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Monday, March 8, 2010

Mitsubishi, Peugeot Finalize Electric Car Deal

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said today it reached a final agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen on electric car development and supply.

The Paris-based carmaker will sell electric vehicles under the Peugeot and Citroen brands, Mitsubishi said in a release on its Web site. Production will begin in October and European sales will start by the end of the year. The agreement covers 100,000 vehicles, the companies said.

The announcement came after the two automakers ended talks last week over an equity tie-up and said they will focus on broadening a five-year partnership that includes shared sports- utility vehicle production and a planned Russian factory.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi and Peugeot are competing with Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. to take the lead in electric vehicles. Automakers are under pressure from governments throughout the world to trim carbon-dioxide emissions and develop more fuel-efficient cars.

Peugeot decided against buying a stake in Mitsubishi partly out of concern that the plan would damage the French company’s debt ratings, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Varin said last week.

The company said in March 2009 that Mitsubishi would supply it with the i-MiEV, an all-electric minicar. Peugeot and Citroen expect to sell 25,000 of the new electric cars each year.

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