Mitsubishi Motors said on Friday it will initially invest more than 10 billion yen to build a domestic production line for a new series of car engines jointly developed by DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai Motor, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Mitsubishi, in which DaimlerChrysler holds a 37% stake, plans to begin producing the engines at its Shiga factory in western Japan from spring 2005, the report said, adding that a Mitsubishi spokesman said it is not clear yet how much the total investment for the new production line will be.

Mitsubishi plans to introduce cars powered by the new engine to the domestic market in 2005, Dow Jones noted.

The news agency said the three car makers in May 2002 announced the “World Engine” project to jointly design, develop and engineer a family of four-cylinder engines with displacements of 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 litres.

In February the group picked Dundee, Michigan, as the US site for production of the new engine where output is also scheduled to commence in 2005, Dow Jones added, noting that details on production of the engines by Hyundai haven’t yet been released.

When production by the three comes on stream, total annual worldwide production of this engine family is estimated to reach 1.5 million units, Mitsubishi told Dow Jones.

Of that volume, DaimlerChrysler will be responsible for 40%, while Mitsubishi and Hyundai will each make 30%, the report added.