Mitsubishi Motors has almost finished a planned reduction of North American parts suppliers as its US plant nears the end of a contract to build two Chrysler models, a news agency report said.

Reuters noted that MMC's US plant in Normal, Illinois, decided two years ago to slash the number of suppliers in North America to 150 from 260 by the end of April 2005, when it stops building the Sebring sedan and Dodge Stratus coupe for DaimlerChrysler.

The report said the Sebring and Stratus share a platform with Mitsubishi's Eclipse sports car model, which will be replaced in June 2005 by a remodelled version that will use a new platform.

The Illinois plant will then have three Mitsubishi vehicles - the Galant sedan, Endeavor sport utility vehicle and the new Eclipse - all under a common platform, enabling it to cut costs by procuring more parts from fewer suppliers, Reuters added.

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