It has been a long time coming, but it is finally locked in that Mitsubishi will be ending production of its vehicles in the United States, close the plant and sell the plant. The plant is in Normal, Illinois and Mitsubishi is looking to see the plant to a strategic buyer.
Car Shipping Carriers keep up on the types of vehicles we ship and the makers of the vehicles. Doing research and analysis is a crucial part of business and know who your customers are is crucial as well. Mitsubishi would have a car on our hauler once or twice a month, which is extremely low. An auto mover company has hundreds of vehicles on their haulers each month so for only having 2 of a certain brand means something is off.
Mitsubishi is not just closing its doors and leaving the workers stranded. That is what they mean by Strategic Buyer. They want to find a buyer that will keep the plant open for their company. The plant has about 900 workers currently.
Mitsubishi also announced that they will continue to sell cars in the United States, but produce those vehicles elsewhere. The Normal, IL plant is relatively new. It was opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler. At the time the two companies were partners. Mitsubishi took full control of the plant back in 1991.
The plant workers were represented by the UAW (United Auto Workers) and is the only Japanese plant that is represented by the UAW. The contracts for union workers were expiring soon and with declining sales Mitsubishi said it was done with the plant.
The plant did very well in the early 2000’s when it was popping out over 200,000 cars each year, but that quickly fell as Mitsubishi keep having a sales slump in the United States.
We can only hope that whoever buys the plant does keep it open and keeps the 900 workers there so they are not in the unemployment line. Keeping workers on the job is crucial.