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Mitsubishi Motors to resume Russian output of Pajero Sport

Japanese automaker will also begin Outlander assembly in Malaysia

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors said Tuesday it will resume producing the Pajero Sport in Russia, beginning in November.

 The Japanese automaker halted production of the sport utility vehicle in 2015 during a downturn in the Russian economy. But now that the local auto market is recovering and sales are picking up, the company decided it was time to bring the SUV back on line.

Mitsubishi Motors will make the Pajero Sport at a Russian auto plant that it operates in collaboration with French group PSA. The company currently uses the plant to manufacture the Outlander SUV. With the resumption of production of the Pajero Sport, the Japanese company's annual output in Russia will roughly triple to 30,000 units in fiscal 2018.

To handle the increased production, Mitsubishi Motors intends to hire 440 new workers at the factory.

Reflecting Mitsubishi Motors' keen interest in the growing global market for SUVs, the company will begin assembly of its Outlander in Malaysia.

With this rollout, the Japanese company is now making two models of SUVs in the Southeast Asian country. Production is being handled by the Tan Chong Motor group, the local automaker that also assembles Mitsubishi Motors' ASX compact SUV, which is sold as the RVR in Japan.

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