TOKYO (AP) -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Tuesday it planned to increase production March from February after its inventories had fallen to the appropriate levels, but plans were undecided for the months ahead given the industry turmoil.
All of Japan's automakers have been seriously hit by the global downturn set off by the U.S. financial crisis. They have reduced thousands of jobs and stopped some assembly lines.
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi -- which is forecasting a 60 billion yen ($670 million) loss for the fiscal year through March, its first red ink in three years -- is reducing its production for the fiscal year by 330,000 vehicles from its initial plan. It does not disclose an overall global vehicle target.
Speculation has been growing that Japanese automakers will start lifting production in April or May.
"We are often asked whether we will boost production in April, but that is still undecided," Mitsubishi spokesman Yuki Murata said.
Mitsubishi's Nagoya plant, which makes the Colt compact, will run 24 days in March, up from 16 days in February. Another plant that makes the Pajero sport-utility vehicle will operate for 18 days next month, while it is scheduled to run 9 days in February.
At another plant, in Okayama, the line for minivehicles is in production 22 days in March, up from 17 in February, while production for regular vehicles will rise to 15 days from seven, according to Mitsubishi.