Mitsubishi Plans Big Boost To U.S. Production

By Agence France-Presse Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said March 17 it would invest $200 million to expand the annual capacity of its American subsidiary by 25%, to 300,000 units, by late 2004. The investment plan also will create 300 jobs at Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc (MMNA), a wholly owned unit of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the Tokyo-based auto firm said. The investment will support production of the Endeavor sports utility vehicle and the next-generation Galant midsized sedan at the plant in Normal, Ill., a company statement said. "Expanding our Illinois manufacturing operation is part of our commitment to design and build more vehicles in North America," said Pierre Gagnon, chairman and chief executive officer at MMNA, headquartered in Cypress, Calif. "We're entering the next phase of our North American growth strategy by launching more new products and increasing our investment in the region." Mitsubishi Motors said it will study further expansion of its production in North America, either by using a DaimlerChrysler plant, further increasing capacity in Illinois or building a new plant, the company said. DaimlerChrysler AG owns 37.3% of Mitsubishi Motors. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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