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July 28, 2020

Mitsubishi spending big to manufacture new electric kei cars with Nissan

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) said it would invest JPY8bn to produce new electric kei cars at its Mizushima plant in Kurashiki city, Okayama Prefecture from August 2020.

By Olly Wehring

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) said it would invest JPY8bn to produce new electric kei cars at its Mizushima plant in Kurashiki city, Okayama Prefecture from August 2020.

MMC is developing the new electric kei car jointly with Nissan Motor, an Alliance partner.

The investment will be made in establishment of assembly and inspection equipment for the drive battery which will be newly adopted, expansion of stamping, welding and painting assembly facilities following a shift to in house production of drive battery cases, and line expansion for manufacturing EV platforms.

Leveraging grants from Okayama Prefecture, the MMC investment will be borne partly by Nissan.

Mitsubishi earlier forecast its second straight year of losses due to a fall in sales caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic. The automaker expects an operating loss of JPY140bn yen ($1.33bn) for the fiscal year ending March 2021 as it embarks on a plan to shrink its workforce and production, and close unprofitable dealerships to cut 20% of fixed costs in two years.

It also announced a three year, mid term business plan ‘Small but Beautiful’ to concentrate its management resources on its core regions and technology. It is ending new model launches in Europe but will continue to offer parts and service.

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