Headlining the local auto industry news today is the likely (but not confirmed) closure of Mitsubishi?s Adelaide manufacturing plant. A number of Mitsubishi execs have told Bloomberg, the financial news service that the plant would be closed due to poor sales of the 380 model that is produced there, with production likely to shift to Russia and or China.
While no final decision has been made, a board meeting is being held in Tokyo today to review the future of the Tonsley Park manufacturing plant. Sadly, the future of 1,700 workers employed by Mitsubishi at the plant is likely to be decided at this meeting.
If the plant closes, the repercussions will be felt throughout the local component supplier community, with further job losses being a real possibility.
Mitsubishi had previously agreed to continue production at their Tonsley Park plant until 2010, in return for government support and local premier, Mike Rann has contacted Mitsubishi to remind them of their obligations in this regard, Mr Rann was assured that there is nothing further that the state or federal government could do to ensure a positive outcome from today?s meeting.
Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, the 380 has not been the sales success that they had hoped for, with sales plummeting over the last 10 years from 59,000 sales in 1997 down to 10,744 in 2007. Private and fleet buyers have abandoned the 380 over recent years and interestingly, even sales to the local South Australian government have been on the slide with 778 380?s purchased by them in 2006 dropping to just 370 in 2007.
TMR will keep you updated with more news expected later today.