A short history of the Mitsubishi motor company
A look at the history and key vehicles of the Mitsubishi motor company.
Mitsubishi was originally founded in 1870 and was initially intended to be ran as a shipping firm. The company regularly needed coal supplies for its ships and made the natural progression into coal mining operations in the Takashime mine in 1881. Following this, the company went on to manufacture aircraft and engineering parts and Mitsubishi then began shipping their products overseas.
The first vehicle, the PX33, was created in 1937 and was a prototype sedan intended for military use. This was the first Japanese passenger car with full time four-wheel drive, something that Mitsubishi would integrate into future vehicles to gain success on both the motorsport and commercial market. In 1947 the company manufactured an electric bus and continued developing their ideas for scooters. The automotive division of Mitsubishi was officially established in 1970 and from then on the company focused more on automobiles.
Throughout the 1960s Mitsubishi progressed further with the release of the company’s first micro-compact vehicle, the Mitsubishi 500 saloon. Following this, in 1960 the Galant was released and went on to earn the company both widespread critical acclaim and commercial success on the consumer market. During the 1970s Mitsubishi sold a 15 percent share in the company to Chrysler. Through this deal Chrysler began selling re-badged Galants as Dodge Colts which pushed the production of the model to well beyond 250,000 vehicles. In 1980 Mitsubishi reached an annual production of one million cars and in 1982 the Mitsubishi brand was officially introduced onto the American market with the release of the Tredia sedan.
Recently the company released the Outlander Sport which features steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, advanced gearless CVT transmission and a new anti-lock brake system. The company have also branched out into environmental car development with the new Mitsubishi ‘i’ which is set to be released this Autumn featuring a 330 V Lithium-Ion battery and a rear wheel drive system.