Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. President Osamu Masuko attends a news conference in Tokyo February 4, 2009.
Yet another unpleasant reminder of the crisis in which the auto industry is currently mired, today’s latest severe-budget-cutting news comes to us courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. Taking the axe to regional car development in favor of focusing on a global, more cost-effective strategy, Mitsubishi announced today they would be shutting down their Cypress, California design studio. The studio’s integral design functions will be moved back to Mitsubishi’s mother Japan, and the 60 employees on the studio’s payroll will be let go.
Singularly devoted to Mitsubishi’s America-based PS platform, the Cypress studio was responsible for designing the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Endeavor and Galant. In 2008, sales of made-in-America Mitsubishi’s fell a staggering 57% and the decision was made to shut down the Illinois plant responsible for their production, meaning it was only a matter of time before the studio eventually followed suit.
Fortunately, although the studio is currently a significant part of Mitsubishi Motors Research & Development of America, Inc., the center as a whole will remain in operation and continue to employ the 50-odd workers charged with continuing testing and furthering research. In addition, Mitsubishi will also allow their Ann Arbor, Michigan-based design studio to remain in operation.
Source: Auto News (sub. req.’d)
Image Cred: Reuters Pictures