TP shortages are no more.
Mitsubishi just sold an entire factory for a hefty sum of cash. The sale will provide an influx of much-needed cash in the brand's post-Carlos Ghosn era. That influx of much-needed cash, by the way, is to the tune of $34 million. The now-closed plant was one of three Mitsubishi plants in Japan. It's certainly a reflection of how things are going for the automaker, which has been struggling in the last several years. Enthusiasts argue Mitsubishi is not what it was in the 90s and early 2000s, and more mass-market options like the Mitsubishi Outlander and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross are often overlooked.
But the most interesting part is who the brand sold the factory to. Daio Paper makes paper products if you hadn't guessed based on the name. What they're known for most is producing toilet paper in Japan. Daio hopes that its acquisition of the former Mitsubishi Pajero production plant will help meet a surge in demand stemming from the pandemic.
Apparently, Japan had toilet paper shortages just like we did here in America. And while Daio is on the up-and-up, Mitsubishi's sale of the plant is telling of the company's financial situation. The public perception of the brand we discussed above aside, finances aren't Mitsubishi's strong suit right now. Ghosn's aggressive push for expansion of the company severely harmed its bottom line says NikkeiAsia. At its peak, the former Pajero (sold as the Mitsubishi Montero here in the States), put out 170,000 cars a year. In 2019, it produced just 63,000 cars.
Mitsubishi also ate a 30% rise in costs from 2015-2019, another casualty of Ghosn's hard push for expansion. All this to say nothing of the folks that used to work there. There were around 1,000 Mitsubishi employees working at the plant, with around 300 being reassigned within the company, and another 300 finding new jobs since the plant's closure.
Mitsubishi's sale of the factory is part of a restructuring, which includes cost-cutting. The automaker announced it was going to cut costs by 20%, and this plant's sale helped Mitsubishi to reach that goal early. It's part of a push to move money into the production and sale of more electric vehicles, including hybrids like the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. Whether the push for EVs bearing the red star logo will be enough to keep the company afloat, however, is another story entirely.