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Mitsubishi restructure vital to long-term operations.



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27 April 2000             00/120 

MITSUBISHI RESTRUCTURE VITAL TO LONG-TERM OPERATIONS 

The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator the Hon Nick Minchin, today welcomed Mitsubishi's announcement of its restructuring as a vital step in ensuring the long term viability of its Australian operations. 

"When it was announced earlier this year that the successors to the Magna and Verada would be built in Adelaide, MMAL foreshadowed that further restructuring of its operations would be essential," Senator Minchin said. 

"The loss of 600 white collar and managerial jobs is extremely regrettable but the global reality is that the automotive industry is undergoing great change. 

"If MMAL is to remain viable in Adelaide and thus remain a significant employer it has to be internationally competitive - indeed, the parent company Mitsubishi Motor Corporation has made it clear that strategic restructuring must occur as soon as possible. 

"To that end, I am pleased that MMAL hopes to be able to achieve the restructure through voluntary redundancies and that the company will arrange for such volunteers through Independent Career Outplacement Services. 

"From a positive perspective I note that MMAL's market share has substantially increased this year over last year's figures and that the company is optimistic about the second half of this year. 

"Mitsubishi, like other car assemblers, will soon be able to access the extensive benefits available under the Commonwealth Government's $2 billion Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme (ACIS) to enhance their productivity and competitiveness - in addition to the Government's GST package which will provide an additional permanent stimulus to vehicles sales. 

"Mitsubishi will also benefit from the Government's five year freeze on tariff reductions for automobiles. 

"Whilst today's decision is a difficult one, it proves that MMAL remain committed to maintaining Australia's world wide reputation as an automotive manufacturing centre of excellence," concluded Senator Minchin. 

Contact: Steve Ronson, Senator Minchin's office, 08 8237 7190 

CMR167-00  

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