Mitsubishi’s U.S. factory in Normal, Illinois, will shift to a new lineup of vehicles within two years, a source said. These vehicles, which will be based on the platform that underpins the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers and Lancer sedan, are currently being produced in Japan.
Presently, Mitsubishi's Illinois plant builds the Galant sedan, Endeavor crossover, Eclipse coupe and Eclipse Spyder.
Japan's Nikkei publication reported that these vehicles will be phased-out by the fiscal year that starts in April 2013.
But according to a spokesman for Mitsubishi Motors North America's manufacturing division, this report is “speculation.” The start of production for the new models remains unclear.
It’s expected that what will become of the Illinois plant will be decided in Mitsubishi’s mid-term global business plan. Mitsubishi will release the strategy in the next several weeks.
This plant has about 1,100 UAW-represented workers, whose job security is at risk. Last year, Mitsubishi sold 55,683 vehicles in the U.S., a 3% increase from 2009. In comparison, the market advanced by 11%. [via autonews - sub. required]