The Japanese company Mitsubishi was founded in 1880. However, the first attempts to create a car were made only in 1917. This is how the Model A was introduced, which did not gain much popularity and was quickly discontinued. After that, the company switched to the creation of a truck, while simultaneously improving the technology for the production of power units for aircraft and cars.
In 1921, the Mitsubishi T1 truck was introduced, which for two years became widespread in the Japanese automobile market, and in 1923 the model entered service with the army. It is thanks to the conclusion of a lucrative contract with the government of the country that Mitsubishi received the necessary funds to start large-scale work on the creation of new cars. As a result of these studies, the engineers of the firm presented in 1931 the first Japanese car, the Mitsubishi 450AD, equipped with a diesel power unit. And in 1932, the first bus of the company was presented, equipped with a similar diesel engine as in the 450th model. In 1934, two more diesel bus models were introduced, but the announcement of Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive vehicles in 1935 aroused more interest. At the same time, two separate enterprises were spun off within the concern - one for the production of military equipment, the other for the production of Fuso trucks.
In 1939, the company switches to the production of bombers and power units for aircraft, tanks and heavy equipment, completely discontinuing all other projects. The Second World War had a monstrous impact on the enterprises of the Mitsubishi concern, which by 1945 were either completely destroyed or completely unusable for further exploitation. Due to the crisis state of the entire Japanese economy, the concern was divided into 40 separate enterprises, some of which came under the control of American and British entrepreneurs. At the same time, such measures allowed to keep in the hands of the founders of "Mitsubishi" some of the production, which allowed to resume production of cars in 1946. This is how the ultra-compact three-wheeled vehicle Mitsubishi Mizushima was presented. However, the model was not in great demand, but this did not prevent the expansion of the product range. In the same year, the Mitsubishi Silver scooter was presented, as well as the B1 bus with a unique power unit that ran not only on gasoline, but also, on almost any flammable liquid. In 1951, the production of Mitsubishi trucks was resumed, named T31 and T33. In addition, the first tilt cab truck model on the Japanese market was introduced.
In 1952, shipments of the brand's products began to Thailand and Chile, where buyers highly appreciated the reliability and low cost of Mitsubishi models. In addition, after the end of the occupation of Japan, the company again began to unite, becoming one of the largest conglomerates in the country. In 1956, sales of the first truck with a power unit behind the cab began.
In 1961, a compact sports sedan model was introduced, which won many awards in the most prestigious auto racing competitions in Asia. Thanks to this success, the conquest of the global automotive market began. So in 1963, deliveries of Mitsubishi buses to Canada began, and in 1964, the Egyptian government purchased a batch of 100 eight-ton Mitsubishi T31 trucks.
As if anticipating the approaching fuel crisis, the Japanese company produces two small-displacement models - the Minica and the Colt, which have become the record holders for the minimum fuel consumption. In addition, the Mitsubishi Galant was introduced, a compact sedan targeted at the United States automotive market. After successfully entering the American market, large-scale production of compact sedans and hatchbacks began, the main feature of which was precisely low fuel consumption.
One of the most pivotal moments in Mitsubishi's history happened in 1982, when the first generation Pajero SUV was introduced. Its simple design and powerful diesel engine make it the most popular off-road vehicle in the world. And after the model was modernized in 1991, off-road vehicles from Japan became the standard of quality for a long time.
By 1998, the American division of Mitsubishi became part of the Daimler-Chrysler concern, which allowed the Japanese brand to expand its presence in the automotive market in the USA and Canada. However, all cooperation gradually boiled down to the fact that Mitsubishi sedans and hatchbacks began to be sold in North America under the Dodge brand, and SUVs retained the Mitsubishi brand. However, the Japanese company found success in Europe as well - a plant of the brand was opened in Holland, as well as a strategic agreement with the French concern Peugeot-Citroen.
At the same time, the company's engineers did not sit idle, starting work on the creation of the first crossover and a new generation of Mitsubishi Lancer. The mid-size crossover Mitsubishi Outlander was released in 2003, and a year later the ninth generation Lancer was presented. It is worth noting that after the release of these models, sales of midsize sedans Mitsubishi Galant and Karisma plummeted. Buyers increasingly preferred all-wheel drive models. In 2001, Mitsubishi took part in the prestigious Paris-Dakar rally, which won with one goal for the next eight years.
By 2005, the Japanese brand "Mitsubishi" is rapidly gaining popularity, and the company's engineers are releasing more and more new models. However, the latest Pajero update did not bring the expected success, but, thanks to the presence in the range of crossover cars, sales remain at a high level. In 2007, the Outlander update was released, which became the new leader in the company's model range, and all compact models, with the exception of the Lancer, disappear from the European automotive market.
In 2008, Mitsubishi engineers take part in the creation of four-wheel drive vehicles for Peugeot and Citroen, as well as launch a new generation of gasoline engines equipped with the world's first boost system that maintains low fuel consumption while increasing engine power. In the same year, the construction of several factories began in China, where Mitsubishi cars were produced for a long time under the brands of various local brands.
In 2009, the first Mitsubishi models were introduced, equipped with hybrid and electric engines, marking a new milestone in the history of the automotive industry. Unlike many other manufacturers, the Japanese company has put into serial production one of its electric vehicles, which is called I-Miev. Also, joint developments with the Citroen company were presented, which led to a complete monopolization of the electric car market, since 95% of all models sold were equipped with a Mitsubishi power unit. And in 2011 saw the light of the company's first compact crossover, called the ASX.
In 2012, the start of sales of the new generation Outlander was announced, which received an updated design and a whole range of engines, one of which was an electric motor with increased power. In 2013, plans were announced for Mitsubishi to enter the prestigious car market through technological cooperation with another Japanese automaker, Infinity. Sedans are expected to be released under the Mitsubishi brand, allowing the brand to return to the classic passenger car market.
In 2013, there was an increase in the percentage of sales of Mitsubishi cars by 10%. According to statistics, both new models and those that have already become classic were popular. In particular, the Mitsubishi L200, which has been the sales leader in the SUV Pick-Up class for over 10 years, has not at all lost its attractiveness in the eyes of motorists.
In the spring of 2014, the company's management announced its intention to build a research and development center in Thailand. There, it was planned to study new trends and test products for the countries of Southeast Asia (ASEAN).
In addition, the company continued to modernize existing models and develop new ones.