Automobile manufacturer Mitsubishi (short for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation) traces its origins back to the year 1870, when a shipping company named Tsukumo Shokai was founded in Japan. Mitsubishi holds several different groups through its Mitsubishi Companies which all share its history. The Mitsubishi motors side of history comes into play with Tsukumo Shoka's 1917 "Mitsubishi Model-A" venture. The Model A was a hand-crafted seven-seater sedan and was discontinued after only 22 units. This project was one of the first in Japan to pioneer the mass-production of passenger vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors officially became its own company in 1970 when it separated from Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, which produced buses, trucks, and cars for more than 30 years. In 2003, the company finally was called the name as we know it today, Mitsubishi Motors, which specializes in passenger vehicles and has its headquarters in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
One of the first Mitsubishi cars was the 1937 PX33, a prototype sedan which was intended for usage by the military. It was the very first car built in Japan to feature full-time 4WD, a technology the company continues to utilize today. After WWII, the company came back to its auto manufacturing pursuits from more military-focused production. A new scooter, 3-wheeled Mizushima, and many buses appeared, but unfortunately, Mitsubishi was forced to be dismantled in 1950 by the Allied Powers, and the company was split several ways and various projects and research were conducted, including one that began the production of Mitsubishi Jeeps, which ran until 1998.
With the beginning of the '60s came a refreshed Japanese economy and a bigger interest in automobiles. A mass-marked sedan, the Mitsubishi 500, was introduced to meet consumer demand, and it was followed by the Colt 1000 and Minica kei car in 2962. This began the original line of Colt family-friendly cars the next year. In 1969, one branch of the company had introduced the popular Mitsubishi Galant. With this success (and others) over such competition as BMW, Caterpillar Inc.(on the machinery side) Daihatsu, Nissan, and Toyota, the different branches of the company decided to come together and create one company that would focus solely on building automobiles. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was then formed in 1970. Chrysler bought a share in the new company, but this only created tension between the two groups, which would have many issues later because of the merger. Chrysler did sale many Mitsubishi models under the Dodge brand in the U.S., however.
Mitsubishi currently sells a complete lineup of vehicles, which includes many revamped tried-but-true models like the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse, the new Eclipse Spyder, the 2012 Mitsubishi Galant, the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution, and the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport. (We should note that these models are sold under different names in different countries; these are the U.S. model names). Overall, Mitsubishi is known for offering vehicles with above-average style and performance, and this continues to be proven with each passing year. This year's models are certain not to disappoint Mitsubishi fans!