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First Mitsubishi PAJERO PININ rolls off the line
at the opening of the new Pininfarina
Bairo Canavese Factory

July 7, 1999

Bairo Canavese, Italy - Katushiko Kawasoe, President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan) and Sergio Pininfarina, Chairman and Managing Director, Pininfarina S.p.A., (Headquarters: Turin, Italy) today opened the new Pininfarina Bairo Canavese Factory in Turin, at a ceremony attended by national and local dignitaries from Italy, representatives of Mitsubishi Motors' headquarters and European distributors, and the Italian and European fnancial press.

At this ceremony, the first Mitsubishi PAJERO PININ came off the production line at the new Pininfarina plant. The Mitsubishi PAJERO PININ is a new compact urban SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle), a promising product that incorporates the proud technological heritage of Mitsubishi Motors' PAJERO series, and the sophisticated finishing touches of the Italian carrozzeria, Pininfarina.

Pininfarina Bairo Canavese Factory in Turin, Italy

Talks between Mitsubishi Motors and Pininfarina began in 1996. Mitsubishi Motors recognised Pininfarina's prestige and expertise in the design, engineering, and industrial production of motor vehicles for Europe.

Mitsubishi decided that Pininfarina would be a flexible partner who could add the finishing touches to their new compact SUV (already a great success in Japan), and make it more appealing for the European market.

The agreement between Mitsubishi Motors and Pininfarina was signed in January 1997. Pininfarina then purchased an industrial site at Bairo Canavese in Turin, Italy, in April 1997, as a production facility dedicated to the production of the new Mitsubishi PAJERO PININ. Initial production will consist of the three-door model unveiled at this year's Geneva Motor Show, followed by production of a five-door model from autumn 2000.

The Bairo Canavese plant carries out the assembly and finishing operations, as well as the final check-up and testing on the track adjacent to the plant. The body assembly and paint shop are located at the Industrie Pininfarina factory in Grugliasco.

For Pininfarina, this agreement with Mitsubishi Motors means not only a significant increase in its manufacturing operations, but also opens the door on an extremely promising market sector. The compact SUV segment (small size Sport Utility Vehicles) have been one of the fastest growing segments in the European automotive market. Sales volume of compact SUVs are expected to reach approximately 440,000 units by the year 2000.

It is a great satisfaction for Pininfarina to have been chosen by a Company like Mitsubishi Motors for the manufacture of the new vehicle from its celebrated Pajero range aimed at the European market. It rewards in fact the commitment of the Company to be in the automotive world both a global partner for carmakers, and flexible supplier of expertise and specific services at every stage of the development of a new product, from design to technological development and industrialization, and production.

The role that Pininfarina is to play under the terms of the industrial agreement with Mitsubishi Motors confirms that the Group has reached a level of excellence in the quality/cost/service ratio, also in its manufacturing activities, like the ones of design and creativity, and represents a particularly significant event in the current automotive scenario, both from the industrial point of view and as regards employment.

The new PAJERO PININ will go on sale in Italy in autumn 1999 and will subsequently be launched onto the Spanish, German, Portuguese, British, Austrian, Belgian, and Swiss markets. The European production target is 11,000 units for 1999, and 35,000 units per year for 2000, when the Bairo Canavese plant will be in full production for a whole year.

Annual sales target of major markets (year 2000)
annual sales

This new production line at the Bairo Canavese plant both expands Mitsubishi Motors' European manufacturing capacity and confirms its commitment to meeting the needs and aspirations of the European market, with the support of Pininfarina's skills and experience in the industrialisation and production of niche vehicles.

New Pininfarina Bairo Canavese Factory
marked for exclusive production of Mitsubishi's
new compact SUV, the PAJERO PININ

The Pininfarina Bairo Canavese Factory (Turin-Italy), which was purchased by Pininfarina in 1997 and covers over 150,000 square metres, will be devoted solely to the production of the new Mitsubishi PAJERO PININ.

Both partners in the venture made huge investments in the PAJERO PININ project. Pininfarina spent approximately $40 million US (70 billion lire, 36 million euro) on buying and tooling up the Bairo Canavese factory, as well as on expanding its Grugliasco assembly and painting facilities. Mitsubishi Motors' investment has totalled almost $100 million US (180 billion lire, 93 million euro).

The plant will provide the local economy with a substantial boost. It will employ 450 people, creating 200 new jobs and transferring 250 others jobs from other Pininfarina plants. In addition, a further 150 employees at Grugliasco will be working exclusively on the PAJERO PININ lines. This means that out of Pininfarina's total workforce of 2,500, almost a quarter (600) will be working on the PAJERO PININ.

Components such as the GDI engine and transmission system will be sourced in Japan, while bodywork components will be produced by Italian and other European suppliers. Local content will be approximately 75%. The completed vehicles will be despatched directly from the Bairo factory to Mitsubishi Motors' European sales network.

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