Tokyo, July 27, 2015 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) a wholly owned subsidiary of MMC in the United States, is preparing to end production of its sole production model "Outlander Sport" at its Normal plant at the end of November 2015 and its production will be consolidated in Okazaki plant in Japan, pending a final decision by the MMC Board of Directors on July 30.
MMNA will be making efforts to identify a buyer with the help from United Auto Workers (UAW).
Mitsubishi Motors' production in the United States started in 1988 as Diamond Star Motors (DSM, later re-named as MMNA) which was a joint venture company with Chrysler Corporation.
DSM has become a wholly owned subsidiary of MMC in 1991 after MMC bought all DSM shares owned by Chrysler Corporation.
In 2000 the production volume reached more than 222 thousand units, but after that the plant faced very steep reduction in production units due to, among others, the end of OEM supply for Chrysler Corporation and the economic crisis. In 2009, the production volume bottomed as low as 18.5 thousand units.
From 2012 and onward MMNA started production of Outlander Sport not only for North American market and but also for Russia, Middle East and Latin America markets, in order to secure production volume to gain production efficiency and improve utilization.
With the recovery of North American market, production volume increased to 70 thousand units in 2013, however, which is scale-wise low compared to other automobile assembly plants in North America. Then production order from Russia, which accounted for more than 30% of the total production volume, significantly dropped since the second half of 2014, due to Russian economic crisis, which caused the production volume of MMNA plant to be even lower.
Taking the aforementioned situation into account, MMC decided to end production at Normal plant and consolidate the production Okazaki plant in Japan and Outlander Sport will be exported from Okazaki to North American as from next model year.
As the US market is expected grow even more in the future, it will continue to be a very important market and Mitsubishi Motors will continue to make efforts to grow its brand value and increase its sales volume in the US market.
[Outline of MMNA]
1. Location: (Head Office) Cypress, California
(Plant) Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
2. Register Capital: 398,812 thousand US dollars
3. Shareholder: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
4. Representative: Gayu Uesugi, Chairman of the Board and CEO
5. Number of Employees (June 2015): (Total) approximately 1,650 (Plant) approximately 1,250
- Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Chrysler Corporation jointly established Diamond Star Motors (DSM, later re-named to MMNA) and started production there in 1988
- In 1991 MMC bought all shares of DSM which are owned by Chrysler Corporation
- Starting with "Eclipse" and later addin "Galant" "Spider" "Endeavor", between 1988 and 2012, MMNA produced the models marketed mainly in North America market for Mitsubishi brand, and also supplied vehicles to Chrysler Corporation under contracts until 2005.
- Currently MMNA is producing "Outlander Sport" for global market.
- Maximum production volume was 222 thousand units in 2000
- Production volume in 2014 was 69 thousand units
- Accumulated production volume is approximately 3,250 thousand units