Illinois auto plant may close

Seeing as this is a Chicago-based board, perhaps this news will interest some people here. A report has surfaced that the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois may be closed. They produce the Outlander Sport, which is also made in 4 other plants around the world (Japan, China, Indonesia, and Brazil). This other report suggests the decision to close the plant has already been made.

I know Normal has a lot of other industry, plus the university, but still, that’s going to hurt.

Your second link has this:
"Mitsubishi is ready to close its manufacturing operations at the factory in Normal, Illinois, where it currently assembles the Outlander Sport for the local market and also for export to Russia.
The serious crisis in the Russian market would be behind the decision of the carmaker to stop production. "

I don’t know- I’m no economist. I know lots of proud flag wavin 'muricans who’d never be caught dead in a Mitsubishi. Maybe too much flag waving, and not enough Mitsubishi buying could have prevented this. Or maybe the Russian market plays so much a part that local purchases would not have mattered. Sucks for the locals who will lose jobs, no doubt.

maybe it would have helped if Mitsubishi gave people a reason to buy their cars. their lineup in North America is fucking pathetic, and they have nothing to give car buyers a reason to choose them. The Lancer hasn’t been significantly changed since 2007. The Outlander just got an update, and the only other cars they sell are the pipsqueak Mirage and a worthless EV.

given the fact that Honda and Toyota have no problem selling cars here, I think it’s safe to say your “'murica” shit is ignorant at best.

So it was the Russians, then. Shit. I was really hoping it wasn’t the Russians, even if that meant that it was 'murcians. Apologies, 'muricans.

if you’re just going to post nonsense, then please make it clear that’s what you’re doing.

Fleeble flop doodle bop- Jell-o Pudding Pop!

Also, chill, dude.

I’ve read reports that say half the plant’s output is exported, and that Russia is the primary destination for those exports. Or it was, at least.

Assuming the high muckity-mucks have indeed decided to drop the axe, I wonder when they’re going to announce it. Maybe after the UAW contract negotiations? That would be kinda dickish, IMO. Seems to me the decend thing would be to announce it soon, and just ask for a contract extension. Plant closings are normally announced far in advance – like a year – because winding down operations is really complicated, but a low-output plant like this one might not need so much time.

Seems kind of pointless to build cars there for the Russian export market when they’re building them in China already.

In general, China consumes pretty much 100% of its current manufacturing capacity for non-junk cars. When a new plant is built, it’s usually only enough to feed the growing domestic market, especially given China’s import duties. If Mitsubishi is moving capacity elsewhere, it’s more like to be another Asian company because the cost of doing business here is a lot more expensive than places like Thailand and India (because, as foreigners, we actually have to follow the laws and such).

If they have any unused capacity in Japan, I’d expect them to move production there. Otherwise, I’d think Brazil would be the more logical place for a car destined for the US and Europe.

I agree-looks they are like Suzuki, a few years ago. When your market share keeps dropping, watch out.

That’s the ironic part. On paper, their sales figures are great, with 20-30% improvements over last year. However, that’s mainly the magic of small numbers (if you only sell 1 car, selling 2 is a 100% improvement). I gather that their main appeal is low price, but they don’t seem to put much effort into keeping their lineup fresh, and I expect that fairly soon that’s going to give them a reputation as the Bic razor of automobiles: something you buy because you can’t afford anything better.

“The 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer: At least it’s not a Sebring!”

Mitsubishi has always been a bit player in the US market, hasn’t it?

they weren’t a huge name, but back in the days when Japan, Inc. ruled the world they were pretty significant. they had some decent performance cars like the Starion (also sold as the Dodge Conquest,) the 3000GT (Dodge Stealth,) the Eclipse (part of the Diamond-Star triplets along with the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser.) Also they provided captive imports for Chrysler like the Dodge Colt/Plymouth Champ, and supplied engines at which they were hit-or-miss; the Astron 4-cylinder was OK but the 3.0 liter 6G7 was an incredible piece of junk.

but compared to what they offered back then, what they have now is pathetic.

UPDATE: Looks like they’re sharpening the axe now. This report says that the decision has been made, and Mitsubishi is going to try to sell the plant.

I wonder what they mean by selling it. I suppose it’s possible that they might find a Chinese automaker looking to enter the US market, but no way in Hell are they going to include the tooling or anything, and help a competitor produce a knockoff-version of their own product. Also, the factory is unionized, which would be a problem trying to sell the factory as a going concern.

More likely, they’re going to close the plant later this year, and just seek a buyer for the real estate.

Most of the tooling is pure commodity, off-the-shelf stuff that’s generally not specific to any particular model. If they chose to sell close to turnkey (not likely), they’d remove the stamping dies and dimensional control fixtures, but other than that, a press is a press and a robot is a robot.

That’s what’s generally been happening to the plants my company has sold. I was trailer shopping with a friend at a large, new RV sales store next to a new Menard’s, and the photos were still automatically tagged with the name the plant that built my last personally-owned car! No sign of the old, industrial complex that I’d visited many times over the years.

You were in Wixom. The old assembly plant has been gone for a couple of years, it was sold to a scrapper basically for nothing, they demolished the buildings and sold the scrap. I was only there a couple of times myself, but it really hurt the economy in the area, when it shut down. Are you a Ford guy?

Newer articles are saying that the plant will be closed by November if no buyer is found, but that the tooling will be send back to Japan soon. Production is going to shift to Japan, where they have excess capacity (Surprise, suprise).

The cynical part of me wonders if all this business about selling the plant is just talk to keep the workers happy. Unless Mitsubishi is planning to exit the US market entirely, selling the factory to any other automaker would seem to be against their interests. I can’t help wonder if they’re just trying to keep people quiet until the union contract expires, and they can put a chain across the gates.