Mitsubishi Closing US Production Unit

Mitsubishi Closing US Production UnitMitsubishi Closing US Production Unit

Mitsubishi is closing its US production plant as part of a "strategic move", Japan's Nikkei news service reports, now owner of the Financial Times.

According to Automotive News, the company declined to comment on the factory and said it had "no plans to stop selling" vehicles in the United States.

The company is in the process of finding a buyer for is Normal, IL factory, which it opened as part of a joint venture with Chrysler back in 1988. The facility currently employs 918 UAW workers, whose jobs Mitsubishi is attempting to save as part of its negotiations with labor reps. The Normal plant is the only Japanese production facility with UAW representation.

The production plant is responsible for production of the Outlander Sport, building nearly 70,000 vehicles last year.

"Production is currently continuing," Vice President for the local UAW Local Kyle Young said in a phone interview.

"We haven't heard anything. We're supposed to have negotiations coming up."

It's not clear how much the Mitsubishi will be selling the Normal plant for, nor is it clear if any parties are interested in picking up the facility, which contributes around $120 million to the local economy each year.