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The History of Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors is celebrating its 100th anniversary! However, there’s so much history behind the automotive division of Mitsubishi, even before it was founded, that is important to understanding where it is today and where it is heading for tomorrow.

Mitsubishi Motors is a division of the Mitsubishi Group. Mitsubishi started out as a shipping firm, founded by Yataro Iwasaki in 1870. In keeping up with the flow of technology at the time, Mitsubishi introduced its first vehicle, the Mitsubishi Model-A, in 1917. In doing so, the company created Mitsubishi Motors.

The Mitsubishi Model-A was Japan’s first series-production automobile ever assembled. Mitsubishi achieved another Japanese automotive first when it created the Mitsubishi PX33 in 1937. This was the first Japanese passenger car with full-time four-wheel drive. This technology would be used frequently by Mitsubishi Motors during its long production history.
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Following the end of World War II, Mitsubishi began the production of cars and automobiles once again. After dealing with the financial struggle that plagued Japan during the time, Mitsubishi made its triumphant return with the Mitsubishi 500, a mass market sedan. In 1962, Mitsubishi gained another significant victory when the Mitsubishi 500 set a new course record at the Macau Grand Prix.

During the 1970s, Mitsubishi worked out a deal with American automotive group Chrysler to gain a footing in the American market. Chrysler sold the Mitsubishi Galant as the Dodge Colt in the United States. The Colt went on to be a huge success for both Chrysler and Mitsubishi.
By 1982, Mitsubishi was introduced independently to the American market. It was during this time that the company really got a following overseas. In 1989, the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 even won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

With over 30 years in the American market and nearly a century of making cars, the Mitsubishi Motor Company has been creating quality vehicles for a very long time. With one centennial arriving soon, it will be exciting to see what another 100 years brings to Mitsubishi Motors!

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