BMW will not build cars at Mitsubishi plant in the Netherlands image

Local newspaper Dagblad De Limburger on Wednesday said negotiations were ongoing between a Dutch bus maker, VDL Groep, and Mitsubishi, to build cars for the BMW Group at the facility, adding that both parties were close to finalizing a deal.

However, a BMW spokesman told Automotive News Europe the report was ”speculation.”

Back in February, Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors said is willing to sell its Netherlands factory ‘for one euro’ (S$1.60) if the buyer is prepared to keep employing the 1,500 workers there.

Japan’s fourth largest automaker said it would stop making cars at the plant in Born by the end of 2012, effectively ending its sole European manufacturing operation.

Mitsubishi blamed a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent, but Dutch Economics Minister Maxime Verhagen told a radio station the decision was “an unbelievable blow.”
Dutch trade unions called the plan “a disaster” for the southern Netherlands, which they said was already hit hard by unemployment.

Output at NedCar, which was established in 1991, has remained sharply below its production capacity of 200,000 units a year, contributing to Mitsubishi Motors’ operating loss in Europe, reports said.
Fewer than 50,000 cars were assembled in 2010.