Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has declined to divulge what its future plans are for its Dutch car assembly plant after production of its only two models, the Colt minicar and Outlander SUV, had been shifted to other countries. Beginning in 2013, Mitsubishi’s plant in Thailand will make the Colt replacement. Meanwhile, production of the next-generation Outlander had been moved to Japan.
This may very well mean the closure of the 44-year-old NedCar factory, where output dropped to around 50,000 units last year from over 250,000 units in 1999.
The capacity of this two-shift plant is 200,000 cars. Automotive News Europe asked Mitsubishi Executive Vice President Gayu Uesugi about the plant's future at the Tokyo auto show last week.
He explained that he is unable to answer this question due to its sensitive nature. He added that there are so many things that have to be considered. He said that the due to the strengthening yen, profit would be negative if the export is done from Japan.
He explained that taking on a “holistic view” meant that its timing is difficult to attain. Mitsubishi Europe CEO Akinori Nakanishi said that a decision will be made soon.
He said that unions have been told that the company will get those models early in 2011. According to Lance Bradley, managing director of UK Mitsubishi importer Colt Car Company, there isn’t much difference between the cost savings from assembling the cars in the Netherlands compared with making the cars in Japan. [source: Autonews]