Japanese media reported Friday that automaker Mitsubishi Motors has decided to end production in the U.S. to focus on Asian markets. The company said that no decision has been made.
Japan's leading business newspaper, the Nikkei, said that Mitsubishi will stop making vehicles at its factory in Normal, Illinois, and try to sell the plant. Annual production at the factory, which makes the Outlander SUV, has fallen to 64,000 vehicles from more than 200,000 in 2002. The company sold only 82,000 vehicles in the United States last year, less than one percent of the total market.
Nikkei said that Mitsubishi would be the first major Japanese automaker to end production in both the U.S. and Europe. The company has built a plant in Thailand, bought one from Ford in the Philippines, and is building one in Indonesia.