Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is the 17th largest global vehicle production in the world and ranked 8th in the Top 10 best car brands in Malaysia for 2009. The sales dropped from 7,318 units recorded in 2008 to 6, 981 units sold in 2009.
From Building ships to great cars
The name Mitsubishi was first known in 1917 when Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co Ltd launched Japan’s first series production seven-seater automobile, Model A. Unfortunately, the production for Model A stopped as it was too expensive compared to its American and European competitors.
Later on, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding merged with Mitsubishi Aircraft Co and renamed the new company as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). MHI launched the first Japanese-built passenger car with four wheel drive system in 1937. As Japan’s economy geared up in 1960s, Mitsubishi 500 was introduced in the market to meet consumers demand. MHI later established Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) on April 22, 1970 under the leadership of an engineer, Tomio Kudo.
Mitsubishi is affiliated with a number of corporations since it was established in 1970s. Among some of its alliances are Chrysler, Hyundai, Proton, Volvo, Peugeot and Colt & Lonsdale. Here is a little fact about Mitsubishi that you might not know – Mitsubishi has over 30 years association with superstar, Jackie Chan. Most of his movies used only Mitsubishi’s vehicles. In addition to Chan’s movies, the Jackie Chan Cup which is an annual celebrity auto race with participation from celebrities drive only Mitsubishi vehicles during the race.
Icons and top models
Like many of the other automotive brands, Mitsubishi has its own set of iconic models throughout its history. One of the things that Mitsubishi is often associated is in its rally cars. The Mitsubishi Lancer GSR is one of the most recognizable models among racing car enthusiasts. In fact, it has been winning rallies in the global circuit since 1973, when it was first shown.
The Mitsubishi Lancer GSR has won some of the hardest races around including clinching the championship twice at the Africa Safari Rally and at least 4 times at the Souther Cross rally in Australia. The 88 Galant had won the Japanese Car of the Year that year and is often seen as the bigger sibling of the Lancer.
Another model which has been very influential is the Mitsubishi Eclipse. This model was the brainchild of a joint-agreement with American automotive giant Chrysler. Mitsubishi Galant is another name which will surely resonate with anyone who knows about fast car.
The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 is perhaps seen as the greatest car ever to be made from this triple pointed emblem. In fact, it has often been seen as being one of the greatest Japanese car throughout history. More fondly known as the GTO, its iconic design was totally ahead of its time and although it is no longer in production, it is still very much a head-turner.
Mitsubishi Evolution is an icon on its own. It has gone from Evolution to Evo X but whenever it is mentioned, the sight of a fast car with top performance will surely surface. The Evo is no longer in production but it maintains its stature as one of the must-have cars for anyone who not only wants a fast car but a loud one too.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd was established on January 29, 2005. Founded by Mitsubishi Corporation, EON Berhad also owns 48 percent share in the corporation. With the motto ‘Driving pleasure and assured security’, Mitsubishi Motors has successfully positioned the corporation for producing safe and durable vehicles. Only five models are available in Malaysia which are Lancer 2.0 GT, Lancer Evolution, Mirage, Grandis, Triton and Pajero Sport.