Friday, March 31, 2006

Mitsubishi Motors to stop making DaimlerChrysler's Smart minivehicles - report

TOKYO (AFX) - Mitsubishi Motors Corp has decided to end production of DaimlerChrysler AG's Smart minivehicles in Europe, following the German partner's move to restructure that business, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported without citing sources. The cancellation may also prompt Mitsubishi Motors to overhaul its European operations, the business daily said. The Japanese carmaker still plans to supply DaimlerChrysler with engines for the next-generation Smart two-seater. Mitsubishi Motors now makes about 40,000 four-seater Smarts a year at wholly owned subsidiary Netherlands Car BV under an original equipment manufacturer contract that is effective through 2010. The newspaper said Mitsubishi Motors will seek financial compensation from the German firm, and both companies still need to determine when to halt production.

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