Dutch company VDL signed a deal yesterday to take over Mitsubishi's sole western European plant and start producing Minis there for Germany's BMW, in a rare piece of good news for European automakers.
"The deal with Mitsubishi to take over the NedCar factory in Born has been signed," VDL said in a statement, adding that Mini production would begin in the second half of 2014 once the production line has been updated.
VDL said that none of the 1,500 workers at the Netherlands' only large car factory would lose their job. Some may be detached to other VDL facilities, it said.
Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi announced in February it was planning to halt automobile production in Europe by the end of 2012, blaming a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent.
Mitsubishi said it would sell the factory for a symbolic one euro if all 1,500 jobs at the site could be saved.