Chrysler to sell Mitsubishi-supplied small cars in Mexico

Chrysler will get the sedan version of the Mitsubishi Mirage. Pictured is the hatchback.
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TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will supply Chrysler with a Thailand-built compact sedan for sale in Mexico starting in November. 

The car will be based on the Mitsubishi Attrage, the sedan version of the Mirage hatchback sold in the United States. Mitsubishi will supply Chrysler over a five-year period.

The automakers announced the plans early Tuesday in Japan after media reports emerged Monday. 

The vehicles will be sourced from the Japanese automaker’s third assembly plant in Laem Chabang, Thailand, which opened in 2012. Mitsubishi declined to put a volume on the shipments.

The tie-up helps Mitsubishi boost utilization rates at its Thailand factory amid a slowdown in Southeast Asian auto sales. It also gives Chrysler fresh compact product for a growing Mexican market, in which the popular B-segment represents 23 percent of industrywide sales.

Chrysler is the sole distributor of Mitsubishi products in Mexico, a relationship that began in 2003. Mitsubishi has no plans to sell its own version of the Attrage in Mexico, but it is planning to introduce the Mirage. The companies did not say what the Chrysler version would be called, or say whether it would be sold under the Chrysler brand or with a Dodge badge.

Mitsubishi is pursuing vehicle supply deals with other manufactures as part of its growth strategy, following years of rebuilding its business. In Japan, it jointly manufactures minicars with Nissan, and it is investigating sourcing new mid-sized sedans from Renault.

You can reach Hans Greimel at hgreimel@crain.com. -- Follow Hans on Twitter


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