Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Mitsubishi.
Yataro Iwasaki (50), the founder of Mitsubishi, died in Tokyo, Japan. The name Mitsubishi is a compound of mitsu ("three") and hishi (literally, "water chestnut", often used in Japanese to denote a diamond or rhombus). Its emblem was a combination of the Iwasaki family crest and the oak-leaf crest of the Yamanouchi family, who were leaders of the Tosa clan, which controlled the part of Shikoku where Yatarō was born. In 1874–1875, Iwasaki was contracted by the Japanese government to transport Japanese soldiers and war materials. The Japanese government purchased a number of ships for the Japanese Expedition of 1874 to Taiwan against Paiwan Aborigines in southeast Taiwan, and these ships were later given to Mitsubishi after the expedition was finished in 1875. This created strong links between Mitsubishi and the Japanese government that ensured the new company's success. In return, Mitsubishi supported the new Japanese government and transported troops who defeated the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. Thus the success of Mitsubishi became intertwined with the rise of the modern Japanese state. Subsequently he invested in mining, ship repair, and finance. In 1884 he took a lease on the Nagasaki Shipyard, which allowed the company to undertake shipbuilding on a large scale, and renamed it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. Iwasaki Yatarō often gave dinners for dignitaries, spending a huge amount of money on these occasions, but he also made many friends who later helped him by doing favors. Iwasaki died of stomach cancer, and was succeeded as the head of the family business first by his brother, and later his son, Hisaya.
Yataro IwasakiShow Article
The DAF company was founded when a machine construction company led by Huub and Wim van Doorne, changed its name to Van Doorne's Aanhangwagen Fabriek (Van Doorne's Trailer Factory), abbreviated DAF. In 1949, the company started producing trucks and buses, changing its name to Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne's Automobile Factory). In 1958, DAF produced its first passenger car with a continuously variable automatic transmission, the Variomatic. The division of DAF producing passenger cars was sold to the Swedish company Volvo Cars in 1975, leaving DAF to concentrate on its successful line of trucks. The car factory is currently 100% owned by Mitsubishi and is known as Netherlands Car B.V or NedCar.
DAF logoShow Article
Chung Ju Yung founded Hyundai Construction, the first of the Hyundai companies. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with the Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired the former Managing Director of Austin Morris, George Trumbull. In 1975, the Pony, the first Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Mitsubishi ofJapan. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence. In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, including the very affordable Excel. The company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata.
Chung Ju YungShow Article
The 6th Tokyo Motor Show opened. On display were the Mitsubishi 500 following the Subaru 360 which appealed as a people's car for "My Car" Japan, and Bluebird which refreshed itself from popular Datsun to a completely new European style car. Japan's first full-scale sports car, the Datsun S211, was also displayed. This was a high performance car with a 1-litre, 34 hp engine. Its top speed was 155 kph. It attracted attention primarily because of its all-plastic body. Also popular were the Toyota Masterline, equipped with Japan s first automatic transmission and a mid-sized passenger car, the Gloria from Fuji Precision Machinery. Many new trucks were displayed. Most representative were the Jupiter from Mitsubishi Heavy-Industries, Elf from Isuzu, Datsun Truck G220 and Caball C43 from Nissan, and Prince Skyway Van/Pick-up from Fuji Precision Machinery. This show featured many new models developed with Japan's own technology.
Mitsubishi 500Show Article
Many prototypes were displayed again at the opening of the 9th Tokyo Motor Show. The highlight was the debut of Honda Sports 360 and 500. These were the first 4-wheeled cars produced by Honda, which had become a world-famous motorcycle manufacturer. Both cars were high-performance, miniature sports cars, equipped with a 4-cylinder, twin-cam engine generating a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) for Model 360 and more than 130 km/h (80 mph) for Model 500. Toyota displayed the Publica Sports with a futuristic body and no door. It had a canopy that slid backward like that on a fighter plane. Nissan displayed the Fairlady with a detachable hardtop. Popular sports cars were the Mitsubishi Colt Convertible and Prince Sports Convertible.
