Mitsubishi will shift to a new family of vehicles at its Illinois plant within two years, a source familiar with the company's plans said.
The vehicles will be based on the platform underpinning the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers and Lancer sedan, the source said. Those models are currently built in Japan.
Mitsubishi's U.S. factory, in Normal, Ill., currently builds the Galant sedan, Endeavor crossover, Eclipse coupe and Eclipse Spyder. Those vehicles will be phased-out by the fiscal year that begins in April 2013, Japan's Nikkei reported earlier today. A spokesman for Mitsubishi Motors North America's manufacturing division called the report “speculation.”
When production of the new models will begin is unclear.
The future of the Illinois plant will be addressed in the automaker's mid-term global business plan. Mitsubishi is expected to release the strategy in coming weeks.
At stake is the job security of some 1,100 UAW-represented workers at the plant.
Mitsubishi sold 55,683 vehicles in the United States last year, up 3 percent from 2009 in a market that advanced 11 percent.