|With similar growth in its commercial vehicle production it was decided that the company should create a single operation to focus on the automotive industry and, in 1970, the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) was formed.
The 1970s saw the beginning of Mitsubishi's considerable international rallying success with Galants and Lancers, demonstrating the qualities of performance and reliability for which they are known today.
By the end of the decade Mitsubishi vehicles were picking up honours both at home and abroad, including South Africa's 1977 "Car of the Year" (the Galant) and 1979 "USA's Pick-up of the Year" (the L200). But this was just the start. In 1982 the Pajero/Montero was launched, a 4x4 which was quite different from anything that had been seen before. Quite incredibly, just a few months later in the Paris-Dakar rally, it took honours in the Production Class and the Marathon Class, as well as the Best Team award. Two years later it won outright and a legend was born. The Shogun became a global best-seller, winning "4x4 of the Year" awards in Britain, France, Australia, Spain and West Germany. And it was not alone on the honours list - Galants, Colts, Lancers and L200s were all being honoured worldwide.
|Throughout the 1990s the Pajero/ Montero continued to dominate rally events like the Dakar, and Mitsubishi vehicles also began to make their mark on the World Rally Championships. By the end of the century Tommi Makinen in a Lancer had won the Championship an historic four consecutive times whilst Lancers totally dominated the Group N Championships - for vehicles which are basically showroom standard.
Technologically this decade saw incredible advances. In 1990 MMC introduced the world's first Traction Control System, followed by Super Select 4WD and Multi-mode ABS in 1991 and INVECS in 1992. Commercial production of the Libero electric car began in 1994 whilst 1996 saw the development of the GDI engine.
In terms of motor-sport, the strength of Mitsubishi's 4x4 heritage was yet again demonstrated by a record breaking 12th victory in the 2007 Dakar rally - the seventh successive victory for the Japanese manufacturer. Today, MMC has manufacturing facilities in over 30 countries and its sales and after-sales organization is present in more than 170 countries.
As part of a global expansion programme, in 1998 Indian distribution was ensured with the formation of "The Chennai Car Plant", a technical collaboration between the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Japan and Hindustan Motors Limited.