Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Friday it is aiming to boost its sales by 44 percent this year in the booming China market, with a target to more than double sales there in 2015 from last year's levels.

The company is aiming to sell 180,000 vehicles in China this year, up from 125,000 in 2009, President Osamu Masuko told a small group of reporters on the opening day of the Beijing auto show, China's largest.

He added the company was aiming to sell 300,000 vehicles in China in 2015.

Japan's sixth-biggest automaker last month dropped talks over a possible capital tie-up with France's PSA Peugeot Citroen saying the time was not right for any such transaction. The two embattled companies are seen as needing strategic partnerships to survive increasingly tough competition.

Mitsubishi Motors has suffered a sharp sales slide in recent years, especially in the United States, and is burdened by a fragile balance sheet with more than 400 billion yen of unredeemed preferred shares issued to the Mitsubishi group.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; writing by Doug Young; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)