The Japanese Mitsubishi Motors is part of a large industrial conglomerate. In 1917, the car manufacturer built the Model A, the first series-produced car in Japan, after that mainly commercial vehicles. In the 1960s, Mitsubishi produced small passenger cars and in the early 1970s Mitsubishi entered the Dutch market with the Colt Galant and Colt Lancer types. That Colt stemmed from Mitsubishi’s ties with Chrysler. Because Mitsubishi sold its cars in America under the brand name Colt through Chrysler.
NedCar was founded in the Netherlands in 1991: a joint venture of Mitsubishi, