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Bloomington-Normal and towns for miles around are responding to word that Mitsubishi is closing its Bloomington-Normal plant late this year.

Production has slipped from over 200-thousand vehicles in 2002 to 64,000 a year as Mitsubishi's share of the U.S. market has fallen below one percent. Marc Passoni is a former employee of the plant and has a number of relatives collecting a check there.

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He says the disappointment is heightened by previous talk of expansion.

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In November, Mitbushi will be the first Japanese automaker to cease production in Europe and North America, although they have no plans to abandon the U.S. car market.. Nearly 13-hundred workers will be impacted by the closure.

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