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The Japanese automotive corporation Mitsubishi Motors is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo. In 2011, Mitsubishi attained the sixth position the world automaker ranking by production. Also, part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Mitsubishi is one-third owned by Japanese automaker Nissan.
The company was formed in 1970 as part of the automotive branch of the larger Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Initially named Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors separated and acts as an independent unit.
The history of the brand goes back as far as 1917, when Mitsubishi Shipbuilding introduced Japan’s first series car, the Mitsubishi Model A. The car was built entirely by hand and featured a sedan chassis and seven seats. The design was based on the Fiat Tipo 3, however it proved to be way more expensive compared to its European and American counterparts, which were already mass-produced. Thus, production was stopped after just 22 units.
After stopping vehicle production during the first and second World War, Mitsubishi returned to the industry and resumed production of the Fuso bus. After Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was split post-war, the Mitsubishi 500 sedan was brought to the Japanese market in 1953. The car was followed by the Minicakei car and Colt 1000 in 1963.
One decade later, Mitsubishi releases the Galant in connection with Chrysler Motors as well as the Dodge Colt. Both models were sold on US soil. During the 80s, Mitsubishi started selling cars in US under their own brand for the first time. Among the first models were the Tredia sedan, Cordia and Starion. During the 80s and 90s, the Pajero off-roader was introduced alongside the Eclipse sports coupe.
During the early 2000 Mitsubishi went through a stagnation period caused by lack of cashflow. The revitalization plan included various concepts launched at Motor Shows as well as revised versions for the Outlander SUV.
Mitsubishi cars also had a strong presence in racing, particularly in the World Rally Championship, with the Lancer model competing head to head against opponents from Subaru (Impreza WRX STI).
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