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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (commonly referred to as Mitsubishi) is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer. It is a part of the Mitsubishi Group, a conglomerate of companies with diverse interests. Founded in 1970 as a result of a reorganization of the automotive division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Motors is primarily involved in the production and sales of automobiles, including sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, electric vehicles (EVs), and commercial vehicles.
The history of Mitsubishi Motors dates back to 1917 when it produced its first mass-produced car, the Mitsubishi Model A. Since then, Mitsubishi Motors has evolved into one of Japan's leading automobile manufacturers and has established a global presence with manufacturing facilities and sales networks in various countries.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation
Previously a part of Mitsubishi Motors, the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation produces commercial-grade trucks, buses, and heavy construction equipment. However, it is now owned by Daimler AG, a German automotive corporation, and operates independently from Mitsubishi Motors.
Over the years, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has faced notable challenges that have impacted its operations and reputation.
Defect Cover-up Controversy (2000-2004)
In 2000, Mitsubishi admitted to systematically hiding four defect problems in Mitsubishi-branded vehicles. In 2004, the company confessed to an additional 26 covered-up defects dating back to vehicles from the 1977 model year. These defects included fuel leaks, malfunctioning clutches, and failing brakes. As a result, Mitsubishi recalled 163,707 vehicles for free repair, including 7,274 outside of Japan and 156,433 in the Japanese market.
Fuel Economy Scandal (2016)
Mitsubishi Motors faced a major setback in 2016 when it admitted to manipulating fuel economy data for some of its models sold in Japan. The scandal involved overstating fuel efficiency figures, which led to a significant drop in consumer confidence and a decline in sales. The company's shares also experienced a sharp decline, and Mitsubishi Motors had to compensate customers and deal with legal consequences.
Financial Losses and Restructuring (2016-2019)
The fuel economy scandal, combined with declining sales in key markets, resulted in financial losses for Mitsubishi Motors. To address these difficulties, the company underwent a restructuring process, implementing cost-cutting measures, streamlining production, and exiting unprofitable markets. These efforts aimed to restore the company's reputation and regain market share.
Alliance with Nissan and Renault (2016)
In 2016, Mitsubishi Motors entered into a strategic alliance with Nissan Motor Co. and Renault S.A. as part of its efforts to stabilize and strengthen its operations. Nissan acquired a significant stake in Mitsubishi Motors, becoming its largest shareholder. This alliance aimed to leverage shared resources, technologies, and market presence to improve efficiency and competitiveness.
Identifying a Mitsubishi vehicle can be done by considering several key aspects, such as the model name, emblem, and specific design elements. Here are some steps to help you identify a Mitsubishi vehicle:
- Model Name: Check the model name of the vehicle. Mitsubishi models often have unique names that are prominently displayed on the rear or sides of the vehicle. Examples include Mitsubishi Lancer, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and Mitsubishi Pajero.
- Emblem: Look for the Mitsubishi emblem, which features three stylized diamond shapes arranged in a triangular pattern. The emblem is usually located on the front grille, steering wheel, and rear of the vehicle. It may also appear on the center caps of the wheels.
- Design Elements: Mitsubishi vehicles typically exhibit distinctive design elements that contribute to their visual identity. These may include sharp, angular lines, bold front grilles, dynamic headlights, and taillight clusters. Additionally, some models may feature specific styling cues, such as the "Dynamic Shield" front fascia design seen on recent models like the Outlander and Eclipse Cross.
- Vehicle Documentation: Refer to the vehicle documentation, such as the owner's manual, registration documents, or insurance papers. These documents often contain information about the make, model, and year of the Mitsubishi vehicle.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): The VIN is a unique code assigned to each vehicle and provides detailed information about its manufacturing details and specifications. The VIN can typically be found on the driver's side dashboard, the driver's door jamb, or in the engine bay. Consult the owner's manual or Mitsubishi's official website for guidance on locating and deciphering the VIN.