Mitsubishi Motors North America says it will keep its factory in Normal, Ill., shut down for five extra weeks as it tries to reduce inventory levels in the sluggish auto market.
The Japanese automaker said Monday it will suspend production for 12 weeks, from Feb. 16 through May 8. Previously, the downtime was to end after seven weeks.
The factory employs 1,410 people and makes the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Galant and Endeavor models. The company says most employees will still report to work and be paid as usual during the shutdown.
Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales fell 25 percent last year compared with 2007, while sales industrywide fell 18 percent.