Mitsubishi Motors North America will extend the planned seven-week shutdown at its Illinois plant by five weeks, the company said today.
Mitsubishi will close its Normal plant for 12 weeks, from Feb. 16 to May 11, to reduce inventory, the automaker said in a release. The plant produces the Galant, Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder cars and the Endeavor crossover.
Mitsubishi began the year with a 148 days supply in the United States, the second highest of any automaker, up from a 127-day supply on Dec. 1. Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC had the highest days supply at 156. The industry averaged a 94-day supply Jan. 1. A supply that will last about 60 days is best, analysts say.
The decision marks the latest attempts by automakers to trim bulging inventories to levels corresponding to slumped demand.
Honda Motor Co. today cut North American and Japanese production by 50,000 vehicles, to 1.26 million units, for the fiscal year ending March 31. The new projection involves no job cuts but is 12 percent lower than the previous year and 13.9 percent lower than the automakers initial forecast.
On Monday, GM said it would cut about 2,000 more production jobs and impose temporary shutdowns on about half of its 16 U.S. plants and one Canadian plant. The automaker already closed most of its U.S. plants for extended holidays. Some of those factories will not open until February.
Automakers are fighting sales rates that reached quarter-century lows at the end of 2008. Automakers sold 13.2 million light vehicles last year in the United States, the lowest total since 1992 and down from 16.2 million in 2007.
Mitsubishi sold 97,257 units last year in the United States, down 24.6 percent.
Hans Greimel contributed to this story