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Published on Fri Jan 06 2023

The History Of The Car Manufacturer Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors is a global Japanese car manufacturing company with headquarters in Tokyo. Additionally, it has a finance company that offers loans and financing for its car sales. It ranked 16th globally in terms of output in 2011 and was the sixth-largest automaker in Japan. However, have you ever wondered how it all started? Let's look at the fascinating history of Mitsubishi and see how it developed into a prosperous business.

When did Mitsubishi begin manufacturing cars?

Mitsubishi was established in 1870 as a shipping company and it wasn't until 1917, when Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. launched the Mitsubishi Model "A" that they began manufacturing automobiles. It was the first car made in this series in Japan. It was a seven-seater sedan handcrafted and based on the Fiat Tipo 3. Compared to its North American and European rivals, it was expensive, and in 1921 it was abandoned.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was founded in 1934 as a result of the merger of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Mitsubishi Aircraft Co. (MHI). The PX33, a prototype car for military usage, was developed, despite the company's primary focus on aircraft, ships, and machinery production. The four-wheel drive system was a first for a Japanese-built passenger vehicle.

Post-World War Two

Mitsubishi produced military aircraft, and during the Second World War, the Mitsubishi A6M served as the primary naval fighter for Japan. They resumed manufacturing vehicles after the war and created a scooter called the Silver Pigeon and the Mizushima, a three-wheeled transport vehicle.

The Allied powers ordered the dissolution of family-controlled businesses in 1950, including Mitsubishi. With this, MHI was split into the East, West, and Central Japan Heavy Industries, these three regional companies each started an automobile production facility.

A cheap American automobile in kit form is imported by East Japan Heavy Industries. Throughout the entire period of manufacture, they sold it. On the other hand, Central Japan Heavy Industries has a comparable agreement with Willys for Jeeps manufactured from a kit.

East Japan Industries and West Japan Heavy Industries each grew their automobile units. These three local businesses were reintegrated into one another in 1964 to form Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Mitsubishi during 1960

The business entered the compact passenger automobile industry in 1960 with the release of the Mitsubishi 500. The company continued its journey in the 1960s with the Delica small commercial vehicle, the Mitsubishi 360 light van, which helped pioneer Mitsubishi's light vehicle development, and the Minica sedan, all while imagining the future of the automotive industry. The Colt series, which included the Colt 1000 and Colt 800, the Minica sedan, and the Colt 800, Japan's first fastback, were also among the company's early models.

Mitsubishi during 1970

The Colt Galant was the company's first front-engine, front-wheel drive model. It helped the company gain recognition as a manufacturer of passenger cars and allowed it to begin exporting to foreign markets. In late 1969, the company introduced the Lancer small sedan, the Galant Sigma luxury sedan, and the Mirage. With the Lancer winning the WRC Safari Rally and other achievements, the firm started to show the world its technological superiority in the 1970s.

Mitsubishi during 1980

The Pajero sedan-style full-feature 4WD, the Delica Star Wagon, Japan's first 4WD 1-box minivan, and the Forte 4WD pickup all contributed to the company's role as a factor in the 1980s recreational vehicle boom. The business created a variety of cutting-edge 4WD-based modes in response to the expanding market, including the full-time 4WD Galant sedan and the three-row Chariot, a pioneer in the minivan industry.

Mitsubishi during 1990

The company introduced several distinctive models during the 1990s, including the Mini Toppo height-wagon class pioneer, the Pajero Mini Kei version of the Pajero, the GTO and FTO sports models, the RVR sedan-type RV, and the high-quality hardtop Lancer Evolution high-performance 4WD model. Additionally, the business developed a stellar reputation in the Dakar Rally, WRC, and other motorsports competitions.

Mitsubishi during 2000

The company took on the task of electrification with an eye toward the future, and in 2009 it unveiled the iMIEV, the first mass-produced next-generation electric car and the result of several years of EV development at the firm. In the 2000s, the business unveiled the Airtrek (Outland), its first crossover SUV. The company launched the Lancer Evolution X, a car that utilized the cutting-edge 5-AWC Integrated vehicle behavior control system while also perfecting its 4WD technology.

Hyundai and Mitsubishi

Utilizing the Saturn engine and transmissions from MMC, the South Korean company, Hyundai, created the Hyundai Pony in 1975. Its 13-year production run made it the first automobile produced in Korea. When it sold the remainder of its remaining shares in March 2003, Mitsubishi still owned up to 10% of the company.

The Mitsubishi Chariot (as the Hyundai Santamo), Mitsubishi Pajero (as the Hyundai Galloper), Mitsubishi Delica (as the Hyundai Porter), and Mitsubishi Proudia were among the Mitsubishi models rebadged as Hyundai between 1987 and 1994. The 1985 Hyundai Excel was sold in the United States as the Mitsubishi Precis during that time (as the Hyundai Equus).

Samcor and Mitsubishi

A joint venture known as the South African Motor Corporation (Samcor) was founded in 1985 and produced Ford, Mazda, and Mitsubishi vehicles for the domestic South African market. The Mitsubishi Delica and Mitsubishi Canter were rebadged as the Ford Husky minibus and the Ford Triton light truck, respectively.

The Sao Penza, a marque similar to Lonsdale YD41 created by Samcor to avoid British import limitations, was another version of the Mazda 323 produced for the UK market.

What region are the Mitsubishi plants in

The business owns 12 plants jointly with other parties and operates automobile production facilities in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. It has a production deal with a local organization in Brazil, but MMC is not directly involved. Furthermore, it has 75 subsidiaries, affiliates, and partners in addition to three additional engine and transmission manufacturing facilities, five R&D facilities, and 75 affiliates. It produces, assembles, or sells vehicles in more than 160 nations throughout the globe.