Thursday, July 23, 2015

Corporate welfare flop: Mitsubishi expected to close Illinois car plant

Despite $29 million in tax breaks handed out by failed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn just four years ago--Mitsubushi appears to ready to say sayonora to the Prairie State. When the giveaway was announced by the Chicago Democrat--he claimed it would save 1,200 jobs.

From the Bloomington Pantagraph:
Mitsubishi Motors is planning to end production at its subsidiary plant in Normal as demand for its cars grows in Asia and declines in the United States, according to reports by Reuters News Service quoting Japan's Nikkei news service.

Mitsubishi Motors North America spokesman Dan Irvin declined to comment Thursday night, telling The Pantagraph, "We do not have a statement at this time, however, as an organization, we continuously assess our supply chain to ensure we remain competitive and best positioned to serve our customers."

This report is the second in as many months in which the fate of MMNA, which has its only car production facility in Normal, was called into question.
The plant opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Chrysler--which has had its own problems of late--and the Japanese car maker. Jim Thompson, a Republican, was governor at the time and he handed the automobile manufacturers tax breaks too--$160 million worth.

A few years later Chrysler sold its half of the factory to Mitsubishi.

Because of the old-Chrysler connection, the plant's workers are represented by the United Auto Workers. The local's contract expires next month. No another Japanese car plant's workers are represented by the UAW.

In 2011 Quinn also lavished tax breaks onto Sears so it wouldn't move its headquarters out of Illinois--right after he signed into law a massive income tax hike for everyone else, including of course myself. Sears is now on its last legs.

Corporate welfare doesn't work. And if Illinois wants to reverse its decline it needs to have low taxes for everyone.

Sears and Mitsubishi should focus their energies onto offering good products at a good price instead gaming the system in their favor.

UPDATE July 24: It's official--MMNA announced today they are closing the Normal plant and they are seeking a buyer for it.

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