Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (in Japanese: 三菱自動車工業株式会社, in romaji Mitsubishi Jidōsha Kōgyō Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese automobile company, manufacturing an extensive range of cars and trucks (see Fuso). Mitsubishis are manufactured globally and exported into most major markets, including the Far East, Europe, and the U.S..

Contents

History

Mitsubishi has been engaged in a long-term venture with Chrysler (now DaimlerChrysler), assembling a series of cars and trucks for Chrysler brands since the 1970s. Some Chrysler cars use Mitsubishi componentry, but have been gravitating toward more use of Mercedes-Benz componentry, which is considered superior.

For many years, Mitsubishi did not sell in North America under its own brand. That began changing in the United States in 1982. Many of Mitsubishi's early exports bore Chrysler brands such as Chrysler Valiant (in Australia), Dodge and Plymouth. In some countries, Colt was used as the marque. In the late 1980s, the Eagle brand was used for some Mitsubishi products in the US.

Mitsubishi has also exported car platform designs and manufacturing know-how to Hyundai in South Korea and Proton in Malaysia.

Financial troubles

Mitsubishi has recently fallen on hard economic times. With the exception of the Lancer Evolution rally homologation car and Endeavor SUV, sales have dropped drastically, especially in the critical US 18–35 youth market the company once had a hold of. Ironically, the US youth market aided in the company's economic misfortunes because young buyers would default on their car loans, especially on expensive sports cars like the Eclipse and GTO.

Mitsubishi Motor's parent company is dealing with multiple controversies over unfair business practices, the quality of its products, and the mistreatment of employees (for more details, see Mitsubishi article). Mitsubishi is also facing accusations of actively searching for the names of drivers who race their Lancer Evolutions in order to void their warranties (car companies usually void warranties if they find out the customer has raced the vehicle, legitimately or not). DaimlerChrysler has refused to buy more Mitsubishi stock than it already has, and the company is scrambling to develop more cars to both retake the youth market and compete in the mainstream market against companies such as Toyota and Honda. DaimlerChrysler have recently (July 2004) announced they are to sell their stake in Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi's sales in the important US market dropped more than 45 per cent between 2003 and 2004, and the company has fallen behind Mazda in terms of total US sales.

In July, 2004, Mitsubishi announced that it would immediately cancel the slow-selling Diamante, Lancer Sportback station wagon, Montero Sport, and (in 2005) the Montero in the US market, and would scale back purchase projections for the Mitsubishi/Hyundai/Chrysler Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance engines. In August, 2004, Mitsubishi announced that it would not continue with a plan to have DaimlerChrysler produce a minivan for it. It will, however, get a version of the Dodge Dakota pickup truck, and will continue work with DC on future small cars.

In other countries, MMC's product launches have been absymal, preventing it from enjoying economies of scale or even the competitiveness of certain models. Although a new Lancer (Lancer Cedia) was available in Japan and the US from around 2000, it failed to introduce this model in many other nations until 2004. Until then, MMC's Thai plant was still producing its predecessor for both domestic and export markets. Similarly, the launch of a new Galant, sold in the US from 2003, was staged over years rather than months, and as of mid-2005 it still has not replaced the mid-1990s model in many nations.

Currently, Phoenix Capital has announced intentions to purchase a larger percent of Mitsubishi stock and turn the company into an exclusive manufacturer of sports cars and trucks/SUVs. At this point however, this plan has not been put into action.

In January 2005, there were rumours that Mitsubishi might withdraw from the United States. However, the company has officially vowed that it would remain in the US market.

Shareholders

Source: 2002 Facts & figures (http://www.mitsubishi-motors.co.jp/docs4/ir/e/ff/2002.pdf)


Locations

  • In Japan
    • Shinagawa 品川 and Tamachi 田町 (Tokyo) Headquarters
    • Tama 多摩 (Tokyo) Design

Plants

Car models

Engines

See List of Mitsubishi engines for a complete listing of Mitsubishi engines.

See also

External links

ja:三菱自動車工業 no:Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Template:DaimlerChrysler

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