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Mitsubishi Motors Head Steps Down

Rolf Eckrodt, the chief executive and president of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, has announced he will step down after partner DaimlerChrysler revealed last week it would not help the struggling Japanese automaker finance a turnaround. The German-born Eckrodt, 61, took the Mitsubishi reigns in 2001 and was charged with leading a planned turnaround for Mitsubishi, which has been plagued with plummeting sales, massive debt and a series of recalls. Eckrodt, who worked as an executive with a Daimler unit before coming to Mitsubishi, said he was leaving his post because of Daimler's refusal of financial help and the subsequent decision by the Mitsubishi Group to hammer out a different revival strategy. DaimlerChrysler owns 37 percent of the Tokyo-based automaker and has not said what it will do with that stake. Mitsubishi Motors is forecasting a loss of €557 million ($661 million) for the fiscal year that ended March 31. Its debt totals €8.4 billion.