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PSA, Mitsubishi to make electric cars in Spain, report says

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PSA, Mitsubishi to make electric cars in Spain, report says

September 7, 2010 06:01 CET

TOKYO (Reuters) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plan to build a compact electric vehicle at the French company's plant in Spain, Japan's Nikkei business daily said.

The two automakers will begin production of the vehicle by 2012 and target the European market, with output starting at a few thousand units a year and eventually climbing to 30,000-50,000 vehicles, the paper said Tuesday without citing sources.

Mitsubishi Motors denied the report, saying in a statement that it had no plans for joint production of electric vehicles with PSA.

The two automakers will market the vehicle to postal firms, freight companies and government ministries and it will likely sell for less than 20,000 euros ($25,750) after factoring in government subsidies, the report said.

The car will be made at the French company's plant in the northwestern Spanish town of Vigo on a dedicated production line using Mitsubishi's technology honed from the development of its i-MiEV passenger electric cars, the Nikkei report also said.

Mitsubishi Motors has a broad-based alliance with PSA that includes a deal for the Japanese automaker to supply electric cars under the two French brands.

Last week, Spanish Economy Minister Elena Salgado said Spain was in talks with Mitsubishi Corp. about building a factory for electric car batteries in Vigo, PSA's biggest production site in volume terms.

The 400 million euro plant could create about 1,500 jobs, Spanish newspapers reported last week.

Mitsubishi Corp and affiliate Mitsubishi Motors operate a joint venture with Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp. to develop and make lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. The venture, Lithium Energy Japan, is 51 percent owned by GS Yuasa.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100907/ANE/309079996/1193#ixzz0yr3c5dms

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