Honda Sports 360 (prototype)Show Article
The Subaru 1000, the first front wheel drive Subaru produced by Fuji Heavy Industries that was in the Japanese government "compact car" classification, went on sale. Previous Subaru models such as the Subaru 360 and the Sambar had been rear-engined, rear wheel drive kei cars. It was the first production Subaru to use a boxer engine. In 1960, Subaru management decided to introduce a successor to the prototype Subaru 1500 with a new code name "A-5" with a four-cycle air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine displacing 1500 cc, driving the front wheels in a compact car platform. It was to have a double wishbone front suspension. Due to FHI's limited resources, the car wasn't produced. The Subaru 360 was selling at the time but Subaru wanted a car that could comfortably carry four passengers without a cramped compartment, that would appear to be an alternative to the Toyota Publica, the Datsun 110/210, the Hino Contessa, and the Mitsubishi Colt 600. Subaru also wanted to reduce engine noise by placing the engine up front and improve interior space by implementing front wheel drive, thereby eliminating a centrally mounted drive shaft powering the rear wheels, and utilizing an independent suspension at all four wheels. The only other Japanese company to use an air-cooled, horizontally opposed engine at the time was in the Publica, and the Toyota U engine. In 1963, Subaru tried again, with a new project code "A-4", with a smaller 923 cc engine, front wheel drive, and an overall length of 3,885 mm (153.0 in), a wheelbase of 2,400 mm (94 in), a front wheel width of 1,230 mm (48 in) and a rear wheel width of 1,220 mm (48 in), weighing 500 kg (1,100 lb). It made it towards production status and was changed to production code "A-63" and was eventually introduced as the Subaru 1000. To address space efficiency and a quiet operation with minimal vibration, the engine was developed as a water-cooled engine instead of the original intent of air-cooled in the "A-5" concept. These cars featured a unique water-cooled, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, with overhead valves operated by pushrods. Subaru engineers examined Porsche, Volkswagen and even Chevrolet Corvair and thought it would be nice if this type of engine is combined with front wheel drive system. The neck in proceeding the mechanism was the vibrations from universal joints, but in collaboration with the bearing maker Toyo Bearing (now known as NTN), the epoch-making "double offset joint" was invented. Modern Subaru's still make use of horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines, albeit of a much greater capacity and with more modern overhead-cam-driven valves. As was typical of early front wheel drive cars, the 1000 featured inboard drum brakes up front to reduce unsprung suspension weight and an easier implementation of an independent front suspension (but atypically Subaru would retain this unusual design into the seventies). Other unique features of the 1000 were a lack of a heater core, the heating system took its warmth directly from the radiator, and a hybrid suspension system that used torsion bars in combination with coil springs (much like the front suspension of the Subaru 360). The 1000 was superseded by the 1100 (also known as the Subaru FF-1 Star in the United States and in other export markets) at the start of the seventies.
Subaru 1000 - 1966Show Article
Hyundai Motor Company was founded in South Korea. The company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. Hyundai is currently the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms. Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull in February 1974, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland. He in turn hired five other top British car engineers. They were Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite ex-BRM as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer. In 1975, the Pony, the first Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador and soon thereafter to the Benelux countries. In 1984, Hyundai exported the Pony to Canada, but not to the United States, because the Pony didn't pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales greatly exceeded expectations, and it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. In 1985, the one millionth Hyundai car was built. In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, and the Excel was nominated as "Best Product #10" by Fortune magazine, largely because of its affordability. The company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata. In the spring of 1990, aggregate production of Hyundai automobiles reached the four million mark. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and also its own transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence. In 1996, Hyundai Motor India Limited was established with a production plant in Irungattukottai near Chennai, India. In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. Chung Ju Yung transferred leadership of Hyundai Motor to his son, Chung Mong Koo, in 1999. Hyundai's parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, invested heavily in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. It added a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) warranty to cars sold in the United States and launched an aggressive marketing campaign. In 2004, Hyundai was ranked second in "initial quality" in a survey/study by J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide.Since 2002, Hyundai has also been one of the worldwide official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup. In 2006, the South Korean government initiated an investigation of Chung Mong Koo's practices as head of Hyundai, suspecting him of corruption. On 28 April 2006, Chung was arrested, and charged for embezzlement of 100 billion South Korean won (US$106 million).As a result, Hyundai Vice Chairman and CEO, Kim Dong-jin, replaced him as head of the company. On 30 September 2011, Yang Seung Suk announced his retirement as CEO of Hyundai Motor Co. In the interim replacement period, Chung Mong-koo and Kim Eok-jo will divide the duties of the CEO position.
