Mitsubishi Motors
Overview
 
is a multinational
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 automaker
Automaker
The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles, and is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue....

 headquartered in Minato
Minato, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 1 March 2008, it had an official population of 217,335 and a population density of 10,865 persons per km². The total area is 20.34 km².Minato hosts 49 embassies...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. In 2009 it was the fifth-largest Japan-based automaker and the 17th-largest in the world measured by production. It is part of the Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

 keiretsu
Keiretsu
A is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. It is a type of business group. The keiretsu has maintained dominance over the Japanese economy for the greater half of the twentieth century....

, formerly the biggest industrial group in Japan, and was formed in 1970 from the automotive division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
, or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

.
Mitsubishi's automotive origins date back as far as 1917, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. introduced the Model A
Mitsubishi Model A
The Mitsubishi Model A is the only car built by the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, a member of the Mitsubishi keiretsu which would eventually evolve into Mitsubishi Motors, and the first series production automobile manufactured in Japan...

, Japan's first series-production automobile.
Encyclopedia
is a multinational
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 automaker
Automaker
The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles, and is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue....

 headquartered in Minato
Minato, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 1 March 2008, it had an official population of 217,335 and a population density of 10,865 persons per km². The total area is 20.34 km².Minato hosts 49 embassies...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. In 2009 it was the fifth-largest Japan-based automaker and the 17th-largest in the world measured by production. It is part of the Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

 keiretsu
Keiretsu
A is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. It is a type of business group. The keiretsu has maintained dominance over the Japanese economy for the greater half of the twentieth century....

, formerly the biggest industrial group in Japan, and was formed in 1970 from the automotive division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
, or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

.

History

Mitsubishi's automotive origins date back as far as 1917, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. introduced the Model A
Mitsubishi Model A
The Mitsubishi Model A is the only car built by the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, a member of the Mitsubishi keiretsu which would eventually evolve into Mitsubishi Motors, and the first series production automobile manufactured in Japan...

, Japan's first series-production automobile. An entirely hand-built seven-seater sedan based on the Fiat Tipo 3
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

, it proved expensive compared to its American and European mass-produced rivals, and was discontinued in 1921 after only 22 had been built.

In 1934, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding was merged with the Mitsubishi Aircraft Co., a company established in 1920 to manufacture aircraft engines and other parts. The unified company was known as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
, or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

 (MHI), and was the largest private company in Japan. MHI concentrated on manufacturing aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s, railroad car
Railroad car
A railroad car or railway vehicle , also known as a bogie in Indian English, is a vehicle on a rail transport system that is used for the carrying of cargo or passengers. Cars can be coupled together into a train and hauled by one or more locomotives...

s and machinery, but in 1937 developed the PX33
Mitsubishi PX33
The Mitsubishi PX33 is a prototype passenger car built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the company which would eventually sire Mitsubishi Motors. Commissioned for military use by the Japanese government in 1934, it was the first Japanese-built sedan to have full time four-wheel drive, a technology...

, a prototype sedan for military use. It was the first Japanese-built passenger car with full-time four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive, 4WD, or 4×4 is a four-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously...

, a technology the company would return to almost fifty years later in its quest for motorsport and sales success.
Immediately following the end of the Second World War, the company returned to manufacturing vehicles. Fuso
Fuso
Fuso or Fusō may refer to:* Fusō is the Japanese pronunciation of the word Fusang , an ancient naming for Japan.* Japanese ironclad warship Fusō, a cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy that fought in the Battle of Yalu River...

 bus production resumed, while a small three-wheeled
Three wheeler
A three wheeler is a vehicle with three wheels, either "human or people-powered vehicles" or motorized vehicles in the form of a motorcycle, All terrain vehicle or automobile. Other names for three-wheelers include Trikes, Tricars and Cyclecars...

 cargo vehicle called the Mizushima
Mitsubishi Mizushima
The Mitsubishi Mizushima is the first of a series of three wheeled cargo carriers made in Japan by Mitsubishi between 1946 and 1962. It was a mechanically simple and rugged vehicle, with a 400 kg carrying capacity, and was equipped with a folding canvas covering and a windshield to protect the...

 and a scooter
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

 called the Silver Pigeon
Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon
The Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon is a series of scooters made in Japan by Mitsubishi between 1946 and 1963. The first was the C-10, based on a scooter imported from the United States by Koujiro Maruyama, which began production at the Nagoya Machinery Works of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries...

 were also developed. However, the zaibatsu
Zaibatsu
is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed for control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period until the end of World War II.-Terminology:...

(Japan's family-controlled industrial conglomerates) were ordered to be dismantled by the Allied powers
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 in 1950, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was split into three regional companies, each with an involvement in motor vehicle development: West Japan Heavy-Industries, Central Japan Heavy-Industries, and East Japan Heavy-Industries.

East Japan Heavy-Industries began importing the Henry J
Henry J
The Henry J was an American automobile built by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation and named after its chairman, Henry J. Kaiser. Production of six-cylinder models began in July 1950, and four-cylinder production started shortly after Labor Day, 1950. Official public introduction was September 28, 1950....

, an inexpensive American sedan built by Kaiser Motors
Kaiser Motors
Kaiser Motors Corporation made automobiles at Willow Run, Michigan, United States, from 1945 to 1953. In 1953, Kaiser merged with Willys-Overland to form Willys Motors Incorporated, moving its production operations to the Willys plant at Toledo, Ohio...

, in knockdown kit (CKD) form in 1951, and continued to bring them to Japan for the remainder of the car's three year production run. The same year, Central Japan Heavy-Industries concluded a similar contract with Willys
Willys
Willys was the brand name used by Willys-Overland Motors, an American automobile company best known for its design and production of military Jeeps and civilian versions during the 20th century.-Early History:In 1908, John Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company...

 (now owned by Kaiser) for CKD-assembled Jeep CJ-3B
Jeep CJ
The Willys CJ is a public version of the famous Willys Military Jeep from World War II.The first CJ prototype was introduced in 1944 by Willys, and the same basic vehicle stayed in production through seven variants and three corporate parents until 1986.A variant of the CJ is still in production...

s. This deal proved more durable, with licensed Mitsubishi Jeeps in production until 1998, thirty years after Willys themselves had replaced the model.

By the beginning of the 1960s Japan's economy was gearing up; wages were rising and the idea of family motoring was taking off. Central Japan Heavy-Industries, now known as Shin Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, had already re-established an automotive department in its headquarters in 1953. Now it was ready to introduce the Mitsubishi 500
Mitsubishi 500
-History:The Mitsubishi 500 was the first passenger car produced after the Second World War by Shin Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, Ltd, one of the companies which would become Mitsubishi Motors. First shown at the 1959 Tokyo Motor Show, it became available in 1960 at a cost of ¥390,000...

