Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s announcement on Monday of the closure of a factory that manufactures its Pajero SUV came as a shock to the town of Sakahogi, Gifu Prefecture, where the plant is located.

There is growing concern over the impact of the closure of the factory — which hires around 1,200 workers, making it the largest local employer — on the town’s economy, employment and finances.

“I was shocked because it was so sudden,” said Sakahogi Mayor Yoshiya Shibayama at a news conference the same day. Shibayama was told about the plan from Mitsubishi Motors executives on July 22, he said.