Vehicles exhibited at the 16th Toyko Motor Show included the midship type Bellett MX 1600 exhibited by Isuzu, the mini racing machine by Suzuki, and the rotary coupe R100 with racing specifications by Mazda. The Honda 1300 Coupe 7 and the Mitsubishi Colt Formula FIIB attracted much praise. Nissan set up a sports corner exhibiting the R 382, the Japan Grand Prux winner, which showed the company’s enthusiasm toward motor sports. Among new models, the Mitsubishi Colt Gallant, especially the Gallant GTX-1 (GTO s base model) to be sold in 1970 was most popular.
Honda 1300 Coupe 7Show Article
33 American cars by 4 makers, 18 English cars by 11 makers, 25 German cars by 8 makers, 5 French cars by 3 makers, 8 Italian cars by 4 makers, 4 Swedish cars by 2 makers, and 2 Australian cars by 1 maker for a total of 95 cars by 33 makers from 7 countries were exhibited at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show. Test cars made public included a Toyota electric car based on the Commuter, a Nissan electric car with a 120V-60AH battery, a Toyo Kogyo (now Mazda) hybridelectric car with a combination motor and a small rotary engine, a Mitsubishi electric car and a Daihatsu hybrid car. Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Honda, and Fuji Heavy Industries also displayed electronic injection systems, and Nissan and Mitsubishi publicized gas turbine engines.The number of visitors to this show, 1,452,900, decreased somewhat from the previous show. This was partly because parking was prohibited around the show site to avoid traffic congestion in Tokyo.
The 19th Tokyo Motor Show opened to the public. Use of professional models had been banned a few years before, but now the beauty was brought back, and crowds gathered. The lunar vehicles co-exhibited by GM and Isuzu, and Mitsubishi s replica of a 1917 Model A also attracted much attention. Conspicuous in the Passenger Car Hall were the Skyline GT racing car, the Mitsubishi Colt F-2 engine, the Isuzu R6 Spider, the Mazda Savanna racer, the Suzuki Vickr, and the Toyota Town Spider. Since this show was mainly about safety and environment, the number of exhibits was decreased from 755 at the previous show to 559. The number of visitors also decreased to 1,261,400.Show Article
Toyota displayed TTC-C and TTC-V systems and also the Gas Turbine Century at the opening of the 21st Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan exhibited the Steam Engine Cedric and showed its NAPS system using a multi-media show. Honda displayed its ESV with CVCC engine. Mitsubishi stressed high performance and low pollution by combining its Astro Engine and emission cleaning system MCA. Mazda displayed the rotary engine REAP and reciprocating engine CEAP system. Isuzu exhibited the Gemini Coupe which cleared the 1975 regulations by introducing GM technology for air injection EGRplus a catalytic converter. Fuji Heavy Industries announced the Leone Sports equipped with the SEEC-T system that cleared the 1976 regulation and attracted wide attention. The only new models displayed were the Toyota Corolla Sprinter Liftback, Silvia, and Cosmo s revival model. The rest of the exhibits had radical technological innovations under their hoods, but looked unchanged and mostly modest.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, the automotive division of the huge Mitsubishi conglomerate of Japan, began selling cars in the U.S. under its own name. Previously, Mitsubishi had done business in the States only in partnerships with American car manufacturers.Show Article
The Malaysian car manufacturer, Proton Holdings Berhad (stylised PROTON), was officially founded. The concept of a National Car was conceived in 1979 by Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia with the goal of enhancing Malaysian industry. Proton actually comes from PeRusahaan OTOmobil Nasional which roughly translates to National Automobile Enterprise in Malaysian. At first, parts and technology came from Mitsubishi but later on, as experience accumulated, Proton became independent even if most of the cars were still based on Mitsubishi models. Their first model which was launched in 1985 was called the Proton Saga. Soon after the first Sagas were rolling on Malaysian streets, exports started to Bangladesh (1986) and by 1987 Proton had already made 50,000 units.That same year a distribution agreement with a UK dealer was made in order to ship Sagas over to the British Isles but that would materialize only in 1989, when 150,000 units were already produced and plans for a engine assembly plant were already under way, the inauguration being celebrated in 1991.A new model, the Proton Ishwara was launched in 1992 and then in 1993 the Wira, a model based on the Mitsubishi Colt, which enjoyed