This doesn't mean that Mitsubishi vehicles will no longer be available for European consumers. Mitsubishi's decision will at most make communication between its offices and the 34 European dealers a little harder.
The manufacturer will coordinate operations with the dealers, while a leaner organization will be in charge on aftersale. The restructuring and closing of its Schiphol-Rijkwill regional headquarters will mean cutting some 45 percent in European sales and marketing personnel, retaining only 80 of its current 150 employment scheme jobs.
The resized European operations will be based in Born, near Maastricht, in the Netherlands and will be headed by Genishiro Nishina, Mitsubishi Motors Europe President and CEO. Mitsubishi owns a car assembly plant in the same region, but says its decision will not affect operations at the factory.
"We're confronted with a major crisis, which will bring radical changes to the industry. What we've announced today are the necessary first steps to be ready when the crisis is over," Daniel Nacass, company's spokesman was quoted as saying by the aforementioned source.
2008 was for Mitsubishi, as for all other automotive industry players, the year when the decline began. The company's 18 percent decline in European sales last year can be considered as being mild, compared to its competition, but the manufacturer expect a steeper decline in the course of this year.
In the first decade of March, Mitsubishi closed its US design studio located in Cypress, California, resulting in the layoff of all its 60 employees.