Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is closing it’s headquarters in Renton, laying off 240 staff— 79 in Renton and 161 at the flight test center in Moses Lake. The company is consolidating to its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan.
Financial impacts from the U.S.-China trade war, the COVID-19 pandemic and general slowdown of commercial jet industry were all listed as contributing factors.
The company had opened it’s U.S. headquarters in Renton just last year on May 10, 2019. It was the second U.S. facility for the company following the flight test center, which hoped to have its first aircraft, SpaceJet, launch this year. It’s now delayed until 2021 or later. The SpaceJet faced problems of its own— a financial report states that a significant loss of profit came from the plane for the fiscal year of 2019, at a loss of about $275 million.
Renton headquarters had staff that worked primarily in sales, marketing and customer support, a press release from the opening of the headquarters states, and the location was based off the proximity to key partners, including Boeing, and the region’s status as an aerospace hub.