Facing sluggish US car sales, Japanese automaker Mitsubishi said Friday it would stop making vehicles in the United States and is looking to sell its Illinois plant.
“Following a review of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation’s global supply chain, we have been informed it is necessary to end production and seek a strategic buyer for the Normal plant,” Mitsubishi Motors North America said in a statement.
The move caps a long period of speculation about Mitsubishi’s future in the US market — currently the most competitive auto market in the world, but also one that has been surging, with annual new-vehicle sales this year expected to top 17 million.
Suzuki left the US market in 2012, after years of poor sales and declining market share. Mitsubishi had 0.5% of the US market in June, an abysmal figure for a carmaker selling vehicles to the masses and trying to compete with the likes of Honda and Ford.
Mitsubishi hasn’t yet announced plans to end US sales. The car maker has seen year-over-year monthly sales increase in 2015, largely due to deliveries of its Outlander compact SUV.