Two carmakers, two scandals - but while Mitsubishi's Tokyo headquarters are raided by transport ministry officials, new figures show VW sales are back on the up. Grace Pascoe reports on their contrasting fortunes.
New cars are still driving Europeans to spend. Sales increased 9 percent in April - with almost all manufacturers recording rises. Showing consumers can still afford the luxury of a new motor. Volkswagen too seems to be riding out its scandal-ridden storm. Group sales up 5.3 percent. Though with VW own brand sales also up, but by only 2.6 per cent - perhaps not all customers are unperturbed by its emission rigging. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "I still think there is a lack of trust around the VW brand and we may see further price-cutting measures for Volkswagen to try and get back into the game." Mitsubishi Motors too want back in the game. But Japan's transport ministry aren't letting them off easily. Raiding their headquarters for evidence. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE TRANSPORT MINISTER, KEIICHI ISHII, SAYING: "We'd like to figure out whether the headquarters are involved in manipulating fuel economy data." Nissan could be the liferaft Mitsubishi now need - Nissan confirming on Thursday it was to take a controlling stake in its peer. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "The Nissan injection of cash, 2.2, 2.3 billion dollars which people are talking about it a very very mutually beneficial move. Mitsubishi needs the cash to be able to fight off any kind of fine. Whereas Nissan obviously gets to pick up some of Mitsubishi's trade and sales ties with South East Asia for example." Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's top challenge is restoring credibility with Mitsubishi consumers. But in new comments he says he won't go as far as imposing Nissan's management at the smaller automaker.