• Dec 10, 2010

Mitsubishi
Motors Corporation (MMC) plans to open a third factory in Thailand at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi province about 60 miles southeast of Bangkok. The plant will eventually have a production capacity of up to 200,000 new vehicles per year and will produce a new global small car with 1.0-1.2L engines sometime in 2011 and based on a new platform that Mitsubishi promises will be affordable and deliver excellent fuel economy.

This new machine will conform to the requirements of Thailand's government-led Eco-car Project but will also be exported to other emerging markets where inexpensive and fuel efficient machines are volume sellers. So far, only a couple tiny renderings have been released of the new machine, which you can see above. Hit the jump for the full details.

[Source: Mitsubishi]
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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Conducts Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for New Factory at Mitsubishi Motors Thailand

Bangkok, December 9, 2010 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today conducted a Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for a new third factory of its Thailand producer and distributor, Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh) at the site where the new factory is to be built in at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi province. The ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Thailand's Minister of Industry Chaiwut Bannawat and MMC President Osamu Masuko.

The third factory will be built adjacent to the first and second factories, and is planned to start mass production in March 2012. It will produce the "global small" 1.0-1.2L class compact vehicle that MMC plans to launch in fiscal year 2011. Initially, the production capacity of this new factory will be around the 150,000-unit per year level, and in the future it can be boosted to the 200,000-unit per year level. The new factory is planned to hire around 3,000 new staffs.

The "global small" to be produced at the new factory will be a new vehicle based on a completely new platform currently being developed by MMC with "compact," "affordability," and "fuel efficiency" as the basic concepts for the vehicle. The "global small" will conform to Thailand's Eco-car Project, implemented by the Thai government with the objective of promoting investment in Thailand's automobile industry and reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. The "global small" will be positioned as an entry model in MMC's model lineup, and plans are to export the vehicle from Thailand to markets worldwide as a global strategic vehicle that corresponds to both market needs of emerging countries, for which demand for automobiles is expected to increase, and advanced nations, where vehicle downsizing is increasing in order to correspond to energy issues in addition to environmental awareness.

Minister Chaiwut Bannawat expressed his pleasure at the ceremony: "It's my great pleasure that Mitsubishi Motors Thailand's factory becomes a part of our Eco-car Project. This Mitsubishi factory will bring to Thailand many technologies for automobile production and lead to improve labor skills for auto industry as well as related industries."
In addition, MMC President Masuko added "It's a great honor to have this memorable day for the construction of the third factory. From the beginning, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has strongly believed in Thailand's potential as the production hub for global markets; now Mitsubishi Motors Thailand became the production base of our 1-ton pickup. We share the Thai government's environmental concerns and we have made Thailand the global production hub for the "global small."


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  • 16 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear Mitsubishi,

      It's great that you want to jump on the eco- bandwagon along with the rest of the world, but there is nothing in your lineup anyone wants except the EVO X and you're asking too much for it. When the pricing jumps into luxury car territory and there are far better offers, you have basically shot yourself in the foot. Unfortunately you transformed everything you have into this horrible dinosaurs of technology, black hard plastics, and leatherettes that make even 1980's model cars cringe. What you should do is take a look at Chrysler and invest in upgrading your interiors, moving the SST transmission into every model, switch back to high power turbocharged four bangers, and hire designers that can introduce appealing exteriors that'll draw customers back into your showroom.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't take this the wrong way folks, but the problem with the Lancer EVO is that people looking to spend that kind of money on a performance car generally do not want something that may be confused with a "riced out" sedan, or "boy racer". The same can be said about the Impreza STI. They may be nice cars, but imho, they are not good looking enough to justify the price, especially when there are other alternatives that meet those standards.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @LUST-STANG S-197, I guess you are one of the paper racers, if you would have actually driven Evo/STI on the track, you would realize that those are rather niche products and that NONE of the luxury car makers offer the same type of connection on the road between car and driver, none. You can compare prices all you want, reality is that Evo/STI are superior handling machines to anything in the $50-60K luxury car market price range. Sure some cars may have better 0-60 numbers but thats not what Evo/STI were really about. They were never meant for drag racing. Those cars were never meant to be for everyone, just enthusiasts, and at that Evo is a great car. They have a lot bigger following in Asian/European countries anyway.

        Anyway, back to the article, US market is not the whole world market, actually Mitsubishi is doing decently in most of the Asian,Euro,Mid-East, Russian markets where small cars are in demand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't that that Kia Picanto thing?
        • 4 Years Ago
        that's what I was thinking
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a pretty good drawing of the new Ford Fiesta! Except, what's that funny badge on the front?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Although renderings always look better than the real thing, I like this. It's tough to design a truly unique small car without it looking weird, yes I'm taking about you Gordon Murray.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The article seemed plain enough to me. Have some missed
      reading "global small car" for "emerging markets" which both indicate
      that this car does not have the USA in mind? China, India, etc.
      are their targets now as Mitsubishi seem to be unable to discover what
      the mass market in the USA has been seeking. That said, it looks like
      a pleasant jellybean to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What is with Mitsubishi!?! They are focusing on bringing to new cars to market that no one is asking for. They need to focus on the Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor. Those cars are so old that are building rust immediately after assembly [sarcasm].

      Mitsubishi just needs to go back to the drawing board with every vehicle. Except for maybe the Lancer, it just needs a little refresh.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with you on the Galant. What about the Eclipse? Do they even build those anymore? If so, it needs a redesign so people like me actually notice them.

        Seriously? Mitsubishi was Hyundai in the 90s. What happened?

        If they want to sell economy cars, they need to get their name back out there, and the fastest way (no pun intended) to accomplish that is a new halo car, one that actually turns heads. Maybe a new 3000gt?


        • 4 Years Ago
        This is a world car. They are thinking about more then just the US market. There's a chance this car won't even be sold in this form in the US. The new Colt will probably be built in Normal and not Thailand.
        • 4 Years Ago
        By the way, I was more or less referring directly to the i-miev. Mitsubishi has spent millions getting that car ready for the market, yet they could have spent that cash to start a revamp of their current line up. In the end it would have generated more sales and they could have brought a plugin vehicle later. Besides, I think it would best to start with a hybrid before jumping right into the electric game.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The problem with Mitsubishi and all Japanese car makers focus to much on US market and forget the rest. The Galant, Endeavor and Eclipse where design for the US market and that is why the didn't succeeded. The previous generation Galant for all other markets had much more style and features then the US market
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are saying no one is asking for small, cheap, economical transportation? Seriously?

        • 4 Years Ago
        Which is why they need to just abandon it's current offering.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thats great for the country of Thailand, but unfortunately it seems that the days of backpacking across that gorgeous country on $5 US dollars a day may be over...
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