moderate success with 220,000 units sold over 2 years. In 1994, the Proton Satria joined the model line-up and in 1996 the Proton Tiara. With thousands of models sold both domestically and internationally (in about 31 countries around the world), Proton was gaining in financial power which enabled it to purchase Lotus technologies in 1996, a move which earned it a much needed technological infusion. a new sports model car will emerge from this partnership, the Proton Ultimate, announced for the first time in 2001.Another partnership was announced in 2004 with Volkswagen AG where the Malaysian manufacturer would gain access to German technology and in return it would offer its facilities for foreign car manufacturing. However, this plan fell through by 2006, when Volkswagen announced the two companies would go their separate ways because they couldn't agree on the terms.That same year, Proton suffered a massive drop in sales which caused a $169 million loss in profit. This was the basis of the rumor that Volkswagen was actually interested in purchasing 51% of the company. Interestingly enough, just by announcing that Proton would try to get out of the crisis alone, the company's stock dropped overnight to an all-time low.
The South African Motor Corporation, more commonly known as Samcor, was a South African car manufacturer created in 1985 through the merger of Ford Motor Company of Canada's South African subsidiary and Sigma (previously known as Amcar - American Motors Corporation), which produced Mazdas for the local market. As a result of the merger, Ford and Mazda began to share models in South Africa, as they already did in other markets. For example, in 1986, the European-sourced Ford Escort was replaced by the Laser and Meteor based on the Mazda 323. Similarly, in 1993, the Ford Sierra was replaced by the Telstar, based on 626. However, this badge engineering proved unpopular with some buyers in South Africa. In 1988, Ford divested from South Africa and sold its 42 per cent stake in Samcor, although it would continue to sell Ford-branded automobile components for assembly and sale in the country. In addition to Ford and Mazda products, Samcor also assembled Mitsubishi commercial vehicles, with the Mitsubishi L300 minibus being badged as the Ford Husky. In 1994, Ford (USA) bought a 45 per cent stake in Samcor, and in 1998, bought the remaining share, renaming the company Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
Malaysian car manufacturer, Proton, launched its first model, the Proton Saga. It was based on the second generation 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore 4-door saloon and powered by a 1.3-litre Mitsubishi Orion 4G13 engine. The first Proton Saga to roll off the production line in Shah Alam is preserved in the Muzium Negara as a symbol of the beginning of the Malaysian automotive industry.
Proton Saga - 1985Show Article
The 27th Tokyo Motor Show saw full-scale participation by Western automakers and participation by Yue Loong Motor from Taiwan for the first time. It was really an international show joined by 276 domestic and foreign makers.. Notable cars revealed included the Toyota FXV-II, Nissan ARC-X, and Mitsubishi HSR.Show Article
Bengt Norberg of Appelbo, Sweden drove a Mitsubishi Colt GTi-16V on two side wheels non-stop for a distance of 192.873 miles in a time of 7 hours 15 min 50 sec.Show Article
In a move that sent ripples throughout the automotive world, the Chrysler Corporation sold 50% of its interest in the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The decision came at a time when most other American automobile manufacturers, including Chrysler's top rivals Ford and General Motors (GM), were eagerly buying up shares of Japanese automobile stock and strengthening ties with Japanese manufacturers. Chrysler claimed that it was taking advantage of a bullish Japanese market at a potential gain of $310 million, but industry pundits speculated that the motive went much deeper. Chrysler's audacious move likely stemmed from disagreements between the two companies over Mitsubishi's U.S. sales and distribution. In many cases, Mitsubishi-made products were being sold under the Chrysler name, often in direct competition with the Mitsubishi marque.Show Article
Chrysler Corporation sold 50% of its interest in the Mitsubishi Corporation.Show Article
Pentti Airikkala and Ronan McNamee won the RAC RALLY with a Mitsubishi Galant VR-4.Show Article
The Proton Saga Iswara was launched. It shared the older Mitsubishi platform used in the original Proton Saga, but its exterior and interior styling were unique to Proton. The Saga Iswara was widely used as taxicabs in Malaysia during the 1990s and 2000s, and many continue in service to the present day.
