Mitsubishi preparing to close Illinois plant, report says
TOKYO (Reuters) -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has began preparing for the closing of its exclusive U.S. factory in Illinois after a failure to find a purchaser for the large-price automobile plant, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday in Japan.
The business is going to notify workers by the end of the month, the paper reported, without saying where it got the info. The 900 hourly employees in the Normal, Illinois, plant are the only kinds at a Japanese-owned U.S. automobile factory to be represented by the UAW.
Mitsubishi Motors cannot immediately be reached for comment.
The company announced plans in late July to finish manufacturing in the plant, stating the choice was prompted by reduced quantities rather than high labour costs or a stronger dollar, making importing automobiles more rewarding.
A close would mark a black eye for the UAW, which will be in the middle of negotiating higher wages with Detroit's Big Three auto makers. Mitsubishi Motors started the Regular plant in 1988 as a partnership with then-associate Chrysler, and took exclusive control in 1991.
The Nikkei reported on Saturday that if an expected buyer emerges by November, Mitsubishi Motors would fall strategies for the occupation reductions and negotiate a deal.
At its peak in the early 2000s, the Standard plant constructed more than 200,000 automobiles a year. A year ago, creation of the Outlander sport-utility car totalled only 69,178, according to Mitsubishi Motors.
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