Mitsubishi plans to double U.S. output image

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp plans to double production at its plant in Illinois to 70,000 vehicles a year, Nikkei reports.

According to the report, Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. will stop making vehicles exclusively for the American market and instead focus on assembling and exporting the Outlander Sport SUV this summer.

The company’s plan to start making the compact SUV at the Illinois plant is a move to boost capacity, which has taken a hit due to sluggish sales, Nikkei wrote.

The announcement comes after the Japanese automaker shut down its entire production in Europe.
Production has fallen at Mitsubishi’s car plant at Born in the Netherlands to just 50,000 cars, as Mitsubishi’s European sales have dropped sharply, according to the BBC.

Mitsubishi is expected to suffer 22 billion yen ($287 million) in operating losses in Europe for the fiscal year to March due to fall in sales in the debt-hit continent.

Last month, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) sold 4,736 vehicles in United States, down 31.3 percent from February 2011.