Mitsubishi Motors to end light-vehicle output in China, report says

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TOKYO Mitsubishi Motors has decided to end automobile production in China, and is discussing its exit with local joint venture partner Guangzhou Automobile Group, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Wednesday, without citing sources.

GAC will likely convert the plant, in Hunan province, to a production base for electric vehicles, the paper said.

Mitsubishi Motors said talks about the future of its China business with the shareholders in the joint venture in the country were ongoing and that nothing had been decided about it.

The JV, known as GAC Mitsubishi Motors, was launched by GAC, Mitsubishi Motors and trading house Mitsubishi Corp. in 2012, focusing on SUV sales in China.

The venture said in July it would cut staff and costs in a bid to revitalize the operation, after it stopped producing the carmaker’s Outlander crossover following weak sales just months after its launch in December.

Mitsubishi Motors in April said it would take a $78-million charge for slowing sales at the venture. The automaker sold just under 32,000 vehicles in China last year, down about 50 percent from 2021.

Mitsubishi Corp. gave the same statement as Mitsubishi Motors.