Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Japan's fourth-largest auto maker, said Tuesday that it completed part of a plan to consolidate its four U.S. business units by the end of the year to save money and better compete with larger rivals.
Mitsubishi's main U.S. business, Mitsubishi Motors America Inc. in Cypress, is absorbing support functions for the sales, manufacturing and research units. The effort isn't aimed at cutting jobs, the auto maker said.
The company didn't say how much it expects to save with the plan, which it announced in June.
The consolidation comes as the auto maker, which is 34% owned by DaimlerChrysler, tries to expand its North American business. Mitsubishi Motors, which sold about 261,000 cars and light trucks in the U.S. last year and about 240,000 this year through September, has set a North American sales goal of 400,000 vehicles annually by 2005.
Corporate communications, legal and government relations, procurement, service and parts, information systems, corporate planning and customs have been consolidated into the Cypress operation, the Tokyo company said. Mitsubishi is studying how to combine human resources, treasury and accounting services.
The Mitsubishi Motors America unit will move to Cypress from Southfield, Mich. Mitsubishi Motors Research and Development is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cypress. Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing is in Normal, Ill., where the company builds the Mitsubishi Galant, Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder, as well as the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring for DaimlerChrysler.