Workers Complete Final Shift at Mitsubishi’s Illinois Plant
Mitsubishi’ s production facility in Normal, Illinois officially closed on Monday, November 30, 2015, even as the search for a potential buyer remains open. The closure comes a little over four months after Mitsubishi made the announcement, saying back in July 2015 that it would sell its only assembly plant in the U.S. While it didn’t come as a shock to the 1,200 employees that were laid off work, Monday’s closure also put a lid on relationships built in the last 27 years.
The closure of the facility in Illinois is likely part of a bigger rebranding effort by the company as it tries to focus its full attention in other markets, specifically its home continent in Asia. As was previously mentioned, Mitsubishi already has a full-scale facility in Thailand. More recently, it purchased another factory, this time in the Philippines from Ford. The decision to end production in the U.S. also doesn’t mean that Mitsubishi is going to stop selling cars in the market. The Japanese automaker made that clear when it said that “both current and upcoming” Mitsubishi models will continue to be sold in the U.S. and North America. That’s good news for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, currently the company’s best-selling model in the U.S.
As for the laid off employees, numerous efforts are currently being undertaken to get these people back on their feet. Mitsubishi has already promised severance packages for the employees while the McLean County Chamber of Commerce in Normal is scheduled to hold a job fair in December 2015.
It was a bittersweet day for all parties involved in the closure of Mitsubishi’s production facility in Normal, Illinois. But, as the company deemed it necessary, it was a decision that had to be made. With the plant now closed, the search for a buyer continues, one that Mitsubishi hopes will continue to operate the assembly plant and maintain employment for the local community.
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