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Truck Market Eyed By Japanese Manufacturer

February 20, 1985

DETROIT (AP) _ A fourth Japanese company, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., has decided to enter the U.S. medium- and heavy-duty truck market, a trade journal says.

Mitsubishi initially will try to sell 5,000 trucks annually through a new company that will be separate from its U.S. car marketing arm, Mitsubishi Motor Sales America Inc., the Japan Economic Journal said Tuesday.

″The size and setup of the new company will be worked out at a later date, but at this stage there is no thought of working with the company’s U.S. partner, Chrysler,″ the weekly newspaper said. ″The plan is for an independent operation.″

Chrysler Corp. owns 15 percent of Mitsubishi’s stock and markets several of the Japanese company’s car lines under the Dodge and Plymouth names.

The highly profitable U.S. market for big trucks already has three Japanese companies competing - Isuzu Motors Ltd., Hino Motors Ltd. and Nissan Diesel Motor Co.

Mitsubishi also is looking for a place to build a U.S. car assembly plant. Ohio officials have said their state is among the finalists for the site, along with Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.