Mitsubishi Motors in Illinois is officially closed

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Mitsubishi Motors (MGN)

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — The last of the 1,200 employees who worked at the Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal have finished their shifts.

Mitsubishi announced last July that it would close and sell its central Illinois plant. Most of the employees stopped working in December when the plant produced its last vehicle.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports the final 170 employees signed final paperwork Tuesday, the day before new owner Maynards Industries and Industrial Assets Corp. takes over the facility Wednesday. The Michigan-based company specializes in industrial asset auctions, appraisals and liquidation.

The Japanese automaker said it decided to close the plant because of diminishing sales. Production at the plant fell to 64,000 vehicles from more than 200,000 in 2002. The facility was one of the largest employers in the Bloomington-Normal area.