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 Dodge
truck plant in Warren, Mich., according to the Detroit News
The still-unnamed truck will be the first
Mitsubishi vehicle produced at a Chrysler Group facility in the United States, the News
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 to
Mitsubishi, 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.