Mitsubishi Motors says retail vehicle orders have halved since it revealed it cheated on mileage tests, intensifying concerns over whether it can survive considering its already chequered history of scandals. Grace Pascoe reports
As storm clouds gather over Mitsubishi Motors Its expected earnings forecast is withheld In light of mounting uncertainty following its mileage cheating scandal. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP PRESIDENT, TETSURO AIKAWA, SAYING: "I would first like to deeply apologize to our customers and others for the inappropriate fuel economy test methods we carried out on our vehicles. Retail vehicle orders has halved since the announcement." But Mitsubishi says it's still in a strong financial position and there's no need for extra financial help. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CCLA, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "I think there is a clear expectation that the authorities in Japan will support Mitsubishi, I have no expectation that they will allow Mitsubishi to go to the wall. But how much value there really remains for shareholders is really a different question, it is very hard to see that investing in Mitsubishi now is anything but speculative." Mitsubishi's been dodging Japanese fuel economy regulations for 25 years. Now - the blame game begins... (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS LAW AT HITOTSUBASHI UNIVERSITY, HIDEYUKI KOBAYASHI, SAYING: "Mitsubishi is extremely introverted, standing by its lifelong employment culture... If it were to undergo severe sanctions it would not just balance it out with the Volkswagen incident, but also provide Japanese companies with an incentive to improve their corporate culture." In one week the scandal's wiped out half of the company's market value. And Japanese media is predicting the automaker's CEO - Osamu Masuko and President Tetsuro Aikawa will have to step down.