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.