TOKYO - Agence France-Presse
Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors said yesterday that it would sell its sole European plant to a Dutch industrial group for one euro in a deal that calls on the buyer to keep 1,500 jobs at the facility.
The automaker had earlier this year announced plans to end production at the factory in the southern Netherlands by the end of the year, blaming a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent. In a statement yesterday, the Japanese firm said it would sell Netherlands Car BV, or NedCar, to VDL Groep, which makes buses and a range of industrial products, for a token one euro ($1.20) in exchange for keeping the plant running.
“(Mitsubishi) had carried out discussions with the related parties to explore the possibility of the future continuation of NedCar while making it a top priority to assure the employment of its employees,” it said.
“As a result, (Mitsubishi) has reached a principal agreement with VDL on the share transfer,” it added. Mitsubishi said it expected to book a 28 billion yen ($353 million) loss on the plant to be included in its current fiscal year earnings through March 2013.
“We wanted to avoid a situation where the workers would lose their jobs after we cease production,” a Mitsubishi spokesman told AFP.
Mitsubishi announced in February it was planning to halt production at the plant in Born by the end of this year. Soon afterwards, workers staged a one-day strike at the plant, located about 180 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam.