2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

According to reports citing Japan's Nikkei daily, Mitsubishi Motors North America will be cranking up production at its Normal, Illinois plant, but not because the company expects a 100-percent increase in demand here to match the 70,000 units the plant will soon be cranking out. Instead, the plant will be making Outlander Sport models intended for export from the U.S. to markets like Russia and Latin America. To make way for the increased Outlander Sport output, the slow-moving Galant family sedan will leave the building. No replacement has been announced.

Mitsubishi has plants worldwide, but those in closest proximity to strengthening markets are reportedly running at full tilt, so the move makes use of plants in markets where demand is slack. Mitsubishi has seen its fortunes in the U.S. atrophy, and even though sales improved somewhat last year, this production shift shows that turnabout is fair play, with the offshore parent using its American assets to make cars for markets that would typically be producing the goods, not consuming them.