Mitsubishi is a company full of rich history, which parallels the story of modern Japan. Yataro Iwasaki founded a shipping company in 1870, which through a series of events, turned into the beginning of Mitsubishi.
Over the years, the small shipping company expanded into various fields and set the foundations of many companies. After World War II, the companies disbanded to become the independent companies of current day. Here is a brief summary of Mitsubishi’s 140 years of history.
1870: Yataro Iwasaki founded a shipping company with three aging ships
1873: Mitsubishi Shokai became the new company name
1914: The Mitsubishi logo with the three-diamond design becomes the trademark symbol
1917: Development begins for the Model-A passenger car, which becomes Japan’s first mass-production passenger car
1936: PX33 is created as Japan’s first 4WD passenger car
1946: The Mizushima three-wheel cargo carrier is produced.
1950: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries splits into three groups—East Japan Heavy Industries, Central Japan Heavy Industries, and West Japan Heavy Industries.
1962: The “Mitsubishi 500” makes its race debut at the Macau Grand Prix, setting a new course record and establishing Mitsubishi’s entry into racing
1964: The three Heavy Industries merge and establish Mitsubishi Motor Sale
1970: Mitsubishi sales begin in America with the Colt, launched under the Dodge nameplate
1970: Galant GTO launches in Japan, setting the stage for future 4G-series engines
1972: Colt F2000 Formula racecar wins a Japanese open-wheel grand Prix thanks to the aircraft technology equipping the vehicle
1974: The Lancer 1600GSR is entered in the East African Safari Rally to prove durability and speed
1976: Silent Shaft engine technology is developed to reduce vibrations
1980: First in Japan to engineer a turbocharged diesel engine for passenger cars
1982: Mitsubishi Motor Sales America is established.
1987: Galant VR-4 first features Active Controlled Suspension (ECS)
1989: Motor Trend magazine names the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Import Car of the Year.
1990: The world’s first Traction Control System is developed by Mitsubishi
1991: 3000GT VR-4 named Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year
1992: The iconic Lancer Evolution makes its debut at the 1 in the World Rally Championship
1995: World’s first Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine created by Mitsubishi to be more environmentally friendly
1999: An electric vehicle is produced that runs from 2000 kilometers in 24 hours, which sets a new world record
2007: Mitsubishi continues its rally prowess with its 7th consecutive and 12th overall victory in the Dakar Rally
2009: Fuse Hands-free Link System is unveiled
2012: Mitsubishi is #1 on the EPA’s list of Fuel Economy Leaders
2012: Mitsubishi celebrates 30 years in America
Mitsubishi continues to evolve over the years, and is still developing cutting edge technology and producing award winning vehicles. We here at Hampton Mitsubishi in Lafayette, Louisiana are glad to be part of a rich history of quality vehicles.