* Company says aims to cut prices but gives no time frame
* Mitsubishi Motors shares outperform broader auto sector
(Adds company comment, share prices)
June 18 Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) aims to
cut the price of its electric vehicles to 2 million yen ($21,890)
by fiscal 2012 -- down 30 percent -- to capitalise on the growing
popularity of hybrids in that price range, the Nikkei business
Mass production of lithium ion batteries, the most expensive
component in an electric vehicle, will lower costs sharply, the
A battery plant coming online in April 2012 will churn out
70,000 units a year, cutting battery costs to less than 1 million
yen per vehicle from 2.5 million yen, the business daily said.
A Mitsubishi Motors spokesman said that the carmaker aimed to
cut the price of its key i-MiEV electric car to 2 million yen by
lowering output costs to promote the still-pricey vehicle, but
that the company has not set a time frame for this move.
The company's i-MiEV electric car, which targets mainly
commercial users and was priced at 4.59 million yen when it was
unveiled last July, will effectively sell for 2 million yen after
factoring in government subsidies, the Nikkei said.
Mitsubishi Motors will also work with the suppliers of
motors, rechargers and other parts to reduce component numbers,
making volume production easier, the daily said.
The automaker hopes to increase automated processes to
about 10 percent of total assembly, up from 2 percent when
production of electric vehicles began, it added.
Shares of Mitsubishi Motors fell 0.9 percent to 116 yen,
however, outperforming the broader auto sector .ITEQP.T, which
shed 1.2 percent.
(Reporting by Viraj Nair in Bangalore and Yumiko Nishitani;
Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)