Mitsubishi Motors president and chief executive Rolf Eckrodt has resigned as a result of DaimlerChrysler's recent decision not to provide further cash injection for the Japanese company.

Mitsubishi Motors president and chief executive Rolf Eckrodt has resigned as a result of DaimlerChrysler's recent decision not to provide further cash injection for the Japanese company.


Eckrodt, 61, announced that he was to retire from the company, ending a 38-year career in the automotive industry, on Tuesday. Eckrodt joined Mitsubishi in 2001 from DaimlerChrysler, which owns 37 percent of the Japanese firm, but was unable to stop the company's losses spiralling - it has reportedly accumulated R59,4 billion of debt since he became chief executive.


"I decided to make way for the new team around future chairman (Yoichiro) Okazaki. The business revitalisation team headed by Mr Okazaki will work out this plan within the next month based on various essential steps that have already been analysed and evaluated by Mitsubishi so far," Eckrodt said.


DaimlerChrysler representatives have said that the joint projects between Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Smart would continue. Besides the tie-up to make the Mitsubishi Colt and Smart Forfour models, which share the same platform, work is underway on a car to replace the Lancer range, which will also form the basis of a model to replace the Chrysler Neon, a report said.


Meanwhile, CARtoday.com on Monday quoted auto industry commentator Jerry Flint as saying that DaimlerChrysler's decision to stop further investment in Mitsubishi could spell the beginning of the end for the group's chief executive, Jurgen Schremmp.


"I strongly suspect that the DaimlerChrysler board finally is getting sick of the global strategy of its own chief executive, Jurgen Schremmp. His tactics led to massive investments in Chrysler (a takeover), in Mitsubishi and Hyundai," Flint said.


DaimlerChrysler has denied reports that Schrempp is to step down over the growing Mitsubishi debacle, describing media speculation on the issue as "nonsense." But fund managers and shareholders' groups are said to have called for Schrempp's resignation. Further announcements from the company are expected later this week, following a meeting of the DaimlerChrysler supervisory board in New York tomorrow.

Original article from Car