Mitsubishi Motors is likely to delay a production plan for its global network of car factories to give it time to find a model to replace the cancelled Smart ForFour at its Netherlands plant, the Japanese carmaker said, according to the Financial Times (FT).

MMC reportedly said it would not consider closing the Nedcar facility in Born, in the Netherlands, after the weekend's surprise announcement by DaimlerChrysler that Smart was scrapping its poorly performing four-seater model which Nedcar builds alongside MMC's Colt hatchback.

But the Japanese car maker, in which DaimlerChrysler used to have a37% stake, told the FT it expected to put off the announcement, due next week, of plans laying out which cars would be built in which factories as it revised the current draft.

"The ForFour represented significant volume and with that going we will need something to replace it," MMC told the paper.

The FT said Nedcar built 115,121 cars last year, and MMC hoped the factory would reach break-even this year by assembling more than 120,000.

However, it expects to build just 80,000 Colts this year, up from 72,600 last year, so without the Smart to fill production lines the facility will be well below capacity, the paper noted, adding that DaimlerChrysler is expected to pay compensation to get out of its deal with MMC, which was contracted to build the Smart until 2010, though the payment has not been agreed.