Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced on Feb. 4 that production of the Outlander Sport Crossover Utility vehicle will begin in mid-2012 at the Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) plant in Normal, Illinois.
The Outlander Sport, which is currently being built in Japan, went on sale in North America in November of 2010. Outlander Sport is an entry-level crossover. It is built upon the same highly flexible vehicle platform that underpins the Lancer compact car and Outlander SUV which are sold globally, according to the company.
Mitsubishi Motors North America anticipates adding production of Outlander Sport by mid-2012.
"With the new model, the plant will have better utilization, and, of course we will see improved efficiency when we eventually consolidate to one model with higher production volume. I fully expect this plant will strongly improve its performance further down the road, said MMNA president Shinichi Kurihara. He estimated that about half of the Outlanders produced will be exported.
Kurihara also expressed appreciation to the State of Illinois for approximately $29 million in EDGE Grant support over the next ten years.
MMNA is the only Asian or European auto manufacturer currently partnering with the UAW. About 1,000 of MMNA's 1,300 employees are members of the UAW.