Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) Manufacturing Division in Normal, Illinois, started as the Diamond-Star joint venture factory with Chrysler in 1985. After years of building cars for both automakers, it is down to one model - the Outlander Sport known as ASX or RVR in other markets

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) Manufacturing Division in Normal, Illinois, started as the Diamond-Star joint venture factory with Chrysler in 1985. After years of building cars for both automakers, it is down to one model - the Outlander Sport known as ASX or RVR in other markets

Mitsubishi Motors reportedly plans to end car production in the US.

A Reuters report said the automaker, which had declined to comment, was facing declining US demand and an expiring union contract at its only plant in North America.

Japan's Nikkei news service had said the plan to end production at Mitsubishi's plant in Normal, Illinois, was part of a strategic shift to the growing Asian market.

The company has "no statement," a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Motors North America, told the news agency.

The Nikkei said Mitsubishi would look for a buyer for the plant, which opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi and its then-partner, Chrysler. The report also said Mitsubishi would begin negotiations with labor representatives to maintain employment for the plant's 918 workers, who are represented by the United Auto Workers union.

A local mayor and union representatives said thay had heard nothing of closure and were expecting contract negotiations to begin soon.

The Normal plant is the only Japanese-owned US car factory whose hourly workers are represented by the UAW, Reuters noted.

At its peak in the early 2000s, Normal built over 200,000 cars a year. Last year, production of the Outlander Sport utility vehicle [aka ASX] totaled 69,178, according to Mitsubishi.