Automotive icon Mitsubishi has been around since 1917. It was Japan’s first-series car manufacturer. Its first custom-built seven-seater sedan was inspired by the Fiat Tipo 3. In 1937, Mitsubishi manufactured a prototype sedan for military use.
The Post-War Period
After World War II, Mitsubishi ramped up its manufacturing of vehicles. The Fuso bus was produced, and the scooter Silver Pigeon and cargo vehicle Mizushima were developed. In 1950, the Allied powers ordered Mitsubishi to dismantle its family-controlled conglomerates. The company was then divided into three companies- West Japan Heavy Industries, East Japan Heavy Industries and Central Japan Heavy Industries. East Japan Heavy Industries imported an American sedan and brought it to Japan. Central Japan Heavy Industries made a deal with Kaiser for its Jeep CF-3Bs and then had licensed Mitsubishi jeeps.
By the 1960s, family cars were becoming popular in Japan. Central Japan Heavy Industries ramped up its production by introducing the Mitsubishi 500, the Minicakei car and the Colt 1000. In 1964, Mitsubishi introduced its roomy passenger car, the Debonair. It was a lux car designed for Japan’s executives. All of Mitsubishi’s companies kept expanding its automotive departments. All were successful. The decision was made that the company should create just one company, and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was established in 1970.
The 1970s To The Present
Mitsubishi’s expansion strategy included connection with Chrysler in the 1970s. The automotive giant purchased 15 percent of Mitsubishi. The alliance was a true success. After Chrysler began selling the Galant in the Us, Mitsubishi’s annual production soared to over 250,000 vehicles. The distribution of Mitsubishi’s cars began to expand across Europe. By 1978, the company’s production grew to over 900,000 annually. By 1980, Mitsubishi achieved an annual production of one million cars. In 1982, the brand was introduced to the US, and cars like the Starion, Cordia and Tredia was sold through 70 dealers in the US.
The company went public in 1988, and Chrysler increased its stockholdings in Mitsubishi by over 20 percent. The enabled Mitsubishi to expand investments in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. While many other of Japan’s car manufactures dismissed the SUV boom in the 1990s, Mitsubishi execs believed that their country could take on this trend. The gamble paid off. It produced the Delica Space Gear passenger van and profiteted on the the SUV-buying wave in Japan throughout the 1990s. Its domestic share continued to rise.
Mitsubishi also has alliances with other car manufacturers, such as Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan and Chinese manufacturers. The iconic company continues to reign in the car industry. Visit a Mitsubishi dealership in Baltimore today!