Mitsubishi is officially celebrating its 100th year of operations, a milestone that makes it one of the oldest automakers in the industry. While the company was originally founded in 1870, Mitsubishi didn’t begin producing vehicles until 1917, starting with the Model A. The model was full of innovation at the time and it set Mitsubishi up to become an automaker known for creating affordable cars with a high level of quality.
Mitsubishi has its roots as a shipping company that existed from 1870 to 1947. The shipping portion disbanded, but the automotive portion lived on. It didn’t take long for Mitsubishi to earn a reputation as a quality-driven automaker. Some other automakers, such as Jeep, even worked with Mitsubishi to make engines.
In order to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Mitsubishi is taking things back to the 1917 model year. The Japanese automaker will remake the 1917 Model A with a few modifications. For starters, the anniversary Model A will feature a plug-in hybrid drivetrain like the one found in the Outlander PHEV. Burbank, California’s West Coast Customs will handle building the custom anniversary model.
The 1960s brought the Colt 1500, a passenger car designed for those who fell in love with the road. In 1966, the Colt Formula 3A went on to win the third Japanese Grand Prix. A Colt model also won the fourth Japanese Grand Prix Auto Races in 1967 and the fifth Japanese Grand Prix Speed Cup Race in 1968.
Mitsubishi continued to innovate in the following decades, but it truly made its mark on the next generation of vehicles in 1999. It was then that Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle ran 2000 km in just 24 hours, setting a world record. The automaker’s innovation in electric powertrains didn’t stop there. The i-MiEV won Japan’s “Most Advanced Technology” Special Achievement Award for the 2009 model year.
Celebrate Mitsubishi’s 100th anniversary by checking out the affordable yet quality-driven vehicles at Tom Hodges Mitsubishi!