After more than a century of growth and diversification, the Mitsubishi name and expertise extends across a huge range of businesses. Among other things, you’ll find the same diamonds on your car identifying companies involved in electrical equipment, shipbuilding, heavy industry, steel, even aircraft and satellites.
Being part of such a huge family of companies gives Mitsubishi Motors one of the widest technological bases to call on. This transfer of knowledge improves all aspects of our operation.
All our advancements share the same source: the Mitsubishi shipping firm established in 1870.
The pattern of diversification began early and the company soon branched out into coalmining, shipbuilding, banking, insurance, warehousing and trade.
The association with motor vehicles began as the motoring industry was just coming of age, in 1917. This is when Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the Mitsubishi Model-A, one of the pioneers of Japanese mass-production passenger cars. A year later, the company moved into truck manufacturing in earnest.
Decades of innovation and development followed. In 1931, Mitsubishi developed Japan’s first diesel engine for motor vehicle use. Three years later, Mitsubishi built Japan’s first 4WD passenger vehicle. In the 1950s, Japan’s first air-suspension truck and the first tilt cab were made, bearing the three diamonds.
Mitsubishi entered the modern passenger vehicle market in 1960 with a 500cc model that went on to take class honours in the 1962 Macau Grand Prix. That was to prove the start of a long and successful association with motorsport and rallying. To this date, no manufacturer has come close to our record of seven straight wins in the grueling Dakar Rally.
In 1965, Mitsubishi introduced Japan’s first fastback car, and in 1975 developed the world’s first ‘Silent Shaft’ technology. Other technology firsts in following years included Japan’s first turbocharged diesel for passenger vehicles, the first totally integrated ‘Dynamic Four’ 4WD system and the first Traction Control System.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was set up as a stand-alone operation in 1970, around the time the first Mitsubishi vehicles - the popular 1.6L Colt Galants – began arriving in New Zealand.
This model’s high performance, engineering quality and advanced technology made a huge impact on a market accustomed to the more basic Australian and UK-sourced vehicles available at the time.
This website will show where our motoring expertise and passion for constant innovation has now brought us to. You’ll also find out about our environmental policies and initiatives.