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DCX, Mitsubishi build plant

FRANKFURT - DaimlerChrysler AG and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said they will invest $220 million to build a small-engine plant in the eastern German state of Thuringia. The plant will produce up to 300,000 gasoline engines per year for DaimlerChrysler's smart car subsidiary and small Mitsubishi models.

The first engines are expected to be ready for delivery in early 2004, the companies said. DaimlerChrysler owns a 37.3 percent stake in the Japanese company.

Design development of the engines will be led by Mitsubishi, said Daniel Nacass, spokesman for Mitsubishi Motors Europe. The plant will produce a 1.1-liter, 3-cylinder engine for smart and 1.3- and 1.5-liter inline-fours for Mitsubishi. No decision has been made on diesel production.

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