Friday, March 8, 2013
Mitsubishi Motors To Export More SUVs From U.S. Plant
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) is expanding exports from its U.S. factory as part of efforts to further optimize production on a global scale.
The company recently began shipping sport utility vehicles from a plant in the state of Illinois to Russia, Central and South America and the Middle East. The factory can assemble some 70,000 vehicles annually, and Mitsubishi Motors expects to export up to half that volume this year.
The carmaker had been exporting SUVs from Japanese plants and selling most U.S.-made vehicles locally. But by using the U.S. site as an export base, the automaker aims to boost capacity utilization there and improve profitability. Its Japanese factories, meanwhile, will focus on producing minicars and other vehicles.
As part of an overhaul of plant operations, Mitsubishi Motors withdrew from European production in December. It is shipping Mirage subcompacts to Japan from Thailand and has positioned that country as an export hub for surrounding Southeast Asian nations. In addition, it has begun assembling Outlander SUVs in Russia.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, March 8 edition)