July 22, 2020 / 2:31 PM / 15 days ago

Japan's Mitsubishi Motors may shut factory in Gifu in central Japan, sources say

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T) is considering shutting down its Pajero subsidiary and closing a factory in central Japan that produces the sport-utility vehicle of the same name, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Mitsubishi is considering shutting Pajero Manufacturing Co Ltd and its factory in Gifu prefecture within three years, the sources said, declining to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The company is due to decide on the move at a board meeting on Monday. A Mitsubishi Motors representative said nothing had been decided.

In addition to the Pajero, the Gifu factory also produces the Mitsubishi Delica D5 mini-van and the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV. Both of those will likely be produced elsewhere, the sources said.

Japanese automakers including Mitsubishi Motors have been forced to reconsider their strategies as the coronavirus pandemic eroded demand for cars.

Mitsubishi Motors is scheduled to disclose its mid-term plan on Monday.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Additional reporting by Takashi Umekawa, editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter

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