Report: Mitsubishi Preparing To Close Plant In Normal Soon

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Mitsubishi is planning to end operations at its Normal, Illinois plant and notify workers at the end of September of their plans to close the facility after failing to find a buyer for the plant, Reuters (via Automotive News) reported.

It’s unclear what may happen to the 900 hourly workers who make Mitsubishi Outlanders if a buyer for the plant isn’t found by November. According to the report, last year the plant churned out nearly 70,000 crossovers.

Mitsubishi and the United Auto Workers union this month were negotiating a contract for the workers that would extend to the original closing date for the plant, which was slated for next spring.

The Normal plant was extended $29 million in tax incentives by Illinois in 2011 to keep the plant open for 10 years. The Bloomington Pantagraph reported that Mitsubishi officials sought approval for another year’s worth of tax incentives five weeks before they announced the plant was closing in July.

The plant was opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi and the Japanese company took sole ownership in 1991. Subaru of America’s Lafayette, Indiana plant is roughly 100 miles from the Mitsubishi plant and was considered to be a potential buyer for the plant.

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  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Sep 20, 2015

    The UAW problem as I saw it was that back when I started in the industry, the skilled trades folks (who generally were pretty talented) made 4 bucks an hour and the line workers and janitors 2.XX bucks an hour, so a pretty solid bump for the skill level. Unfortunately over decades, it evolved to the numbers being about the same numerical gap but minimal percentage difference for the skilled folks. This basically was due to most of the voters for union officers and approving the contract were non-skilled classification.

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Sep 20, 2015

    sell to china, have lifan build cars there and hire at $8/hr. problem solved

  • Kmars2009 Kmars2009 on Sep 20, 2015

    Mitsubishi will survive. Their products are reliable and built least those made in Japan. Hopefully, they will expand their lineup, as planned, and continue to grow here the American market. The Montero and Montero Sport would certainly help. I've seen the new Montero looks great, and if it's like the last one, it will be very durable and reliable.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 21, 2015

    What I find most disdainful about threads like this is that it's always about some silly political fight, and never about the people who will end up out of a job. And it's not just the people at the plant. What about the people in the corporate offices, or the people working at the dealerships? They get boned too. Worse yet, I don't see how these people caused the demise of the brand. At one point, this was a decently strong brand, but they decided to stop competing in key markets (like midsize and compact sedans), and start making crappy products in the markets left to them. What, the UAW flew to Japan and held the board at gunpoint to make this happen? That certainly makes sense. But some people seem to buy that line of reasoning, less the gunplay, of course. These things have real consequences for real people. Some folks on this board might want to remember that. But for God's grace, it could be any of us on that damn unemployment line tomorrow.