Supplying models for Saturn may provide a lifeline for Mitsubishi’s U.S. production facilitiesEnlarge Photo
Mitsubishi introduced its facelifted Galant sedan
earlier this year but the mid-cycle update has failed to encourage sales, with the Normal plant in Illinois responsible for the vehicle currently at levels well below capacity. The plant has the capacity to build up to 240,000 vehicles per year, but only needs to build around 100,000 to remain profitable.
To make better use of the plant, Mitsubishi builds the Eclipse Coupe and Spyder
as well as the Endeavor crossover in addition to the Galant. However, production levels are still below the crucial 100,000 vehicle mark.
Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko has now revealed that the company is considering ending production of the Galant in the United States after the current model reaches the end of its life cycle. Speaking with Automotive News
, Masuko explained that production of the Lancer sedan and Outlander crossover could replace the Galant.
At the Normal plant, Masuko wants to produce vehicles "that can be sold on the global market. We cannot think about extending our business as it is right now because we won't be able to secure the volume we want in the U.S."
He also revealed that Mitsubishi needs more small cars in the U.S. to capitalize on growing demand for such vehicles as well as to meet upcoming CAFE regulations.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant facelift