Proton Saga IswaraShow Article
The Proton Wira, based on the fourth-generation 1991 Mitsubishi Lancer, was launched in a four-door saloon guise.Show Article
At the 1994 Chicago Auto Show, Buick used a product presentation theatre to promote the new 1995 Riviera. Ford teased visitors with its Profile concept, said to suggest the coming-soon Contour. Lincoln's Contempra concept foretold the 1995 Continental. As their names suggest, the Dodge Venom and Chrysler Espresso concepts could hardly have been more different. Official debuts in Chicago included the Toyota Avalon, Mercury Mystique, Pontiac Firebird convertible, 1995 Chevrolet Blazer, and 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon. The 1994 Cadillac Northstar engine was guaranteed not to require a tuneup for the first 100,000 miles!
A Chevrolet Corvette convertible featured on the cover of the 90th Chicago Auto Show program. A record-breaker crowd of 1,080,637 attended the 1998 show. Big hits at the annual event, were the Volkswagen New Beetle, 1999 Chevy Tahoe Z71, Ford Libre concept convertible, Mercedes-Benz Maybach, Kia sponsored Elan sports car, and the debut of next-generation Mitsubishi Galant.
Richard Burns and Robert Reid won Great Britain Rally with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 5Show Article
DaimlerChrysler announced it had acquired 34% of Mitsubishi Motors.Show Article
In Japan Mitsubishi Motors admitted that it had concealed tens of thousands customer complaints about automobile defects since 1977.Show Article
The San Remo rally was marred by a fatal accident in which an Italian policeman was killed after a collision with the physical coach of Finnish world rally champion Tommi Makinen. Pertti Siekkinen and Makinen were having an early morning jog through the streets of San Remo prior to Saturday's second day of racing when Siekkinen and motor cycle policeman Guiseppe Micale collided. The 33-year-old policeman was killed instantly when he hit his head on the ground, while Siekkinen, 53, suffered a broken jaw and pelvis, according to his Japanese Mitsubishi team.Show Article
Chung Ju-yung (85), South Korean entrepreneur, businessman and the founder of all Hyundai Groups of South Korea, died. He founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull in February 1974, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland. He in turn hired five other top British car engineers. They were Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite ex-BRM as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer. In 1975, the Pony, the first Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador and soon thereafter to the Benelux countries.In 1984, Hyundai exported the Pony to Canada, but not to the United States, because the Pony didn't pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales greatly exceeded expectations, and it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. In 1985, the one millionth Hyundai car was built.In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, and the Excel was nominated as "Best Product #10" by Fortune magazine, largely because of its affordability. The company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata. In the spring of 1990, aggregate production of Hyundai automobiles reached the four million mark. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and also its own transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence.In 1996, Hyundai Motor India Limited was established with a production plant in Irungattukottai near Chennai, India.In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. Chung Ju Yung transferred leadership of Hyundai Motor to his son, Chung Mong Koo, in 1999. Hyundai's parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, invested heavily in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. It added a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) warranty to cars sold in the United States and launched an aggressive marketing campaign.In 2004, Hyundai was ranked second in "initial quality" in a survey/study by J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide. Since 2002, Hyundai has also been one of the worldwide official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup. In 2006, the South Korean government initiated an investigation of Chung Mong Koo's practices as head of Hyundai, suspecting him of corruption. On 28 April 2006, Chung was arrested, and charged for embezzlement of 100 billion South Korean won (US$106 million).As a result, Hyundai Vice Chairman and CEO, Kim Dong-jin, replaced him as head of the company. On 30 September 2011, Yang Seung Suk announced his retirement as CEO of Hyundai Motor Co. In the interim replacement period, Chung Mong-koo and Kim Eok-jo will divide the duties of the CEO position
Chung Ju-yungShow Article
Rapper, dancer musician and former TLC member Lisa Lopes was killed in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras, aged 30. Seven other people, including Lopes' brother and sister, who were in the Mitsubishi Montero sports utility vehicle when the crash happened, were taken to a hospital. Lopes who was driving the car when it crashed had spent the past month in Honduras working on various projects including a clothing line, a new solo project and a book.