, a mass market sedan, to meet the new demand from consumers. It followed this in 1962 with the Minica
Mitsubishi Minica
-Minica Sedan:The first Minica was first introduced in October 1962 as a two-door sedan based on the Mitsubishi 360 light truck, sharing its front-mounted ME21 359 cc twin-cylinder air-cooled engine driving the rear wheels, transverse leaf springs in front and beam axle/leaf springs at the...

 kei car
Kei car
Kei cars, K-cars, or , are a Japanese category of small vehicles, including passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks. They are designed to comply with Japanese government tax and insurance regulations, and in most rural areas are exempted from the requirement to certify that adequate parking is...

 and the Colt 1000, the first of its Colt
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

 line of family cars, in 1963.

West Japan Heavy-Industries (now renamed Mitsubishi Shipbuilding & Engineering) and East Japan Heavy-Industries (now Mitsubishi Nihon Heavy-Industries) had also expanded their automotive departments in the 1950s, and the three were re-integrated as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1964. Within three years its output was over 75,000 vehicles annually. Following the successful introduction of the first Galant
Mitsubishi Galant
The first generation of the car, initially known as the Colt Galant, was released in December 1969. The design was dubbed "Dynawedge" by Mitsubishi, referring to the influence of aerodynamics on the silhouette. Three models were available, powered by the new 'Saturn' engine in 1.3 or 1.5 L ...

 in 1969 and similar growth with its commercial vehicle division, it was decided that the company should create a single operation to focus on the automotive industry. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) was formed on April 22, 1970 as a wholly owned subsidiary of MHI under the leadership of Tomio Kubo, a successful engineer from the aircraft division.

The logo of three red diamonds, shared with over forty other companies within the keiretsu, predates Mitsubishi Motors itself by almost a century. It was chosen by Iwasaki Yatarō, the founder of Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

, as it was suggestive of the emblem of the Tosa Clan who first employed him, and because his own family crest was three rhombuses stacked atop each other. The name Mitsubishi is a portmanteau of mitsu ("three") and hishi (literally, "water chestnut", often used in Japanese to denote a diamond or rhombus).

1970s

Part of Kubo's expansion strategy was to increase exports by forging alliances with well-established foreign companies. Therefore, in 1971 MHI sold U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 automotive giant Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

 a 15 percent share in the new company. Thanks to this deal, Chrysler began selling the Galant in the United States as the Dodge Colt
Dodge Colt
The Dodge Colt and the similar Plymouth Champ and Plymouth Colt, were subcompact cars sold by Dodge and Plymouth from 1970 to 1994. They were captive imports from Mitsubishi Motors, initially twins of the rear-wheel drive Galant and Lancer families before shifting to the smaller front-wheel drive...

 (which was the first rebadged Mitsubishi product sold by Chrysler,) pushing MMC's annual production beyond 250,000 vehicles. In 1976, the Galant was sold as the Chrysler Scorpion in Australia.
By 1977, a network of "Colt"-branded distribution and sales dealerships had been established across Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, as Mitsubishi sought to begin selling vehicles directly. Annual production had by now grown from 500,000 vehicles in 1973 to 965,000 in 1978, when Chrysler began selling the Galant as the Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger
The Dodge Challenger is the name of three different generations of automobiles marketed by the Dodge division of Chrysler.The first generation Dodge Challenger was a pony car built from 1970 to 1974, using the Chrysler E platform and sharing major components with the Plymouth Barracuda. The second...

 and the Plymouth Sapporo. However, this expansion was beginning to cause friction; Chrysler saw their overseas markets for subcompacts
Subcompact car
Subcompact car is a North American term used to describe automobiles whose class size is smaller than that of a compact car, usually not exceeding in length, but larger than a microcar...

 as being directly encroached by their Japanese partners, while MMC felt the Americans were demanding too much say in their corporate decisions.

1980s & MMAL

Mitsubishi finally achieved annual production of one million cars in 1980, but by this time its ally was not so healthy; As part of its battle to avoid bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

, Chrysler was forced to sell its Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n manufacturing division to MMC that year. The new Japanese owners renamed it Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd (MMAL).

In 1982, the Mitsubishi brand was introduced to the American market for the first time. The Tredia
Mitsubishi Tredia
The Mitsubishi Tredia was a subcompact sedan built by Mitsubishi Motors from 1982 to 1990. Its name is supposedly derived from Mitsubishi's "Three Diamonds" logo...

 sedan, and the Cordia
Mitsubishi Cordia
The Mitsubishi Cordia is a compact hatchback-coupé that was built by Mitsubishi Motors from 1982 to 1990. Its name is supposedly an amalgam of "cordorite" and "diamonds" from Mitsubishi's Three Diamonds logo...

 and Starion
Mitsubishi Starion
The Mitsubishi Starion is a two-door, turbocharged four-cylinder rear-wheel drive four-seat sports car that was in production from 1982 to 1989. It was also marketed in North America as the Conquest under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names; both the Starion and Conquest came to an end in 1989...

 coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

s, were initially sold through 70 dealers in 22 states, with an allocation of 30,000 vehicles between them. This quota, restricted by mutual agreement between the two countries' governments, had to be included among the 120,000 cars earmarked for Chrysler. Toward the end of the 1980s, as MMC initiated a major push to increase its U.S. presence, it aired its first national television advertising campaign, and made plans to increase its dealer network to 340 dealers. By 1989, Mitsubishi's worldwide production, including its overseas affiliates, had reached 1.5 million units.

Diamond-Star Motors

Despite the ongoing tensions between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, they agreed to unite in a vehicle manufacturing operation in Normal, Illinois
Normal, Illinois
Normal is an incorporated town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. It had a population of 52,497 as of the 2010 census. Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area...

. The 50/50 venture provided a way to circumvent the voluntary import restrictions, while providing a new line of compact
Compact car
A compact car , or small family car , is a classification of cars which are larger than a supermini but smaller than or equal to a mid-size car...

 and subcompact car
Subcompact car
Subcompact car is a North American term used to describe automobiles whose class size is smaller than that of a compact car, usually not exceeding in length, but larger than a microcar...

s for Chrysler. Diamond-Star Motors
Diamond-Star Motors
Diamond-Star Motors was an automobile-manufacturing joint venture between the Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation . The name came from the parent companies' respective logos: three diamonds and a pentastar...

 (DSM)—from the parent companies' logos: three diamonds (Mitsubishi) and a pentastar (Chrysler)—was incorporated in October 1985, and in April 1986 ground was broken on a 1.9 million square-foot (177,000 m²) production facility. In 1987, the company was selling 67,000 cars a year in the U.S., but when the plant was completed in March 1988 it offered an annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles. Initially, three platform-sharing compact 2+2 coupés were released, the Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Eclipse
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was a coupe that was in production since 1989 for left hand drive traffic markets. According to Mitsubishi, the car was named after an 18th century English racehorse which won 26 races, and has also been sold as the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser captive imports through...

