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Mitsubishi Motors reports second-quarter loss due to coronavirus slump

TOKYO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Motors Corp on Wednesday reported a 29.3 billion yen ($279.10 million) operating loss in the three months ended Sept. 30 compared with a 6.3 billion yen profit a year earlier as sales shrank during the coronavirus pandemic.

The maker of the Outlander SUV is cutting its workforce and production capacity, and is closing unprofitable dealerships in a bid to slash fixed costs by a fifth within two years.

Japan’s sixth largest automaker kept its full-year forecast for a operating loss of 140 billion yen. That is more than an average estimate for a 115.2 billion yen loss compiled from 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

In a bid to lift annual operating profit to 50 billion yen by 2023 the junior member of the Nissan-Renault automaking group, is also reducing its presence in Europe and North America and to focus on Asia.

As part of that it will halt production of its Pajero SUV crossover model next year, and close the plant in Japan that makes it. ($1 = 104.9800 yen) (Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Louise Heavens)

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