A century of growth
You’ll find our three diamonds on all kinds of transport; your car, trucks, buses, ships, even aircraft and satellites. Perhaps the most diverse field of our operations is Mitsubishi Electronics.
The advantage for you is that Mitsubishi Motors benefits from a huge wealth of technological expertise.
The story of the company begins with the Mitsubishi shipping firm established in 1870, which soon branched out into coalmining, shipbuilding, banking, insurance, warehousing and trade.
A great racing lineFor decades Mitsubishi vehicles were a familiar sight on rally tracks across the world and on the gruelling Paris Dakar rally, winning many races.
A sense of styleIn 1964, Mitsubishi Motors launched the Debonair; a large, comfortable sedan for executive customers.
The popular ColtThe market was ready for a compact car and the Colt was a firm favourite since the first Colt 600 model in 1962.
Global badgesMitsubishi Galant was a common sight on New Zealand roads, as well as in Europe, Asia and America.
Decades of continual innovation and development followed and in 1931 we developed Japan’s first diesel engine for motor vehicle use. Three years later, we 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.
We entered the modern passenger vehicle market in 1960 with a 500cc model that went on to take class honours in the1962 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 7 straight wins in the gruelling Dakar Rally.
In 1965 we introduced Japan’s first fastback car and in 1975 developed the world’s first ‘Silent Shaft’ technology. Further innovations 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 standalone operation in 1970, the same time our first vehicles arrived in New Zealand; the popular 1.6L Colt Galant.
The Colt’s 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.