Lisa LopesShow Article
The Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of trucks and buses and a subsidiary of German car manufacturer Daimler AG, was founded.Show Article
The Frankfurt Motor Show, opened it’s doors, with the simultaneous launch of the 5th generation of VW Golf and Opel Astra. Ford unveiled the first production models based on next year’s new Focus platform – the Mazda 3 and new Volvo S40 sedan. The 2003 Show was also a significant event for BMW, with the debut of the new 5-Series saloon and 6-Series coupe, while the X5 was updated for 2004 and joined by the smaller, all-new X3. Mercedes showed the production version of the SLR McLaren; Jaguar the X-Type Estate and Maserati returned to the luxury saloon fold with the premiere of the new Quattroporte. Leading the concept car debuts from Europe were the Citroen C-Airlounge, Renault Be-Bop, Peugeot 407 Elixir, SEAT Altea, and Saab 9-3 Sporthatch, together with surprises from Lancia with the Fulvia Coupe concept and Skoda with the Roomster. Japanese makers were also strongly featured with concepts such as the Toyota CS&S, Nissan Dunehawk, Mazda Kusabi, Mitsubishi ‘i’, and Suzuki S2.
VW Golf (5th generation)Show Article
The Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi's first new European car since 2000, went on sale in the UK.
Mitsubishi OutlanderShow Article
Three-time Polish National rally Champion Janusz Kulig (35) died in a road accident when a train hit his car. The crossing keeper was blamed for the accident. He started his career behind the wheel of a Polski Fiat 126p and during his early years in rally he also drove a Toyota Corolla, a Opel Kadett, and a Renault Clio. He became one of the top drivers while driving Renault Megane Maxi. In this car he also won his first Polish Rally Championship title in 1997. After 2 seasons with Renault, he signed a contract with Marlboro Mobil 1 team. He changed his car to a Ford Escort WRC and in following years to a Ford Focus WRC. Those years were most successful for Kulig. He won another 2 Polish Championship titles and became well known in European and World rally. Kulig spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons competing in the European Rally Championship (2nd place in 2002) and occasional WRC events. In 2002 Janusz Kulig won the Rally du Valais. His biggest success in WRC was 1st place in PCWRC in Sweden 2003 but after the rally he was stripped of his glory by FIA due to illegal modifications in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII (the flywheel had different streak than the one approved by FIA). For the 2004 Polish Championship Season he signed a contract to drive Fiat Punto S1600.
Janusz KuligShow Article
Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp., struggling to survive, announced it would cut 11,000 jobs.Show Article
The Mitsubishi Grandis went on sale in the UK – with prices ranging from £18,499 to £22,999.
Mitsubishi GrandisShow Article
The Mitsubishi Colt was launched in the UK.
Mitsubishi ColtShow Article
The Paris Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris Motor Show) opened its doors to the press and featured a wealth of new concept and production cars. There were a number of major releases from Ford, BMW and Mercedes and, naturally, the French makers Peugeot, Citroën and Renault featured strongly as well. World debuts included the Alfa 147, Aston Martin DBR9, Audi A4, BMW 1 Series, BMW M5, Citroën C4, Ferrari F430, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Sportage, Mazda 5, Mercedes A-Class, Mitsubishi Colt CZ3, Opel Astra GTC, Peugeot 1007, Porsche Boxster, Renault Mégane Trophy, Škoda Octavia Estate, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Prius GT.
