Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Mitsubishi Motors was the sixth biggest Japanese automaker and the sixteenth biggest worldwide by production in 2011. The company has vehicle manufacturing facilities in Japan. Philippines, and Thailand, and twelve plants co-owned in partnership with others.In Brazil. It has a production agreement with a local group with no direct investment from MMC. It also has three further engine and transmission manufacturing plants, five R&D centres and 75 subsidiaries, affiliates and partners. Its vehicles manufactured, assembled or sold in more than 160 countries worldwide.
October 1917; 99 years ago
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi’s automotive origins date back to 1917, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. introduced the Mitsubishi Model A, Japan’s first series-production automobile. An entirely hand-built seven-seater sedan based on the Fiat Tipo 3, it proved expensive so discontinued in 1921 only 22 were built.
In 1934, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding merged with the Mitsubishi Aircraft Co.,union known as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. MHI concentrated on manufacturing aircraft, ships, railroad cars and machinery, but in 1937 developed the PX33, a prototype sedan for military use. The first Japanese-built passenger car with full-time four-wheel drive.
Since the end of the Second World War, the company returned to manufacturing vehicles. Fuso bus production re-started. Also, a small three-wheeled cargo vehicle called the Mizushima and a scooter called the Silver Pigeon.
In 1950,Mitsubishi Heavy Industries split into three regional companies, each for 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, an inexpensive American sedan built by Kaiser Motors,1951, and continued to bring them to Japan till its production run. Central Japan Heavy-Industries concluded a similar contract with Willys (now owned by Kaiser) for CKD-assembled Jeep CJ-3Bs and proved more durable, with licensed Mitsubishi Jeeps in production until 1998.
In 1960s Japan’s economy was gearing up; wages were rising and the idea of family motoring was taking off. Central Japan Heavy-Industries, now famous as Shin Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, had already re-established an automotive department in 1953 and ready to introduce the Mitsubishi 500, a mass market sedan, to meet the new demand from consumers.Followed by the Minica kei car in 1962 and the Colt 1000, in 1963. In 1964, Mitsubishi introduced its largest passenger sedan, the Mitsubishi Debonair as a luxury car primarily for the Japanese market, and was used by senior Mitsubishi executives as a company car.
West Japan 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 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 with strategy to increase exports by forging alliances with well-established foreign companies. Therefore, in 1971 MHI sold U.S. automotive giant Chrysler 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 (which was the first rebadged Mitsubishi product sold by Chrysler), pushing MMC’s annual production beyond 250,000 vehicles.
In 1977, the Galant was sold as the Chrysler Sigma in Australia. Annual production had grown from 500,000 vehicles in 1973 to 965,000 in 1978, when Chrysler began selling the Galant as the Dodge Challenger and the Plymouth Sapporo.
In 1980 Mitsubishi finally achieved annual production of one million cars. But Chrysler was forced to sell its Australian manufacturing division to MMC that year to avoid bankruptcy and renamed it Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd (MMAL).
In 1982, the Mitsubishi brand introduced to the American market for the first time. The Tredia sedan, and the Cordia and Starion coupés, initially sold through seventy dealers in 22 states, with an allocation of 30,000 vehicles. So, in 1986 Mitsubishi reached an agreement with Liuzhou Automotive to assemble their Minicab kei van and truck there, making Mitsubishi the third Japanese manufacturer (after Daihatsu and Suzuki) to begin assembly in China.
Also, in October 1985 Diamond-Star Motors (DSM)—from the parent companies’ logos: three diamonds (Mitsubishi) and a pentastar (Chrysler)—was incorporated and in April 1986 a 1.9 million square-foot production facility started. In 1987, the company selling 67,000 cars a year in the U.S., but when the plant completed in March 1988 it offered an annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles. The Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser, with other models introduced in subsequent years.
Mitsubishi Motors went public in 1988, 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 where it was by now operating in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The company’s new Pajero became popular even in the crowded streets of Japan. Mitsubishi was producing profitable vehicles such as the Diamante and Pajero. Honda was caught off-guard with the SUV and truck boom and was losing focus after the illness and later death of its founder. The Mitsubishi takeover, proved effective with SUVs and light trucks booming in the U.S. Japan’s car manufacturers dismissed the idea that such a trend could occur in their own country.
Mitsubishi’s wide line of four-wheel drive vehicles. From the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini kei car to the Delica Space Gear 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.
Mitsubishi took place in a joint venture with rival car-maker Volvo and the Dutch government at the earlier DAF plant in Born in 1991. The operation, branded NedCar, began producing the first generation Mitsubishi Carisma next to the Volvo S40/V40 in 1996.
PSA Peugeot Citroen :
Mitsubishi has been related with PSA Peugeot Citroen since 1999. After they agreed to co-operate on the establishment of diesel engines using the Japanese company’s gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology.
Colt & Lonsdale :
In the early 1960s the Colt name introduced many times in Mitsubishi’s history since its debut as a rear-engined 600cc sedan.
Indian manufacturer Hindustan had a business with Mitsubishi that started in 1998. The plant is placed in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu.
Japan Sales Channel
Mitsubishi Motors keep up two retail sales channels that sold specific models. Called “Car Plaza” and “Galant Shop in Japan sales channel. The sales channels joint with one franchise that sell all models, contained the “kei cars” and commercial delivery vehicles.
Mitsubishi Motors started selling its i MiEV. The all-electric mini-car with a lithium-ion battery pack contract under its floor, to retail customers in the summer 2009. Mitsubishi’s motorsport revealed touring car racing in 1962. When it came with its Mitsubishi 500 Super Deluxe in the Macau Grand Prix in an effort to promote sales of its first post-war passenger car. Mitsubishi continued to contribute in the WRC, first with the Lancer EX2000 Turbo and the Station in 1980.