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Mitsubishi will sell NedCar plant to VDL for 1 euro
Posted on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:37
Mitsubishi Motors has agreed to sell its production plant in the Netherlands to Dutch bus and coach firm VDL Groep for one euro, with the proviso that all of the 1,500 employees be kept on.
NedCar is the Japanese auto maker’s only production facility in Western Europe, and the sale will allow the group to concentrate on emerging markets, where demand for cars is expected to be higher in the future.
In June, the group announced the opening of PCMA Rus, the assembly plant in Russia it owns with PSA Peugeot Citroen, where production of the Peugeot 408 will begin this month.
A number of car makers have been selling off their European production operations in recent months, prompted by a fall in sales in the region and the euro-zone debt crisis.
Just last month, bankrupt auto group Saab was sold to a Chinese-Swedish investment consortium which will revive the business as an electric vehicle manufacturer.
In 2010 another Scandinavian car company, Volvo, was bought from then-owner Ford by China’s Geely Group for USD 1.80 billion.
According to a statement by Mitsubishi Motors, the sale of NedCar will incur a loss of around JPY 28.00 billion (USD 352.36 million).
Transfer of ownership is expected to complete by the end of this year.
Press reports this week named BMW as a possible buyer for the plant, with automotive industry website Just-Auto claiming confirmation from the German group that contract assembly discussions were in progress.
However, Mitsubishi Motors did not refer to the Bonn-based manufacturer in its announcement of the sale to VDL.
The Japanese company’s decision to sell NedCar comes just weeks after it agreed to sell a 75.0 per cent stake in its French arm to Swiss auto dealer Emil Frey.
© Zephus Ltd