TOKYO: Japanese automaker Mitsubishi will stop making cars in the United States as it looks to shore up its business in Asia, a report said Friday.
The leading Nikkei business daily said Mitsubishi will halt production of Outlander SUVs at a factory in the state of Illinois, and may sell the site to another automaker.
Further details would be announced later, the Nikkei added.
The Illinois factory started operations in 1998 and has 1,250 employees, according to the company, which did not confirm the report.
“Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the US has always been considering optimising its global production structure including (the Illinois factory),” it said in a statement.
“However, there has been no decision made regarding it at this moment.”
Mitsubishi has been hit by a decline in US car sales and the plant manufactured just 60,000 vehicles last year, about half its capacity, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The company, which withdrew from production in Europe three years ago, will be the first major Japanese automaker to stop building in both the US and Europe, it added.
Mitsubishi have been actively investing in Asia, building a production site in Thailand and buying a factory in the Philippines from Ford.