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Mitsubishi May Power Neon

DETROIT--Future models of Chrysler's Neon may have a decidedly Mitsubishi glow to them as a top DaimlerChrysler executive is suggesting that the Neon may be built on a platform powered by Mitsubishi, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Calling the Neon ``a longtime laggard in the showroom,'' the WSJ quotes Juergen Hubbert, head of the Mercedes-Benz division, as observing that ``there's for sure an opportunity to take one of the Mitsubishi platforms for the Neon successor.''

Hubbert said ``it's not a bad idea'' to use a Mitsubishi platform, because it would allow the Neon to be built for less money that it is now--although production would remain in the U.S., according to the paper's account.

DaimlerChrysler owns 34 percent of Mitsubishi, and both Japan's Mitsubishi and the American-based Chrysler Corp. have suffered massive losses. WSJ reporter Jeffrey Ball interviewed Hubbert at the North American International Auto Show here.