Mitsubishi plans to reduce production at one of its Japanese plants by almost 40% due to decreased domestic demand and exports.
Mitsubishi will reduce production at the Mizushima plant, located in western Japan. The automaker will close two production lines from the current four, therefore production capacity at the facility will be cut to 350,000 units annually from 60,000 units. One of the current lines is for minicars, one is foe commercial vehicles and two are for ordinary cars, such as the Galant Fortis sedan.
The Mizushima plant will focus its production on mini-vehicles, a segment which is expected to increase. Mitsubishi has two other facilities in Japan, one located in Sakahogi, Gifu Prefecture and one in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture. The automaker will end production of the aging lines of commercial vehicles and minicars, leaving room only for the new minicars. Mitsubishi’s total annual production in Japan will be cut by 26% to 700,000 units per year.
On another matter, last month, Mitsubishi asked 4,000 owners of its EVs and hybrids to avoid charging their vehicles due to an investigation into overheating batteries. Two incidents triggered this investigation: a fire which started due to an overheating unit in a plant which manufactures the MiEV electric vehicle and the melting of a hybrid Outlander lithium battery pack which was due for sale at the beginning of March.
“We suspect the two cases were caused by a change in the production line of the battery supplier. We asked its owners not to charge the batteries until the cause of the incident can be confirmed,” a company spokeswoman said.