, Eagle Talon
Eagle Talon
The Eagle Talon was one of three model names given to a sports coupe that was manufactured between 1990 and 1999 and sold by the then Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan in a joint 50/50 corporate venture known as Diamond-Star Motors...

 and Plymouth Laser
Plymouth Laser
The Plymouth Laser was a sports coupe sold under the Plymouth brand from 1989 to 1994. The Laser and its siblings: the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon, were the first vehicles produced under the newly formed Diamond Star Motors, a joint-venture between the Chrysler Corporation and the...

, with other models being introduced in subsequent years.

1988 IPO

Mitsubishi Motors went public in 1988, ending its status as the only one of Japan's eleven auto manufacturers to be privately held. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries agreed to reduce its share to 25 percent, retaining its position as largest single stockholder. Chrysler, meanwhile, increased its holding to over 20 percent. The capital raised by this initial offering enabled Mitsubishi to pay off part of its debts, as well as to expand its investments throughout south-east Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 where it was by now operating in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Malaysia, and Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

.

1990s

Hirokazu Nakamura became president of Mitsubishi in 1989 and steered the company in some promising directions. Sales of the company's new Pajero
Mitsubishi Pajero
The Mitsubishi Pajero is a sport utility vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. It was named after Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas Cat which is native to the Patagonia plateau region of southern Argentina. However, since pajero is an offensive term for "wanker" in Spanish, alternative names have...

 were bucking conventional wisdom by becoming popular even in the crowded streets of Japan. Although sales of SUVs and light trucks were booming in the U.S., Japan's car manufacturers dismissed the idea that such a trend could occur in their own country. Nakamura, however, increased the budget for sport utility product development, and his gamble paid off; Mitsubishi's wide line of four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive, 4WD, or 4×4 is a four-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously...

 vehicles, from the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini
Mitsubishi Pajero Mini
The Mitsubishi Pajero Mini is a kei car produced by Mitsubishi Motors since December 1994.-Overview:Based on the platform of the Minica, the Pajero Mini was styled as a miniature version of the company's successful Pajero sport utility vehicle, in response to the SUV craze of the late 1980s and...

 kei car
Kei car
Kei cars, K-cars, or , are a Japanese category of small vehicles, including passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks. They are designed to comply with Japanese government tax and insurance regulations, and in most rural areas are exempted from the requirement to certify that adequate parking is...

 to the Delica Space Gear
Mitsubishi Delica
The Mitsubishi Delica is a range of trucks and multi-purpose vehicles built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1968. It was originally based on a small pickup truck introduced the previous year, also called the Delica, its name a contraction of the English language phrase Delivery car...

 passenger van, rode the wave of SUV-buying in Japan in the early to mid-1990s, and Mitsubishi saw its overall domestic share rise to 11.6 percent in 1995.

Independence

In 1991, Chrysler sold its equity stake in Diamond-Star Motors to its partner, and from then on they continued to share components and manufacturing on a contractual basis only. Chrysler decreased its interest in Mitsubishi Motors to less than 3 percent in 1992, and announced its decision to divest itself of all its remaining shares on the open market in 1993. The two companies nevertheless continued their close alliance, with Chrysler supplying some parts for engines and transmissions for DSM, and Mitsubishi marketing Chrysler products overseas and supplying engines for Chrysler minivans and cars.

DSM was officially renamed Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America on July 1, 1995, and Mitsubishi Motors North America, Manufacturing Division in 2002.

DaimlerChrysler

Two years after the merger of Daimler and Chrysler
DaimlerChrysler
Daimler AG is a German car corporation. By unit sales, it is the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world. In addition to automobiles, Daimler manufactures buses and provides financial services through its Daimler Financial Services arm...

 to form DCX, the U.S.-German conglomerate paid US$1.9 billion for a controlling 34 percent of MMC, in an effort to fulfil chairman Jürgen Schrempp's vision of a "Welt AG" ("world corporation"). The price reflected a US$200 million discount on the originally agreed figure, caused by the public disclosure of the defect cover-up scandal. In March 2001 it increased its stake to 37.3 percent when it acquired Volvo
Volvo
AB Volvo is a Swedish builder of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace components and financial services...

's stake in MMC's truck-making operations, further boosting Mercedes' share of a market it already dominated. However, boardroom wrangles at DCX in April 2004 prevented them offering financial assistance as Mitsubishi attempted to reduce its crippling debts. When a US$4 billion rescue package was agreed with Tokyo-based Phoenix Capital
Phoenix Capital Co.
is a Tokyo-based privately held fund that specializes in helping troubled companies.-History:Founded in 2001 by two former Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi managers.Invested in Sakuraya Co., Ltd., Tokyu Construction Co., Ltd..-Holdings:...

 in May 2004, DCX's stake was reduced to 23 percent, and further recapitalisations subsequently diluted the holding to 12.4 percent. Finally, on November 11, 2005, the remaining stock was sold for US$1.1 billion—an US$800 million loss in five years. Three days later the buyer, investment bank Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

, sold the shares on for US$80 million profit.

New major stockholder Phoenix Capital followed suit the following month, selling all but 50 million of its 575 million shares to JPMorgan
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is an American multinational banking corporation of securities, investments and retail. It is the largest bank in the United States by assets and market capitalization.It is a major provider of financial services, with assets of $2 trillion and according to Forbes magazine is...

 on December 9, 2005. Once again, the investment bank offloaded their purchase within a few days for tens of millions in profit. In both cases, the eventual buyers were part of the Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

 keiretsu, returning MMC to Japanese ownership.

Volvo

Mitsubishi participated in a joint venture with rival car-maker Volvo
Volvo
AB Volvo is a Swedish builder of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace components and financial services...

 and the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 government at the former DAF plant in Born in 1991. The operation, branded NedCar
NedCar
NedCar, officially Netherlands Car B.V. and a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors, is the only large-scale automaker in the Netherlands. Based in Born on a 927,000 m2 site, it has a capacity of approximately 200,000 vehicles, and produced its millionth vehicle, a Mitsubishi Space Star, on October...

, began producing the first generation Mitsubishi Carisma
Mitsubishi Carisma
The Mitsubishi Carisma is a large family car produced for the European market by Mitsubishi Motors from 1995 to 2004. The model name was derived from a combination of the English car and the Greek kharisma, meaning "divine gift"...

 alongside the Volvo S40/V40
Volvo S40
The Volvo S40 is a small family car produced by Volvo. It introduced the first generation S40 and V40 cars in 1995...

 in 1996.

The Dutch government sold out to its partners in 1999 and Volvo, by now owned by Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

, sold its stake to Mitsubishi in early 2001 to leave the Japanese company as the only remaining shareholder. The factory currently produces the latest Mitsubishi Colt
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

 and superminis
Supermini car
A supermini is a British term that describes automobiles larger than a city car but smaller than a small family car. This car class is also known as the B-segment across Europe, and as subcompact in North America....

