GERMANY DAIMLERCHRYSLER MITSUBISHI
Bernd Kammerer  /  AP
A DaimlerChrysler dealer is seen with a Mitsubishi car in front last year in Frankfurt Germany. Auto maker DaimlerChrysler AG said Friday it has sold its entire 12.4 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
updated 11/11/2005 8:51:44 AM ET 2005-11-11T13:51:44

The automaker DaimlerChrysler AG said Friday it has sold its remaining 12.4 percent stake in Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to the U.S. investment firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The purchase price wasn't disclosed.

But DaimlerChrysler said the sale would boost its revenue for 2005 by some 500 million euros ($588 million).

The German-American car maker once held 37 percent of Mitsubishi Motors as part of its goal to become a global auto powerhouse, but in 2004 the company decided against pumping more money into the troubled Japanese automaker.

As a result of the deal, Goldman Sachs now becomes Mitsubishi Motors' largest shareholder with a 13.4 percent stake. Before the latest share transaction, DaimlerChrysler was Mitsubishi Motors' fourth-largest shareholder.

Mitsubishi Motors, Japan's fourth-biggest carmaker, has seen its sales in Japan plunge after acknowledging five years ago that it had systematically hidden auto defects for more than two decades to avoid recalls.

Mitsubishi Motors, also known as MMC, said current cooperation projects with DaimlerChrysler would not be affected by the share sale.

The two carmakers jointly develop and produce engines and share use of vehicle architecture. They also jointly produce passenger cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks in Europe, North America, China and South Africa.

"MMC will maintain the relationship with DaimlerChrysler as business partners where both parties continue working on individual alliance projects that are mutually beneficial," the company said.

On Friday, Rudiger Grube resigned from his position on the board of directors of Mitsubishi Motors. The company gave no immediate reason.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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