Mitsubishi Motors Corp. may cut back its European production as it intends to halt the assembly of its Colt subcompact in the Netherlands at the end of 2012, according to a report from Japanese trade paper Asahi. Ever since Mitsubishi’s former top shareholder Daimler AG withdrew Smart production from the factory that they operated jointly, Mitsubishi’s Dutch NedCar plant has been underused. The factory has an annual capacity of 100,000 units but in fiscal 2009, it only produced about 50,000 vehicles -- 39,000 units of Colt and about 11,000 units of Outlander spot utility vehicle (SUV).
Last Thursday, Mitsubishi told the employees at the factory that it will stop Colt production from 2013 but will continue Outlander output. The Asahi report also stated that Mitsubishi is thinking about building cars under commission from other automakers.
Osamu Masuko, the head of Mitsubishi Motors, said that by the end of this month, Mitsubishi will announce a new mid-term business plan. But apparently, this will be delayed after Masuko said earlier this week that an announcement will be made by the end of its financial year, on March 31.