Mitsubishi will stop production at its Dutch factory by the end of the year, the manufacturer has announced. The NedCar facility currently builds the Mitsubishi Colt supermini and Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, but reports say annual production at the plant has dipped below 50,000 units.
Mitsubishi had previously hinted that it would build another model at the factory, but company sources have been quoted as saying that ‘exchange rates and labour costs’ as well as this year’s expected shrinkage in the European new car market, ruled out installing another Mitsubishi model.
Media reports suggest that the Japanese carmaker will investigate the possibility of allowing another manufacturer to take over the plant. Around 1500 people are employed at the facility.
Located near Maastricht, the Mitsubishi facility started life as a DAF plant and became a Volvo facility when the Swedes bought DAF’s car division in the mid-1970s. It became a joint-venture operation between the Dutch government, Volvo and Mitsubishi in 1991 and was the home of the S/V40 and Mitsubishi Carisma from the mid-1990s.
Mitsubishi took full ownership of the factory in 2001 with Volvo pulling out in 2004. Mitsubishi also built the Colt-based Smart ForFour for Mercedes at the plant.