BMW 1-SeriesShow Article
Automaker DaimlerChrysler AG ended its ill-fated involvement with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Co., selling its 12.4 percent stake in the company to Goldman Sachs for an undisclosed price.Show Article
A 10-year old boy died while crossing the course of the Paris-Dakar Rally after being hit by a car driven by Latvian Māris Saukāns. The 2006 event ran from 31 December 2005 to 15 January 2006. It started from Lisbon, Portugal, and passed through Spain, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, before finishing in Senegal. The format included speed restrictions on motorcycles and trucks and reduced use of global positioning systems. Competitors included double world rally champion, Sainz riding VW Race Touareg won the first stage from Lisbon to Portimão, and also the second stage. Jean-Louis Schlesser, winner of the event in 1999 and 2000, riding Schlesser-Ford Buggy, won the third stage between Nador to Er Rachidia in Morocco, with Nani Roma on Mitsubishi Pajero Evo taking the overall lead. Sainz won the fourth stage and took the overall lead. Stephane Peterhansel, winner in 2004 and 2005, won the fifth stage while Sainz held on to the overall lead. Giniel de Villiers moved into the lead, 22 seconds ahead of Sainz, after the sixth stage from Tan Tan to Zouerat, which was won by Thierry Magnaldi. Stephane Peterhansel won the seventh stage between Zouerat and Atar in Mauritania but Luc Alphand, who took second place, moved into the overall lead. Stephane Peterhansel moved into the lead after finishing third in the eighth stage, which was won by Thierry Magnaldi. Peterhansel won the ninth stage between Nouakchott and Kiffa in Mauritania to extend his lead; however, his win was overshadowed by the death of Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott in an accident. The tenth stage was won by Sainz with overall leader Stephane Peterhansel third. Peterhansel's overall lead was reduced after he finished 11th in the eleventh stage behind winner Giniel de Villiers. Peterhansel lost time after hitting a tree during a duststorm in the twelfth stage, which was won by Luc Alphand who took the overall lead. Alphand also won the thirteenth stage between Guinea and Senegal. He retained the overall lead after the fourteenth stage, which was won by Guerlain Chicherit; a second child was killed after reportedly being hit by a support lorry. The final stage was not timed as a mark of respect for the three deaths. The rally was won by Luc Alphand.Show Article
Malaysia's national carmaker Proton renewed its alliance with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. with a technical pact that involved jointly developing new vehicles.Show Article
Takemune Kimura (75) former president of Mitsubishi Motors died. He was one the executives named in 2005 in a ¥1.3 billion lawsuit filed by Mitsubishi Motors in connection with the Mitsubishi Motors recall cover up scandal, but died of bile duct cancer before the case was resolvedShow Article
The all-new Mitsubishi L200 went on sale. Prices started at £12,462 for the 4Work 4WD single cab, raising to £22,512 + VAT for the range topping double cab Diamond.
Mitsubishi L200 (2006)Show Article
The 29th Dakar Rally started in Lisbon, Portugal and passed through Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. The total race distance was 7,915 km, of which 4,309 km was timed special stages. It finished on 21st January 2007, with Stéphane Peterhansel winning the car event in a Mitsubishi Pajero.Show Article
China’s Changfeng Group Co., made its first appearance at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit. GAC Changfeng Motor Co Ltd was a Chinese automobile manufacturer wholly owned by GAC Group but which originated as a branch of the People's Liberation Army. Changfeng produced mainly light trucks, and as of 2008 the majority of their sales had been to the Chinese state. The company has manufactured license built Mitsubishi Pajero copies sold in China under the Mitsubishi brand as well as Pajero variations that bear the brand name Lièbào, which means cheetah. They also offer two variations of Mitsubishi pickups: Fine, and Flying. The Kylin was a compact hatchback offered during a short-lived, three year, joint venture with Bird Technology, a Chinese mobile phone maker. Its name, from a mythical Chinese beast, the qilin. The Kylin was included in Changfeng's appearance at the Detroit Auto show in 2008.
ChangFeng FlyingShow Article
The 29th Dakar Rally, which started in Lisbon, Portugal on 6th January and ran through Europe and Africa, finished. The rally was won by Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret in a Mitsubishi Pajero.Show Article
The Proton Inspira, a rebadged 2007 Mitsubishi Lancer, was formally launched, to be sold exclusively in the Malaysian market.Show Article
Japan-based Mitsubishi Motors admitted that it had used improper methods to test the fuel economy of cars sold in Japan for 25 years.Show Article