Japan's Mitsubishi Motors is to stop manufacturing automobiles in Europe by around 2013 as it shifts its focus to emerging markets, reports said Monday.
Under the plan, which would be the first withdrawal from Europe by a major Japanese carmaker, the company will sell its NedCar subsidiary plant in Born, in the Netherlands, the Japanese business daily Nikkei and Jiji Press reported, without identifying their sources.
NedCar was established in 1991 and has been producing the Colt subcompact and the Outlander sports utility vehicle, but its output has remained sharply below its production capacity of 200,000 units a year, contributing to Mitsubishi Motors' operating loss in Europe, the Nikkei said.
Mitsubishi will enter into negotiations with labour unions and the Dutch government to sell the plant, which employs roughly 1,500 people, Jiji reported, adding the company saw no future profits in Europe.
Instead, it is looking at expanding production in Thailand and other emerging countries, the reports said.
A spokeswoman for Mitsubishi declined to comment on the reports.