Australians buy just under one million cars a year, a tally that includes nearly every brand under the sun including several labels that even a market the size of the U.S. doesn't have. This means that local manufacturers have to compete with dozens of imports in a market that's roughly half the size of Toyota's annual production in North America alone.

Of the four major car manufacturers in Australia, GM Holden, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi, no one is doing it tougher than the maker of the cars with the Three Diamond badge. Mitsubishi currently builds the 380 sedan in Australia, a locally tuned version of the Galant sedan that's due to be replaced in 2011, but sales have been far below expectations due to tough competition. Unless sales improve the Aussie division will have to shutter its operations Down Under permanently.

To ensure production remains, management has to convince officials in Japan that a 380 replacement is a viable project. The problem is that current production levels won't support the local development of a new car and the movement away from large sedans in the Aussie market is only adding fuel to the fire. The most likely bet is an Australian version of a new global Mitsubishi large car.

[Source: Cars Guide]

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