Governor Pat Quinn today announced a business investment package that is helping save at least 1,200 jobs at Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's (MMC) only North American plant in Normal. Governor Quinn proposed, helped to pass and signed legislation into law in December 2009 to expand the EDGE tax credit to benefit the auto industry. As a result of Illinois' investment, Mitsubishi has decided to stay and expand in Illinois, and is investing $45 million to produce a new Outlander Sport Crossover Utility Vehicle beginning in 2012.
"Mitsubishi's decision to produce a new generation of automobile here in Illinois is a strong testament to the strength of our workforce and the state's appealing business climate," said Governor Quinn. "By working to stabilize our economy and investing in companies that are investing in Illinois, we're helping to keep thousands of jobs in Illinois, helping reinvigorate our automobile industry and continuing our economic recovery."
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the state's more than $29 million business investment package. The package consists of EDGE tax credits and Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company's workforce. Mitsubishi will also benefit from the Normal plant's location in an Enterprise Zone.
"Mitsubishi Motors remains fully committed to producing vehicles in Normal, and I would like to thank Governor Quinn for his support of the automotive industry. We will build vehicles here not just for the United States, but for many nations around the world," said Mitsubishi Motors North America President Shinichi Kurihara.
The enhanced EDGE tax credit enables auto manufacturing companies, which are among Illinois' largest group of employers, to retain employee income tax withholdings and reinvest those funds into operations that create more jobs.
"Mitsubishi has a tremendous impact on the state and local economies, which is why Governor Quinn made it his top priority to help keep this company and these jobs right here in Illinois," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. "This investment will help create a more sustainable future for the people of Central Illinois by keeping thousands of union workers on the job and continues our efforts to move the Illinois economy forward."
Illinois continues to see strong signs of economic growth and recovery. Illinois ranked fourth in the nation for job growth in 2010, leading the Midwest. December marked the ninth straight month of declining unemployment. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest for exports and foreign direct investment.