Honda F1 website

AUGUST 7, 2003

Big changes at Mild Seven

Japan Tobacco Inc, the parent company of the Mild Seven brand, sponsor of the Renault F1 team, is to slash 4000 jobs, 23% of its workforce. The cutbacks are aimed at boosting profits in the next three years. The company will also close a third of its factories. The company has already closed eight plants. The company said that the cutbacks were due to "an aging society, increasing awareness about smoking and health, the strengthening of smoking regulations and an ongoing economic slump".

The company is also discontinuing its 30-year licensing agreement with Philip Morris for the manufacture of Marlboro cigarettes in Japan. Marlboro sales in Japan will continue after the deal ends but these will be manufactured by Philip Morris. This follows the purchase by Japan Tobacco of US brands Camel, Winston and Salem from Philip Morris rival RJ Reynolds. The Marlboro deal has been responsible for around 6% of JT's profit in recent years.