Mitsubishi is closing the doors on its US production as part of a "strategic move," Japan's Nikkei news service reports. According to Automotive News, the company declined to comment on the factory, and instead said it had "no plans to stop selling" vehicles in the United States. That's not what we asked, folks.

According to the Nikkei news, the company is in the process of finding a buyer for is Normal, IL factory, which it opened as part of a joint venture with Chrysler back in 1988. The facility currently employs 918 UAW workers, whose jobs Mitsubishi is attempting to save as part of its negotiations with labor reps. The Normal plant is the only Japanese production facility with UAW representation, Automotive News reports.

Normal is responsible for production of the Outlander Sport, building nearly 70,000 examples last year. Production is continuing on, according to the vice president for the local UAW Local, Kyle Young.

"We haven't heard anything," Young told AN in a phone interview. "We're supposed to have negotiations coming up" in August.

It's not clear how much the Mitsubishi will be selling the Normal plant for, nor is it clear if any parties are interested in picking up the facility, which contributes around $120 million to the local economy each year.


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