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Mitsubishi To Join Crowded Truck Fray

December 17, 2003

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will re-enter the crowded U.S. midsize pickup market in 2005 with an all-new model to be built at Chrysler's Dodgetruck plant in Warren, Mich., according to the Detroit News.The still-unnamed truck will be the firstMitsubishi vehicle produced at a Chrysler Group facility in the United States, the News said.According to the News, gaining the production of a Japanese vehicle is a positive sign for metro Detroit's manufacturing industry at a time when new factories producing Asian and European vehicles are popping up across the South.The project -- among the most significant joint efforts between Mitsubishi and Dodge parent DaimlerChrysler AG -- could provide a boost toMitsubishi, which has struggled with falling sales in the United States, according to the News.DaimlerChrysler owns a 39 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi and is exploring ways to combine marketing, research and production operations overseas. The two automakers, along with Hyundai Motor Corp., are also developing a new 4-cylinder engine.The two trucks will share the same "platforms," or vehicle underpinnings, but the exterior designs will be different, according to the News. "Ultimately, this will allow us both to reduce development, production times and costs while adding to our respective portfolios with distinctly different, high-quality products," Eric Ridenour, executive vice president of product development for the Chrysler Group, said in statement.
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