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AUSTRALIA: Mitsubishi says plant not closing

By just-auto.com editorial team | 26 October 2006

Mitsubishi Motors Australia chief executive officer Robert McEniry on Wednesday issued a memo to staff assuring them the Tonsley Park car plant will stay, to counter what he described as "vindictive and malicious" media reports.

According to the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper on the news.com.au website, the memo said a closure plan for the plant, in a report 'Phoenix' obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was one of many studies done by Mitsubishi but had been rejected.

"We have no plans to close the plant," McEniry reportedly said, adding that the reports, first aired by the ABC last month, undermined industry confidence.

McEniry was reported to have said the company's new product portfolio was performing well. "We have a business plan that we are following. We're not going to be distracted by these things," he said.

McEniry also said: "The particular draft report referred to by the ABC was a flawed study based on some work by an external agency and its recommendations had been totally rejected by MMAL management."

Mitsubishi Australia builds the 380 - a local version of the US Galant - and imports built-up models from Japan and Thailand.

It has had a difficult time in recent years after losing left-hand-drive export business, primarily to the US, and launched the 380 with only a V6 engine at a time when Australians were beginning to downsize due to high fuel costs.

This is the second time in a month the company has had to deny making plant closure plans.