March 19, 2012 / 6:53 PM / in 6 years

Mitsubishi seeks to double U.S. output: Nikkei

(Reuters) - Car maker Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) plans to double production at its automobile plant in Illinois to 70,000 vehicles per year, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp's compact crossover RVR vehicle is displayed at the company headquarters in Tokyo June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

The company’s U.S. subsidiary, Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc, will stop making vehicles exclusively for the North American market and instead focus on assembling and exporting the Outlander Sport SUV this summer, Nikkei said.

Mitsubishi sees Latin America, Russia and other regions --where exports can be denominated in dollars -- as primary destinations for the SUV, the daily said.

The company’s plan to start making the compact SUV at the Illinois plant is a move to boost capacity, which has taken a hit due to sluggish sales, Nikkei wrote.

With the automobile market shifting to developing countries, Mitsubishi’s factories in emerging countries such as Thailand are at full capacity, while the pace of production has slowed at plants in the U.S. and Europe, the daily said.

In February, the company had decided to wind down European production at the end of 2012, Nikkei said.

Reporting by Arnav Das Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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