 (partner DaimlerChrysler
DaimlerChrysler
Daimler AG is a German car corporation. By unit sales, it is the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world. In addition to automobiles, Daimler manufactures buses and provides financial services through its Daimler Financial Services arm...

 cancelled production of theColt-based Smart Forfour
Smart Forfour
The Smart Forfour was a supermini produced by Smart between April 2004 and June 2006. Unlike the other models of the marque, the Forfour was a more conventional five-door hatchback with a relatively roomy interior, available as a four-/five-seater....

 in 2006). Production of European market-bound Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi Outlander
The Airtrek was first introduced to the Japanese market on June 20, 2001, priced from ¥1.7–2.3 million. It offered a choice of either a 4G63 2.0 L or a 4G64 2.4 L GDI, mated to a standard INVECS-II 4-speed semi-automatic transmission. Both front- and four-wheel drive were available...

s, and badge engineered
Badge engineering
Badge engineering is an ironic term that describes the rebadging of one product as another...

 versions of this vehicle, are also be manufactured in the Netherlands.

PSA Peugeot Citroën

Mitsubishi has been allied with PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën is a French manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot and Citroën marques. Headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, PSA is the second largest automaker based in Europe and the number eight in the world.-History:In December 1974 Peugeot S.A....

 since 1999, after they agreed to co-operate on the development of diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

s using the Japanese company's gasoline direct injection
Gasoline direct injection
In internal combustion engines, gasoline direct injection , also known as petrol direct injection or direct petrol injection, is a variant of fuel injection employed in modern two-stroke and four-stroke gasoline engines...

 (GDI) technology. They united again in 2005 to develop the Peugeot 4007
Peugeot 4007
The Peugeot 4007 is a compact crossover SUV produced by the French automobile manufacturer Peugeot since July 2007.The equivalent Citroën badge-engineered version is the C-Crosser, both of which will be produced by Mitsubishi in its Nedcar plant, in Netherlands on the basis of the new Outlander...

 and Citroën C-Crosser sport utility vehicle
Sport utility vehicle
A sport utility vehicle is a generic marketing term for a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis. It is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle. Not all four-wheel...

s (SUVs), based on the Japanese company's Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi Outlander
The Airtrek was first introduced to the Japanese market on June 20, 2001, priced from ¥1.7–2.3 million. It offered a choice of either a 4G63 2.0 L or a 4G64 2.4 L GDI, mated to a standard INVECS-II 4-speed semi-automatic transmission. Both front- and four-wheel drive were available...

.

Two further ties were established between the companies in 2008, first with the establishment of a jointly-owned production facility in Kaluga
Kaluga
Kaluga is a city and the administrative center of Kaluga Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River southwest of Moscow. Population: It is served by Grabtsevo Airport.-History:...

 which will manufacture up to 160,000 Outlander-based SUVs for the fast-growing Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n market. They are also collaborating in the research and development of electric powertrains for small urban vehicles. Japanese newspaper Nikkei
Nihon Keizai Shimbun
is one of the largest media corporations in Japan. Nikkei specializes in publishing financial, business and industry news. Its main news publications include:* Nihon Keizai Shimbun , a leading economic newspaper....

claims that Peugeot Citroën will sell the electric city car Mitsubishi i MiEV
Mitsubishi i MiEV
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a five-door hatchback electric car produced by Mitsubishi Motors, and is the electric version of the Mitsubishi i. According to the manufacturer, the i-MiEV all-electric range is on the Japanese test cycle...

 in Europe by 2011.

Colt & Lonsdale

The Colt name appears frequently in Mitsubishi's history since its introduction as a rear-engined 600cc sedan in the early 1960s. Today, it most commonly refers to the Mitsubishi Colt
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

 subcompact in the company's line-up, but is also the name of MMC's import/distribution company in the United Kingdom, the Colt Car Company
Colt Car Company
The Colt Car Company Limited is a privately owned business established in 1974 as part of Mitsubishi Motors' global expansion programme for the purpose of importing and distributing cars and light commercial vehicles in the United Kingdom...

, established in 1974. For the first decade of its existence, before Far Eastern auto manufacturers had established their reputations, its cars carried the "Colt" badge in Britain instead of "Mitsubishi".

In 1982 & '83, Mitsubishi introduced the Australian-built Chrysler Sigma
Chrysler Sigma
The Chrysler Sigma is a version of the Mitsubishi Galant automobile that was built by Chrysler Australia in Adelaide from 1977. When Mitsubishi Motors Australia took over Chrysler Australia's manufacturing facilities in 1980, they renamed the vehicle the Mitsubishi Sigma...

 to the UK as the Lonsdale Sigma in an attempt to circumvent British import quotas, but the new brand was unsuccessful. It then carried Mitsubishi Sigma
Mitsubishi Sigma
Mitsubishi Sigma may refer to one of several vehicles manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors between 1976 and 1996:*The Mitsubishi Galant Σ , a version of the Mitsubishi Galant sedan built between 1976 and 1987...

 badges in 1983–84 before abandoning this operation entirely.

Proton

Proton
Proton (company)
Proton is a Malaysian automobile manufacturer headquartered in Subang Jaya and Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, with a manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. Founded in 1983, it was Malaysia's only carmaker until the establishment of its competitor and arch-rival, Perodua, in 1993...

 of Malaysia was initially very dependent on this Japanese company, only assembling their 1985 Proton Saga
Proton Saga
- Saga :The Proton Saga was launched in September 1985 by Malaysia's then Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. Before the production of Proton Saga, a contest was held to choose the name of the first national car, and the name Saga was chosen from the winner of the contest, Ismail Jaafar, a...

 using MMC components at a newly established facility in Shah Alam
Shah Alam
Shah Alam is the state capital of Selangor, Malaysia situated within the Petaling District and a small portion of the neighboring Klang District. It is located about west of the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur. Shah Alam replaced Kuala Lumpur as the capital city of the state of Selangor in 1978...

. Subsequent models like the Wira
Proton Wira
The Proton Wira was a car manufactured by Malaysian carmaker Proton, released as a four-door saloon and four-door hatchback beginning 1993. The Wira was intended as a newer alternative to the Proton Saga Iswara, a facelifted version of Proton's first model, the Proton Saga, as a flagship compact...

 and Perdana
Proton Perdana
The Proton Perdana is an intermediate-size automobile produced by Proton. It is a badge engineered version of the seventh-generation Mitsubishi Eterna. Perdana is a Malay word for "Prime".- Perdana SEi :...

 were based on the Lancer
Mitsubishi Lancer
The Mitsubishi Lancer is a family car built by Mitsubishi Motors. It has been known as the Colt Lancer, Dodge/Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Carisma, and Mitsubishi Mirage in various countries at different times,...

