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NedCar closing?

Unfortunately the current owner of NedCar, Mitsubishi, decided this morning the NedCar-factory in Born (The Netherlands) will be closed at the end of 2012 (at this moment it seems it will be closed on the first of December this year). At this moment NedCar has 1.500 employees and they build the Mitsubish Colt and Outlander for the European market. NedCar was the former factory of Volvo where the Volvo 340, 360, 440, 460, 480, S40 and V40 were produced.

The history of the factory in Born began in the early 60’s: DAF (a Dutch car and truck manufacturer) wanted to expand their factory in Eindhoven but the Dutch government wanted DAF to build a new factory in Limburg. The reason for this was very simple: Limburg had a huge unemployment because the mines were closing. The Dutch government were willing to pay a part of the new plant and the deal was sealed. The new plant was ready in 1967. DAF were producing the 44 and 55 in Born, and later the DAF 66 was also produced in Born.

When Volvo took over DAF (see History of the Volvo 340) the Volvo 66 and new Volvo 343 were also produced in Born. Thanks to Volvo the Born-factory were expanding in the early 80’s: the Volvo 340 was a big hit and the factory got some expanding during the years. But at the end of the 80’s it seems the growth of Volvo wasn’t enough to cover the expanding (about 120.000 cars were produced and the factory has a capacity of 180.000 cars per year), so a partner was needed to get the most of the factory. In 1991 negotiations with Mitsubishi and the Dutch government started. They took each 33% of the shares and in 1992 the new name was presented: NedCar. NedCar replaces Volvo Car B.V. and the headquarters of Volvo Car B.V. in Helmond were closed. NedCar produced the Volvo S40 and V40,the Mitsubishi Carisma and SpaceStar.

NedCar Volvo plant factory Mitsubishi Daf S40 V40 440 460 480 340 360 66 77

In 2001 Mitsubishi got 100% of the shares of Nedcar. DaimlerChrysler took a 37% share in Mitsubishi and in 2003 the Smart ForFour was build in Born, which went out of production in 2006 and was the start of the problems at NedCar. But with the production of the Outlander at NedCar the problems were (temporary) solved.

But the recent economic problems in Europe have also effect on car sales and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi is planning to stop all European car productions and they will stop production of cars at Born in December 2012. But the factory will not be closed immediately and it’s for sale. Costs? Just 1 Euro, but you’ll need to have a good job for all employees. The Dutch government is looking for a new owner and it seems it might be found already: some sources say a car manufacturer wants to start production of a new car in 2015 with 800 employees. Let’s hope it’s Volvo who wants to produce a new small car!

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