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Japs plan UK plant

30th October 1982
Page 5
Page 5, 30th October 1982 — Japs plan UK plant
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

E COLT CAR Company, British it commercials, is considering emble some of the Mitsubishi 1 BLAKEMORE.

decision is unlikely to be de before the end of 1983 but encester, Gloucestershireed Colt already has an office Dlymouth and is believed to e a specific factory site in id.

oft is confident that the Mitiishi Corporation which has a per cent shareholding in the ish company, would support the scheme "provided it is viable."

The Department of Industry confirmed that it has been informed "as a matter of courtesy" of Colt's feasibility study but a spokesman said that the discussions had not gone beyond that stage.

The Department was waiting for Colt to complete its study and come back with a detailed proposal. Then, such things as the percentage of British sourced components for the Mitsubishis and the amount of assembly work to be done at Plymouth could be discussed.

The Department welcomed in principle any such scheme which would bring more employment to Britain but will treat each on its merits.

If the discussions follow the pattern of those with Nissan over a car assembly plant, then the Government will require a minimum "local content" of 60 per cent by value initially, rising to 80 per cent.

A Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders spokesman, who was unaware of the Colt proposals, told CM that the Society's position was that "any investment in this country is welcome, providing it is genuine manufacturing investment. 'Meccano set' operations are not generally viewed with favour."

Colt was unable to say categorically which vehicles would be assembled at the new plant because "it would depend on the Mitsubishi light cv range at that time."

But the maximum weight vehicles under consideration are 7.5-tonners. The operation would not be on the same scale as the McCairns plant in Ireland which began assembly and marketing a wider range of heavier Mitsubishi commercials in 1981.

The most likely model range to be assembled at any Colt UK plant is the L300, with gvw of around 2.2 tonnes. Colt's sales of this model are currently restricted by the "understanding" between the SMMT and JAMA.

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