/Colt
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

 and Galant/Eterna
Mitsubishi Galant
The first generation of the car, initially known as the Colt Galant, was released in December 1969. The design was dubbed "Dynawedge" by Mitsubishi, referring to the influence of aerodynamics on the silhouette. Three models were available, powered by the new 'Saturn' engine in 1.3 or 1.5 L ...

 respectively, before the company finally produced an entirely self-developed vehicle with 2001's Waja
Proton Waja
The Proton Waja is a saloon car designed in-house by Malaysian automotive company, Proton, first released in August 2000. The Waja is the first Malaysian-designed car. The name Waja, which means "the king", meaning it is the "king" of all of the previous models. The name was chosen partly to...

, and the 2004's Proton Gen-2
Proton Gen-2
Sometime after the launch of the standard Gen-2, comes the special edition. It is fitted with a full body-kit, leather seats and lightweight sport rims. Handling is slightly better with the broader tires fitted and it is more aerodynamic...

. At its peak, the carmaker controlled 75 percent of its domestic market, even after Mitsubishi ended their 22-year partnership in 2005, selling their 7.9 percent stake for RM
Malaysian ringgit
The Malaysian ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. It is divided into 100 sen...

384 million to Khazanah Nasional Berhad. However, in October 2008, Proton renewed its technology transfer agreements with MMC, and the Proton Inspira [Proton Waja replacement] is to be based on the Mitsubishi Lancer platform and official launched on 10 November 2010.

Hyundai

Hyundai
Hyundai Motor Company
Hyundai Motor Company is a Korean multinational automaker based in Seoul, South Korea which, along with Kia, comprises the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, the world's fourth largest automaker as of 2009. As of 2011, it is the world's fastest growing automaker for two years running...

 of South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, built the Hyundai Pony
Hyundai Pony
The Hyundai Pony , was a small rear-wheel drive automobile produced by the Hyundai Motor Company from 1975 to 1988 .-Background:...

 in 1975 using MMC's Saturn engine
Mitsubishi Saturn engine
The Mitsubishi Saturn or 4G3 engine is series of straight-4 internal combustion engines introduced by Mitsubishi Motors in 1969, along with the Astron, Orion, and Sirius. Displacement ranges from 1.2 L to 1.8 L.-4G30:...

 and transmissions. Korea's first car, it remained in production for thirteen years. Mitsubishi held up to a 10 percent stake in the company, until disposing of the last of its remaining shares in March 2003.

Chinese joint ventures

As of 2006 Mitsubishi has four joint venture
Joint venture
A joint venture is a business agreement in which parties agree to develop, for a finite time, a new entity and new assets by contributing equity. They exercise control over the enterprise and consequently share revenues, expenses and assets...

s with Chinese partners.
  • South East (Fujian) Motor Co Ltd
    Soueast Motors
    South East Motor Co Ltd, commonly known as Soueast, is a joint venture between Japanese Mitsubishi Motors, Chinese Fujian Motor Industry Group, and Taiwanese China Motor Corporation....

  • Shenyang Aerospace Mitsubishi Motors Engine Manufacturing Co Ltd
  • Harbin Dongan Automotive Engine Manufacturing Co Ltd - A subsidiary of Harbin Hafei Automobile Industry Group Co Ltd
    Hafei
    Hafei, officially the Harbin HF Automobile Industry Group Co Ltd , is a Chinese holding company whose subsidiaries make automobile engines; sedans; MPVs; and mini vehicles, small trucks and vans that see commercial use...

  • Hunan Changfeng Motor Co Ltd - A subsidiary of Chang Feng (Group) Co Ltd
    Chang Feng
    GAC Changfeng Motors Co Ltd. abbreviated CMC is a Chinese SUV manufacturer. A state-owned enterprise but also a public company, Changfeng solely produces SUVs and most sales have been to the Chinese state....


Asian economic downturn

The benefits Mitsubishi had seen because of its strong presence in south-east Asia reversed themselves as a result of the economic crisis in the region
East Asian financial crisis
The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of Asia beginning in July 1997, and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion....

 which began in 1997. In September of that year the company closed its Thai factory in response to a crash in the country's currency and plummeting consumer demand. The large truck plant, which had produced 8,700 trucks in 1996, was shut down indefinitely. In addition, Mitsubishi had little support from sales in Japan, which slowed considerably throughout 1997 and were affected by that country's own economic uncertainty into 1998. Other Japanese automakers, such as Toyota and Honda
Honda
is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles.Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than...

, bolstered their own slipping domestic sales with success in the U.S. However, with a comparatively small percentage of the American market, the impact of the turmoil in the Asian economy had a greater effect on Mitsubishi, and the company's 1997 losses were the worst in its history. In addition, it lost both its rank as the third largest automaker in Japan to Mazda
Mazda
is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.In 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales...

, and market share overseas. Its stock price fell precipitously, prompting the company to cancel its year-end dividend payment.

In November 1997, Mitsubishi hired Katsuhiko Kawasoe
Katsuhiko Kawasoe
is a former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors.After working in the Accounting, Personnel Planning, and Labor Relations departments, he was appointed Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, General Manager of the Nagoya production plant, and...

 to replace Takemune Kimura
Takemune Kimura
was a Japanese businessman and former president of Mitsubishi Motors. Prior to his promotion in June 1995 he spent 37 years at the company's Mizushima manufacturing facility in Kurashiki, Okayama, before becoming president of the Pajero Manufacturing Co. subsidiary in Sakahogi, Gifu. He was hired...

 as company president. Kawasoe unveiled an aggressive restructuring program that aimed to cut costs by ¥350 billion in three years, reduce personnel by 1,400, and return the company to profitability by 1998. But while the program had some initial success, the company's sales were still stagnant as the Asian economy continued to sputter. In 1999, Mitsubishi was forced once again to skip dividend payments. Its interest-bearing debt totalled ¥1.7 trillion.

Vehicle defect cover-up

In what was referred to as "one of the largest corporate scandals in Japanese history", Mitsubishi was twice forced to admit to systematically covering up defect problems in its vehicles. Four defects were first publicized in 2000, but in 2004 it confessed to 26 more going back as far as 1977, including failing brakes, fuel leaks and malfunctioning clutches. The effect on the company was catastrophic, forcing it to recall 163,707 cars (156,433 in Japan and 7,274 overseas) for free repair. Further recalls by Fuso truck & bus
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation
The Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation is a German-owned, Japan-based manufacturer of trucks and buses. It is headquartered in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan. This company is one of the World's largest truck manufacturers...

 brought the total number of vehicles requiring repair to almost one million. The affair led to the resignation and subsequent arrest of president Kawasoe, along with 23 other employees who were also implicated. Three of them have since been acquitted, with the judge stating that there was no official request from the Transport Ministry ordering them to submit a defect report. After the death of Lisa Lopes
Lisa Lopes
Lisa Nicole Lopes better known by her stage name Left Eye, was an American rapper, singer, dancer, actress, television host, and songwriter...

 in 2002, her mother Wanda Lopes sued Mitsubishi Motors because her daughter was driving a Mitsubishi Montero Sport at the time of the car crash. The car was prone to rollovers, according to a 2001 Consumers Report review.

