DETROIT -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. finally agreed to buy Chrysler Corp.'s half-interest in their joint U.S. carmaking venture for $100 million, ending months of prickly negotiations against a heavily political backdrop.
The buyout was triggered by Chrysler's desperate need for cash, but it also enables Mitsubishi to portray itself as helping out a company known for Japan-bashing. And it gets Chrysler out of a politically awkward partnership.
The two companies said yesterday that they would continue their other commercial arrangements. That includes Chrysler's purchase of some of the cars built in Illinois by the Diamond-Star Motors joint venture and its importation and sale of Mitsubishi-built cars from Japan.
However, some analysts also expect Chrysler to go ahead with a proposal it has discussed to sell its remaining 11 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors back to the Japanese company.