Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has decided to begin shutting down its plant in Normal, Illinois, concluding its 27 year production run in the U.S. with the 2015 Outlander Sport this coming November. Mitsubishi will instead focus its production out of Japan, Russia, and ASEAN countries where its pickup trucks are widely popular. The shuttering of the plant does not signal Mitsubishi’s exit from the U.S. Market as they expect to grow their brand value and gain market share in the not too distant future.
News was well received by investors as the company’s shares rose by 5% after the announcement. Mitsubishi’s run in the states has been a rollercoaster with production averaging more than 200,000 units at the turn of the millenium and as low as 18,500 units at the peak of the economic crisis. As Mitsubishi drivers were attracted by zero down and zero percent financing defaulted, Mitsubishi ended up sitting on a lot of bad debt as a result, leading to the company’s downfall in recent years.
Mitsubishi came to the States as a joint venture with Chrysler Corporation under the banner Diamond Star Motors (DSM) in 1988. The Eagle Talon, Plymouth Laser, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse were the first cars produced out of the collaboration.