0–0–0

In an effort to boost sales in the U.S. at the start of the decade, Mitsubishi began offering a "0–0–0" finance offer—0% down, 0% interest, and $0 monthly payments (all repayments deferred for 12 months). Initially, sales leapt, but at the end of the year's "grace period" numerous credit-risky buyers defaulted, leaving Mitsubishi with used vehicles for which they had received no money and which were now worth less than they cost to manufacture. The company's American credit operation, MMCA, was eventually forced to make a US$454 million provision against its 2003 accounts as a result of these losses. As a result, sales plummeted to 243,000 in 2003, 139,000 in 2004, 124,000 in 2005, and 119,000 in 2006.

Australian production

In October 2005, MMAL introduced the Mitsubishi 380
Mitsubishi 380
The Mitsubishi 380 is a mid-size car that was produced by Mitsubishi Motors Australia between 2005 and 2008. It was the successor to the Mitsubishi Magna/Verada line of vehicles first introduced in 1985. The company spent over A$600 million developing and producing the car, which is heavily based...

 to the Australian market as the replacement for its long-running Mitsubishi Magna
Mitsubishi Magna
The Mitsubishi Magna was a mid-size car offered between May 1985 and September 2005 by Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited . Manufactured at the Tonsley Park assembly plant, Magna spanned three generations before being replaced by the Mitsubishi 380...

, and the sole vehicle being built at its Australian assembly plant at Clovelly Park. Despite an investment of A$
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

600 million developing the car, initial sales projections have so far proven optimistic; after only six months Mitsubishi scaled back production from 90/day, and reduced the working week from five days to four. It remained an ongoing concern in the Australian auto industry as to whether this would be sufficient to restore the plant to profitability and ensure its long term survival.

The drop in local sales could not be mitigated by exports outside of the Australian and New Zealand market. On February 5, 2008 Mitsubishi Motors Australia
Mitsubishi Motors Australia
Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of parent company Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan. Its Australian administrative headquarters are located at Tonsley Park , with branch offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth...

 announced it would be closing down its Adelaide assembly plant by the end of March. Between 700 and 1000 direct jobs would be lost and up to 2000 jobs will be lost in industries supporting Mitsubishi's local manufacturing operations.

Revitalization plan

After a starvation of new investment caused by lack of cashflow, the company introduced the award-winning Mitsubishi i
Mitsubishi i
The is a kei car from Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors, first released in January 2006, twenty eight months after its debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show...

 kei car
Kei car
Kei cars, K-cars, or , are a Japanese category of small vehicles, including passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks. They are designed to comply with Japanese government tax and insurance regulations, and in most rural areas are exempted from the requirement to certify that adequate parking is...

 in 2006, its first new model in 29 months, while a revised Outlander
Mitsubishi Outlander
The Airtrek was first introduced to the Japanese market on June 20, 2001, priced from ¥1.7–2.3 million. It offered a choice of either a 4G63 2.0 L or a 4G64 2.4 L GDI, mated to a standard INVECS-II 4-speed semi-automatic transmission. Both front- and four-wheel drive were available...

 has been introduced worldwide to compete in the popular XUV
Crossover SUV
A crossover SUV is a vehicle built on a car platform and combining, in highly variable degrees, features of a sport utility vehicle with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a station wagon or hatchback.Using the unibody construction typical of passenger vehicles, the crossover...

 market niche. The next generation of its Lancer
Mitsubishi Lancer
The Mitsubishi Lancer is a family car built by Mitsubishi Motors. It has been known as the Colt Lancer, Dodge/Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Carisma, and Mitsubishi Mirage in various countries at different times,...

 and Lancer Evolution was launched in 2007 and 2008.

Slow selling vehicles were eliminated from the U.S. market, purchase projections for the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance
Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance
The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance LLC, or GEMA, is a manufacturing arm of Global Engine Alliance LLC, which was a joint venture of Chrysler, Mitsubishi Motors, and Hyundai Motor Company for developing a line of shared engines...

 have been scaled back, and 10,000 jobs have been shed to cut costs with 3,400 workers at its Australian plant and other loss-making operations still under threat. Meanwhile, in an effort to increase production at its U.S. facility, new export markets for the Eclipse and Galant
Mitsubishi Galant
The first generation of the car, initially known as the Colt Galant, was released in December 1969. The design was dubbed "Dynawedge" by Mitsubishi, referring to the influence of aerodynamics on the silhouette. Three models were available, powered by the new 'Saturn' engine in 1.3 or 1.5 L ...

 are being explored in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, where the company's bestselling dealership is located. Mitsubishi has also been active in OEM
Original Equipment Manufacturer
An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a...

 production of cars for Nissan
Nissan Motors
, usually shortened to Nissan , is a multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. It was a core member of the Nissan Group, but has become more independent after its restructuring under Carlos Ghosn ....

, and announced a similar partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën is a French manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot and Citroën marques. Headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, PSA is the second largest automaker based in Europe and the number eight in the world.-History:In December 1974 Peugeot S.A....

 in July 2005 to manufacture an SUV on their behalf.

Mitsubishi reported its first profitable quarter in four years in the third quarter of 2006, and returned to profitability by the end of the 2006 financial year, and sustained profitability and global sales of 1,524,000 through 2007 and later.

In January 2011, the company announced its next mid-term business plan to introduce eight hybrid and battery-powered models by 2015. It aims to sell its first two plug-in hybrids by fiscal 2012.

Electric vehicles

Mitsubishi Motors will start selling its i MiEV, the all-electric mini-car with a lithium-ion battery pack tucked under its floor, to retail customers in the summer 2009, a year ahead of schedule. The automaker had initially planned to start leasing the minicar-based vehicle to businesses and municipalities in the summer 2009 and to wait until 2010 for the retail launch. It has also announced its plans to offer five other e-drive vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors aims to cut the price of its electric vehicles to 2 million yen ($21,890) by fiscal 2012—down 30 percent.

Motorsport

Mitsubishi has almost half a century of international motorsport experience, predating even the incorporation of MMC. Beginning with street races in the early 1960s, the company found itself gravitating towards the challenge of off-road racing. It dominated endurance rallies in the 1970s, the Dakar Rally
Dakar Rally
The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation...

 from the '80s, and the Group A
Group A
In relation to motorsport governed by the FIA, Group A referred to a set of regulations providing production-derived vehicles for outright competition. In contrast to the short-lived Group B and Group C, the Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, weight, allowed...

 and Group N
Group N
In relation to motorsport governed by the FIA, Group N refers to a set of regulations providing 'standard' production vehicles for competition, often referred to as the "Showroom Class"....

 classes of the World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
The World Rally Championship is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver and manufacturer. The driver's world championship and manufacturer's world championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. The series currently consists of 13...

 through the '90s. Ralliart
Ralliart
Ralliart was the high-performance and motorsports division of Mitsubishi Motors. It was responsible for development and preparation of the company's rally racing and off-road racing vehicles, as well as the development of high-performance models and parts available to the public...

