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History of Mitsubishi at Coronet Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi began in 1870 as a family business. It was founded by Yataro Iwasaki; and his brother, son, and nephew each took turns expanding the business during their terms as president of the company.

Mitsubishi actually began as a shipping company with three steamships. It grew quickly and became the first company in Japan to open an overseas shipping route and was later responsible for building Japan’s first domestically produced steamship.

Over the next few years, the company continued to diversify its products and services while responding to the country’s political climate, even being forced to disband for a time. It wasn’t until 1917 that Mitsubishi began developing the Model-A passenger car. Once again, Mitsubishi played an important role in crafting Japan’s history as the Model-A became the country’s first mass-produced passenger car.

Nineteen years later, the PX33 debuted as the first four-wheel-drive production car in Japan.

In 1960, Mitsubishi built its first compact four-wheel passenger car, the Mitsubishi 500, and in 1962 introduced the model to the world of international motorsports. The 500 won its class and set a new course record at its first event, the Macau Grand Prix.

During 1970, Mitsubishi began establishing its presence in America through a collaboration with Chrysler to build the Dodge Colt. Meanwhile, in Japan, the automaker stayed busy launching the Galant GTO with its all-new 4G-series engine as well. The Galant GTO would later lead to the model we know as the Lancer Evolution.

Ever innovating, the Mitsubishi team entered the Colt F2000 Formula racer into the 1972 Japanese open-wheel grand prix equipped with aircraft technology for enhanced performance. Two years later, the automaker continued its competitive spirit, entering the Mitsubishi Lancer 16000GSR into the East African Safari Rally and winning the race in a one-two-three sweep.

Mitsubishi marked another country first in Japan by developing a turbocharged diesel engine for passenger cars in 1980.

In 1982, Mitsubishi Motors officially announced its American presence with the Tredia, Cordia, and Starion models.

Not long after, Motor Trend magazine dubbed the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 1989 Import Car of the Year. Shortly after, the 3000GT VR-4 won the award in 1991. The year 1989 also began the Mitsubishi Eclipse’s four-year streak on Car and Driver’s “10Best” list.

In 1990, Mitsubishi became the first automaker in the world to design the now-standard Traction Control System. Nine years later, the company set a new engineering record: Mitsubishi’s electric car became the first to travel 2,000 kilometers in 24 hours.

Throughout the next years, Mitsubishi continued to launch new models in the American market, earning a number of awards and recognitions for its industry-first technology and impressive racing results. Among those innovations, the second-generation Outlander became the first compact SUV to be outfitted with an eco-friendly PZEV V6 engine in 2006.

In 2008, Mitsubishi introduced Drive@Earth, the company’s pledge to build quality vehicles that “can exist in complete harmony with people, society and the environment.” Thanks to that commitment, Mitsubishi was named to the top of the EPA’s list of Fuel Economy Leaders in 2012. That’s the same year the all-electric i-MiEV was awarded the “Greenest Vehicle of 2012” award by the ACEEE and the same year the company celebrated its 30th U.S. anniversary.

Today the company continues in its spirit of innovation to provide customers with quality vehicles, like the new 2016 Outlander, that deliver value, safety, comfort, and efficiency at an affordable price.

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Contact Information

3705 Frontage Road
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: (815) 390-9120
Fax: (815) 224-4458
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