Chrysler, Japanese Partner Reported Near Joint Venture
DETROIT (AP) _ Chrysler Corp. and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., may begin producing cars jointly as early as 1987 at a plant in the United States, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The plant would produce more than 150,000 subcompact cars annually, The Detroit News said in a copyright story.
Mitsubishi would split the cost of the $400 million facility with Chrysler but would run the plant itself, the newspaper said. Chrysler owns 15 percent of the Japanese corporation and imports some Mitsubishi products to the United States.
Chrysler spokesman Baron Bates refused to confirm the report, the newspaper said. But it noted that Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca is visiting Japan this week.
Mitsubishi has said for several months it might build a car plant in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois or Kentucky.
Mitsubishi would become the fifth Japanese automaker to make cars in the United States.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. was the first, building its first car in 1982 in Ohio. General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. began producing cars in December under a joint venture in California.
Nissan Motor Co. produced its first car last month in Smyrna, Tenn., and Mazda Motor Corp., 25 percent owned by Ford Motor Co., plans to break ground this spring for a new plant in Flat Rock, south of Detroit.