 (later Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports), was Mitsubishi's racing subsidiary, although the company ceased competing formally in 2010.

Circuit racing

Mitsubishi's motorsport debut was in touring car racing
Touring car racing
Touring car racing is a general term for a number of distinct auto racing competitions in heavily-modified street cars. It is notably popular in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia and Britain.-Characteristics of a touring car:...

 in 1962, when it entered its Mitsubishi 500 Super DeLuxe
Mitsubishi 500
-History:The Mitsubishi 500 was the first passenger car produced after the Second World War by Shin Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, Ltd, one of the companies which would become Mitsubishi Motors. First shown at the 1959 Tokyo Motor Show, it became available in 1960 at a cost of ¥390,000...

 in the Macau Grand Prix
Macau Grand Prix
The Macau Grand Prix is a motor-racing event held annually in Macau, one of China's Special Administrative Regions. It is known for being the only street circuit racing event in which both car and motorcycle races are held...

 in an effort to promote sales of its first post-war
Post-war
A post-war period or postwar period is the interval immediately following the ending of a war and enduring as long as war does not resume. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date...

 passenger car. In an auspicious debut, the diminutive rear-engined sedan swept the top four places in the "Under 750 cc" category, with Kazuo Togawa taking class honours. The company returned the following year with their new Colt 600
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

 and again swept the podium with a 1–2–3 in the "Under 600 cc" class. In its final year of competition with touring cars in 1966, Mitsubishi scored a podium clean sweep in the "750–1000 cc" class of the 1964 Japanese Grand Prix with the Colt 1000
Mitsubishi Colt
The Mitsubishi Colt is a vehicle built by Mitsubishi Motors since 1962. It was first introduced as a series of kei cars and subcompact cars in the 1960s, and then as the export version of the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback in the 1980s and 1990s...

, their first front-engined competition vehicle.

The company began concentrating on the Japanese GP's emerging open-wheel "formula car" categories from 1966, winning the "Exhibition" class. They also scored class 1–2 in 1967 and 1968, and reached the podium in 1969 and 1970. They finished on a high with an overall 1–2 in the 1971 Japan GP, with the two litre DOHC F2000 driven by Kuniomi Nagamatsu.

Off-road racing

The East African Safari Rally was by far the most gruelling event on the World Rally Championship calendar in the 1970s. MMC developed the Lancer 1600 GSR specifically for the marathon race, and won at the first attempt in 1974. Their highpoint was a clean sweep of the podium places in 1976 in an event where only 20 percent of the starters typically reached the finish. They also achieved a 1–2–3–4 in the 1973 Southern Cross Rally
Southern Cross Rally
The Southern Cross Rally was a major international rally mainly held in the Port Macquarie region of New South Wales, Australia, between 1966 and 1980. The rally attracted many of the world's leading rally drivers and factory teams....

, the first of four consecutive victories in this event with drivers Andrew Cowan
Andrew Cowan
Andrew Cowan is a Scottish former rally driver, and the founder and senior director of Mitsubishi Ralliart until his retirement on 30 November 2005.-Early years:...

 and Kenjiro Shinozuka
Kenjiro Shinozuka
is a Japanese rally driver. Since his debut in 1967, his greatest successes have been as a works driver for Mitsubishi Motors. Behind the wheel of a Galant VR-4 he won the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 1988 and scored consecutive victories in the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire Bandama in 1991 and 1992,...

.

During the 1980s Mitsubishi continued to participate in the WRC, first with the Lancer EX2000 Turbo
Mitsubishi Lancer
The Mitsubishi Lancer is a family car built by Mitsubishi Motors. It has been known as the Colt Lancer, Dodge/Plymouth Colt, Chrysler Valiant Lancer, Chrysler Lancer, Eagle Summit, Hindustan Lancer, Soueast Lioncel, Mitsubishi Carisma, and Mitsubishi Mirage in various countries at different times,...

 and the Starion
Mitsubishi Starion
The Mitsubishi Starion is a two-door, turbocharged four-cylinder rear-wheel drive four-seat sports car that was in production from 1982 to 1989. It was also marketed in North America as the Conquest under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names; both the Starion and Conquest came to an end in 1989...

. It then scored its first outright Group A
Group A
In relation to motorsport governed by the FIA, Group A referred to a set of regulations providing production-derived vehicles for outright competition. In contrast to the short-lived Group B and Group C, the Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, weight, allowed...

 victories with a Galant VR-4
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
The Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 was the range-topping version of Mitsubishi Motors' Galant model, available in the sixth , seventh and eighth generations of the vehicle...

 in the late '80s, Mitsubishi homologated the Lancer Evolution, and in the hands of Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

's Tommi Mäkinen
Tommi Mäkinen
"Turbo" Tommi Antero Mäkinen , tied with Juha Kankkunen and behind Sébastien Loeb , and fifth in wins .He is a four-time World Rally Champion, a series he first won, and then successfully defended, continuously throughout 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, on all occasions driving the Ralliart Mitsubishi...

, winner of the drivers' title for four consecutive years (1996–1999), they won the manufacturers' championship in 1998. They have won 34 WRC events since 1973. The Lancer Evo has also dominated the FIA championship for showroom-ready cars, winning seven consecutive Group N
Group N
In relation to motorsport governed by the FIA, Group N refers to a set of regulations providing 'standard' production vehicles for competition, often referred to as the "Showroom Class"....

 titles with four different drivers from 1995–2001. Even in 2002 when it ostensibly lost the title, the class-winning manufacturer was Proton using a Lancer Evo-based Pert.

Mitsubishi is also the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Dakar Rally
Dakar Rally
The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation...

, one of the most challenging and dangerous motorsport events in the world. MMC's maiden entry was in 1983 with their new Pajero
Mitsubishi Pajero
The Mitsubishi Pajero is a sport utility vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. It was named after Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas Cat which is native to the Patagonia plateau region of southern Argentina. However, since pajero is an offensive term for "wanker" in Spanish, alternative names have...

, and it took only three attempts to find a winning formula. Since then, they have won in 1992, '93, '97, '98, and '01–'07, an unprecedented seven consecutive victories and twelfth overall with nine different drivers.

