Mitsubishi Motors

May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on September 8, 2016

Mitsubishi LogoBrief History About Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors was founded in 1970 and is part of the Mitsubishi group that was founded in 1870 in Japan by Iwasaki Yataro. The Mitsubishi Group of companies started off as a shipping company, which expanded into coal mining, iron works, marine insurance (for its shipping company) and then this led to it expanding even further to a multitude of other industries.

However Mitsubishi actually started vehicle production in 1917 with the Mitsubishi Model A, built by the shipping company, but only 20 or so cars were built. After WW2 Mitsubishi built more vehicles under Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, including the Galant in 1969. And with a growing business, decided that they would setup a dedicated automotive company in 1970 and Mitsubishi Motors (Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)) was born.

As part of the formation of MMC, Mitsubishi sold a 15% share in the company to Chrysler to help forge a relationship for sales within the USA. Mitsubishi Motors were off to a great start and sales were very good. They also got involved in Rally racing, which they carried on doing until 2010.

During the 80’s Mitsubishi sales were doing very well and this gave them the opportunity to expand even further and setup in many other countries throughout the world. They also started selling more sporty cars and more vans/trucks/4×4’s/SUV’s. In 1988 MMC became a partially owned public company.

In the 90’s and into the new millennium, Mitsubishi continued to dominate SUV sales in Japan with the Shogun (Pajero) and had great success in the WRC with the Lancer. However with the ups there were some downs with Asia’s economic difficulties, Mitsubishi shares were also sold and re-bought and sold again between several companies, including Chrysler/Daimler and Volvo. In 2004 Daimler Chrysler finally sold their shares back to Mitsubishi. Also in the 2000’s with slow sales, they were forced to cut back in some areas, while trying to increase its impact in the middle east/Russia.

The sad news for performance fans is that Mitsubishi have no plans to build another Evo after 2015.

Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo
Cordia Turbo 1982-1989

Mitsubishi FTO
FTO 1994-2000

Mitsubishi 3000GT
3000GT 1992-1999

Mitsubishi Starion Turbo
Starion Turbo Wide Body 2.6 1987-1989

Mitsubishi Evo 1
Evo 1 1992-1994

Mitsubishi Evo 2
Evo 2 1994-1995

Mitsubishi Evo 3
Evo 3 1995-1996

Mitsubishi Evo 4
Evo 4 1996-1998

Mitsubishi Evo 5
Evo 5 1998-1999

Mitsubishi Evo 6
Evo 6 1999-2001

Mitsubishi Evo 7
Evo 7 2001-2003

Mitsubishi Evo 8
Evo 8 2003-2005

Mitsubishi Evo 9
Evo 9 2005-2007

Mitsubishi Evo 10
Evo 10 2007-2016