Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will cut production at its US plant in Illinois, but won’t decide by how much until September, a company spokesman reportedly said on Monday.

The Associated Press (AP) noted that the automaker, which has suffered a plunge in Japanese sales amid a cover-up scandal and a spate of recalls, announced a restructuring plan in May to cut 10,900 jobs over three years, close a car plant in Japan and receive a cash injection of 450 billion yen ($US4 billion) from several investors.

AP added that, in the United States, Mitsubishi’s sales fell 27% in the six months to the end of June, in part because it was forced to tighten its criteria for making loans – the car maker had been offering zero-percent financing and allowing borrowers to defer payments to boost sales, but this strategy backfired when many borrowers defaulted on their payments.

A review of the automaker’s plant in Normal, Illinois is continuing, a company spokesman told Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The plant, with about 3,100 employees, has the capacity to produce 180,000 cars a year. It made 156,800 vehicles in the fiscal year that ended in March, the report said, adding that the plant produces the Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor for Mitsubishi and, until 2005, the Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring.

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