Jackie Chan

Mitsubishi has a 30 year long association with movie star Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

, who has used their vehicles almost exclusively in his movies throughout his career. The Jackie Chan Cup, first held in 1984, is an annual celebrity auto race involving international motor journalists and starlets from across Asia in Mitsubishis with professional Touring Car drivers alongside for assistance, and was held before the Macau GP until 2004 when it moved to Shanghai. In September 2005 Ralliart
Ralliart
Ralliart was the high-performance and motorsports division of Mitsubishi Motors. It was responsible for development and preparation of the company's rally racing and off-road racing vehicles, as well as the development of high-performance models and parts available to the public...

, Mitsubishi's motorsport arm, produced 50 Jackie Chan Special Edition versions of the Lancer Evo IX; Chan acts as the honorary Director of Team Ralliart China.

Locations

The company has seven vehicle manufacturing facilities in five countries, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, and twelve plants co-owned in partnership with others. It also has three further engine and transmission manufacturing plants, five R&D centres and 75 subsidiaries, affiliates and partners. Its vehicles are manufactured, assembled or sold in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Research, design & administration

Japan
  • Head Office and Tokyo Design Studio, Minato, Tokyo
    Minato, Tokyo
    is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 1 March 2008, it had an official population of 217,335 and a population density of 10,865 persons per km². The total area is 20.34 km².Minato hosts 49 embassies...

  • Car Research & Development Center, Okazaki, Aichi
    Okazaki, Aichi
    is a city located in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. As of August 2011, the city had an estimated population of 373,339 and a population density of 964 persons per km². The total area was 387.24 km².-Geography:...

  • Car Research & Development Center, Kyoto
    Kyoto
    is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

  • Car Research & Development Center, Tokachi Proving Ground, Hokkaidō
    Hokkaido
    , formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...



Worldwide
  • Mitsubishi Motor R&D of Europe GmbH (MRDE), Trebur
    Trebur
    Trebur is a community in Groß-Gerau district in Hesse, Germany. It is 13 km southeast of Mainz, and 8 km south of Rüsselsheim.-Location:Trebur is located in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Region...

    , Hessen, Germany
    Hesse
    Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

  • Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America, Inc. (MRDA) head office, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

    , United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America, Inc. (MRDA) Research & Design Center, Cypress, California
    Cypress, California
    Cypress is a suburban city located in the northern region of Orange County within Southern California. Its population was 47,802 at the 2010 census.-History:...

    , United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...



Production facilities

Japan
  • Nagoya Plant, Nagoya, Aichi
    Nagoya, Aichi
    is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

  • Mizushima Plant, Kurashiki, Okayama
    Kurashiki, Okayama
    is a historic city located to the west of Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea.As of April 2010, the city has a population of 473,392. The total area is .-History:...

  • Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Sakahogi, Gifu
    Sakahogi, Gifu
    is a town located in Kamo District, Gifu, Japan.As of July 2011, the town has an estimated population of 8,443. The total area is 12.89 km². The town was formed in 1968.-History:Sakahogi was formed on October 1, 1968 when the village of gained town status...

  • Kyoto
    Kyoto
    is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

     (powertrain plant)
  • Koka, Shiga
    Koka, Shiga
    is a city located in the southern part of Shiga Prefecture, Japan....

     (powertrain plant)


Worldwide
  • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc
    Diamond-Star Motors
    Diamond-Star Motors was an automobile-manufacturing joint venture between the Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation . The name came from the parent companies' respective logos: three diamonds and a pentastar...

    . (MMNA), Normal, Illinois
    Normal, Illinois
    Normal is an incorporated town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. It had a population of 52,497 as of the 2010 census. Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area...

    , United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • Mitsubishi Motors Philippines
    Mitsubishi Motors Philippines
    Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation is the Philippine operation of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, where it is the second biggest seller of automobiles, a position it has held on and off for over a decade. It was originally established as the Chrysler Philippines Corporation in 1963 before...

     Corp. (MMPC), Cainta, Rizal
    Cainta, Rizal
    The Municipality of Cainta is a first-class urban municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is one of the oldest , and is the town with the second smallest land area of 26.81 km² next to Angono with 26.22 km².Cainta serves as the secondary gateway to the rest of Rizal...

    , Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

  • Mitsubishi Motors Brazil Corp. , Catalão , Brazil
  • Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand)
    Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand)
    Mitsubishi Motors Co., Ltd. is the Thai operation of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. It became the first Thai automobile manufacturer to export vehicles overseas in 1988, and has remained the country's largest exporter every year since....

     Co.,Ltd.(MMTh), Klong Luang, Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

  • Laem Chabang, Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     (powertrain plant)
  • Netherlands Car B.V. (NedCar
    NedCar
    NedCar, officially Netherlands Car B.V. and a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors, is the only large-scale automaker in the Netherlands. Based in Born on a 927,000 m2 site, it has a capacity of approximately 200,000 vehicles, and produced its millionth vehicle, a Mitsubishi Space Star, on October...

    ), Born, Netherlands

Leadership

  • Yuji Sato (1970-1973)
  • Tomio Kubo (1973-1979)
  • Yoshitoshi Sone (1979-1981)
  • Masao Suzuki (1981-1983)
  • Toyoo Tate (1983-1989)
  • Hirokazu Nakamura (1989-1995)
  • Nobuhisa Tsukamura (1995-1996)
  • Takemune Kimura
    Takemune Kimura
    was a Japanese businessman and former president of Mitsubishi Motors. Prior to his promotion in June 1995 he spent 37 years at the company's Mizushima manufacturing facility in Kurashiki, Okayama, before becoming president of the Pajero Manufacturing Co. subsidiary in Sakahogi, Gifu. He was hired...

     (1996-1997)
  • Katsuhiko Kawasoe
    Katsuhiko Kawasoe
    is a former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors.After working in the Accounting, Personnel Planning, and Labor Relations departments, he was appointed Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, General Manager of the Nagoya production plant, and...

     (1997-2000)
  • Takashi Sonobe (2000-2002) † 2003
  • Rolf Eckrodt
    Rolf Eckrodt
    Rolf Eckrodt is a German automotive engineer and executive, who started his career with Daimler-Benz in 1966 and was CEO of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation from 2001-2005.-Career:Mr...

     (2002-2004)
  • Yoichiro Okazaki (2004)
  • Hideyasu Tagaya (2004-2005)
  • Osamu Masuko (2005-present)

See also

  • Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation
    Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation
    The Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation is a German-owned, Japan-based manufacturer of trucks and buses. It is headquartered in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan. This company is one of the World's largest truck manufacturers...

  • Urawa Red Diamonds
    Urawa Red Diamonds
    are a professional association football club playing in Japan's football league, J. League Division 1. One of Japan and Asia's best supported teams, the club has been able to boast the highest average crowds for thirteen of the J-League's twenty season history...

  • Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.
    Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.
    are a football club based in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. They play in the Okayama Prefectural League Division 1.-History:The club was founded in 1946 to provide recreational activities in the war-torn Mizushima area of Kurashiki city...


External links

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