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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and its Australian subsidiary, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd., said Thursday they will spend 230 million Australian dollars for a new automotive research and development project.

The project includes A$12 million in upgrading and expanding the Mitsubishi test track facilities near Adelaide, the carmaker said in a press release.

The project will also enable its Australian unit to take an increased role in the development of Mitsubishi vehicles worldwide, including the development of two new models in Australia due for release after 2005.

“Our operations there will now become an integral part of our global design and engineering network,” Mitsubishi Motors President Rolf Eckrodt said in a statement.