This Japanese automaker's legacy goes back to 1917, when the Mitsubishi Model A was launched. Over the next two decades Mitsubishi established itself as an innovator, developing Japan's first diesel engine, its first large-sized bus, its first four-wheel drive passenger car prototype, and its first diesel-powered truck, among other things. By the beginning of the 1960s, however, Japan's economy was gearing up: wages were rising and the idea of family motoring was taking off. The Mitsubishi 500, the first Mitsubishi car that was mass-market saloon, fulfilled this need; followed, in 1962, by a four-seater micro-compact with a two-stroke air-cooled 359cc engine, the Minica. The first Colt was also introduced in the same year, and the first Galant in 1969. This was a genuine trend-setter in the Japanese market, representing the latest in automotive technology and was to start a long and illustrious portfolio with a string of motor sports honors and consumer awards to its name.
However, In 1988 the company finally went public. And ever since then, the company has been a part of many joint ventures with companies like Daimler, Chrysler, Volvo, Citroen and Hyundai. But much of the company’s success came through motorsport, where it dominated the scene for decades and is also the reason why it is considered as one of the best off-roading manufacturers in the world. Talking about Mitusbishi's manufacturing facilities, the company has seven Mitsubishi car manufacturing facilities in six countries: Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, Thailand, United States,Brazil, and twelve plants co-owned in partnership with others. It further has three engine and transmission manufacturing plants, five R&D centres and 75 subsidiaries, affiliates and partners. Its vehicles are manufactured, assembled or sold in more than 160 countries worldwide.
An interesting fact about the company is its 30-year-long association with actor Jackie Chan, who has used their vehicles almost exclusively in his movies throughout his career. The Jackie Chan Cup, first held in 1984, is an annual celebrity auto race involving international motor journalists and starlets from across Asia in Mitsubishis with professional Touring Car drivers alongside for assistance, and was held before the Macau GP until 2004 when it moved to Shanghai. In September 2005 Ralliart, Mitsubishi's motorsport arm, produced 50 Jackie Chan Special Edition versions of the Lancer Evo IX. Jackie Chan now acts as the honorary Director of Team Ralliart China.
As part of a global expansion program, Mitsuibishi forayed into the Indian automobile world in 1998 with the formation of the Chennai car plant, a technical collaboration between the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Japan and Hindustan Motors Limited.
The Mitsubishi Group ,Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese conglomerate consisting of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy.The Mitsubishi group of companies form a loose entity, the Mitsubishi Keiretsu, which is often referenced in US and Japanese media and official reports; in general these companies all descend from the zaibatsu of the same name. A keiretsu is a common feature of Japanese corporate governance and refers to a collaborative group of integrated companies with extensive share crossholdings, personnel swaps and strategic co-operation.
The first Mitsubishi company was a shipping firm established by Yataro Iwasaki (1834?1885) in 1870. In 1873, its name was changed to Mitsubishi Shokai. The name Mitsubishi has two parts: "mitsu" meaning "three" and "bishi" meaning "water caltrop" (also called "water chestnut"), and hence "rhombus", which is reflected in the company's logo. It is also translated as "three diamonds".