Mitsubishi, UAW to work together on buyer for Illinois plant

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors and the United Auto Workers say they will work together to look for a buyer for the central Illinois plant the company plans to close. The Japanese automaker said Monday that its decision to close the plant in Normal in November was not related to labor costs and called its relationship with the union “respectful and mutually beneficial.” The plant employs about 1,200 people and is one of the largest employers in Bloomington-Normal. Mitsubishi says it plans to close the plant because of low U.S. sales. Annual production at the plant has fallen to 64,000 vehicles from more than 200,000 in 2002. The decision comes four years after plant employees agreed to pay cuts and the company committed to making Outlander SUVs in Normal.