Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced the start of production of the Outlander Sport 1 compact crossover at Mitsubishi Motors North America’s 2 (MMNA) plant in Normal, Illinois. A commemorative line-off ceremony was held at the plant.
Change to Strategic Global Production and Export Hub
Up until recently, the Illinois plant had produced models designed specifically for the North American market, such as the Galant, Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, and the Endeavor. Now MMC turns the plant global by having the plant produce the Outlander Sport instead – not only for North American market but versions for export to Russia, Central and South America, and the Middle East, making it new strategic global production and export hub.
Planned production capacity at the Illinois plant is about 50,000 units, and MMC is considering expanding it to 70,000 units in the future. As a global production and export hub, MMC plans keep it running at appropriate production levels.
Present at the line-off ceremony, MMC Managing Director Tetsuro Aikawa put the Illinois plant change in perspective: Mitsubishi Motors is now moving forward with ‘global’ vehicles that satisfy the needs of many consumers worldwide. Through the diligence of every single worker at the Illinois plant, we plan to make great strides not only in the North American market, but in other markets outside of North America by producing and exporting the Outlander Sport. The continually-growing United States market is one of our most important markets, and this change to the plant marks our commitment to this market.
Core Global Strategic Vehicle
The Outlander Sport is a global strategic vehicle that is a core product in MMC’s lineup made for increasing demand for smaller vehicles worldwide. First launched in Japan in February 2010 as the RVR, it was then introduced sequentially to countries all over the world. Over 250,000 units of Outlander Sport (including its ASX and RVR cousins) have been sold worldwide as of June 2012. Since its American debut in September 2010, the Outlander Sport is now MMC’s top seller in the United States.