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Mitsubishi's been having a rough time of it lately here in the United States. Last year, sales fell 44.8 percent. Ouch. Even worse, Mitsu's lone U.S. manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois is way under capacity. How far under? Well, the Normal plant's website lists its capacity at 135,000 vehicles per year. Only thing is, back when that plant was a joint Chrysler/Mitsubishi venture it could pop out 240,000 cars per year. Last year, Normal made just 18,501 vehicles.

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According to a report from Automotive News, Mitsubishi's North American CEO Shin Kurihara would like to bring over the Japanese automaker's funky little Delica van (right) and Triton pickup (above), believing that the two work-ready models may fill a desirable niche here in the States. So, why not wave a magic wand and make that happen? In a word: Chickens.

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New Zealand Mitsubishi wants you to buy a Triton ute, and to lure you into doing it they're using goats -- because really, who can resist a goat? Said Mitsu's New Zealand sales and marketing manager, Peter Wilkins, "three years of drought has severely depleted sheep and beef populations, so what better time to float the goat?''

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Click image for a hi-res gallery of the Mitsubishi "Panther" Concepts

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Click on the photo above for our photo gallery of the 2007 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson

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Mitsubishi has just announced a 2.4-litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine as a new option for its Australian ML Triton SUV range. Joining an existing 3.2-litre common rail diesel engine option which puts out 118 kW / 158 hp of power and 347 Nm / 256 ft-lbs of torque, the new 2.4-litre petrol can offer up only 94 kW / 126 hp of power and 194 Nm / 143 ft-lbs of torque.

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Mitsubishi has finally released its Triton "urban sports pickup" truck in the Japanese market. Already on sale in Thailand (where it's built), Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and many other global markets (but not the U.S.) the Triton has apparently been on Japanese customers' wish lists for a while.

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