The History of Mitsubishi Cars

Mitsubishi is celebrating 100 years of automotive excellence! They pioneered many innovative models, including the Lancer, Outlander, and Mirage, and customers fell in love with the drivability of their vehicles. 

As the brand continues to innovate and inspire motorists across the world, Roswell Mitsubishi wants to revisit the storied history of Mitsubishi. Learn more about the brand you've come to love and shop online for brand new models that took 100 years to get to our lot. In the meantime, let's start from the beginning. 

The Early Years of Mitsubishi Motors


Mitsubishi began as a shipbuilding company before diving into the brave new world of automotives. In 1917, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd built Japan's first series-production cat: the Mitsubishi Model A. The car was expensive and built from hand, but could not mass produce with competitors such as Ford and Fiat. After only 22 were built, it was discontinued in 1921. 

Mitsubishi began to focus on aircraft, ship, and machinery production, but in 1937, developed a luxury automobile: the PX33 model. The prototype had four-wheel drive and was intended for military use. 

Mitsubishi Motors Post WWII


After a boom in Japan's economy in the early 1960's, Shin Mitsubishi started to focus on automobiles again. In 1960, the Mitsubishi 500 was introduced, and it was Japan's first passenger car and mass-market sedan. They quickly followed the automotive momentum with other models, including the Minica Kei car, the Colt 1000, and the Mitsubishi Debonair. 

Mitsubishi also started to receive notoriety for its brand when they set a track record with their Mitsubishi 500 Super Deluxe at the Macau Grand Prix. The popular Japanese manufacturer continued to set new standards when, in 1970, Mitsubishi Motors set to introduce the first mass market electric vehicle.   

A Partnership with Chrysler and How Mitsubishi Continued to Push the Envelope


In 1971, MHI wanted to expand its reach and sold a 15% share of the company to Chrysler Automotives. Chrysler took advantage of the deal and began sell the Dodge Colt adopted from the Galant. The Galant was one of Mitsubishi's most prestigious vehicles and won five Grand-Prix events. Mitsubishi continued its dominance on the race track and the Colt F2000 Formula racecar won Mitsubishi Motors its sixth Grand Prix event. 

In 1973, the Galant inspired a new model: the Mitsubishi Lancer. Ahead of the curve, the company also introduced the Silent Shaft engine and licensed the engine for reputable sports cars, including Porsche vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors used this technology to engineer the first energy-saving turbo diesel engine. 

Mitsubishi in America

In 1982, Mitsubishi Motors finally came to America with exciting sedan models, including the Tredia, Cordia, and Starion. American consumers fell in love with many of the models and in 1989, the Galant VR-4 won Motor Trend Magazine's Import Car of the Year. America welcomed the brand into their hearts and continued to join Mitsubishi on their storied journey in the automotive world. 

Shop at Roswell Mitsubishi for New and Used Mitsubishi Vehicles

Fall in love with your own Mitsubishi vehicle! Shop online from our new and used inventory and find the car that's right for you. Schedule a test drive and visit us in Roswell today!


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