Mitsubishi's Brazilian distributor MMC Automotores do Brasil will extend its plant in Catalão, Goiás state, to produce a second model, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

The company currently produces an L200 pick-up range based on the previous-generation model.

MMC Automotores has not said what the second Brazilian-made model line will be, confirming only that it is working on the 'Anhanguera project'.

But unofficial sources say the new model will be a version of Mitsubishi's Pajero (Shogun) sport utility vehicle.

Locally built L200 pickup is top selling Mitsubishi in Brazil

To make the new model, MMC Automotores has invested $US 100 million to boost output at the Catalão plant from 8,500 to 15,000 vehicles per year.

The company expects to finish the plant expansion and launch the new model in July 2002.

MMC Automotores do Brasil started L200 pickup production in Brasil in September 1998. The model is made only for the local market because an agreement between the company and Mitsubishi Japan prohibits exports.

The L200 is the top-selling Mitsubishi model in Brazil. In the first four months of this year MMC Automotores do Brasil sold 2,706 units, 53.6 percent of its total sales.

To the end of April this year, 5,048 Mitsubishi vehicles had been sold, an increase of 51.3 percent over the 3,338 vehicles sold in the first four months of 2000.

As well as building the L200 pickup, MMC Automores do Brasil imports the Pajero Full, Sport and io (Shogun Pinin) SUVs, Eclipse coupe, Galant sedan and Space Wagon minivan.


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