. Nissan Motor Co. Has also promised to sell an electric vehicle in Japan and the United States in 2010 and globally by 2012.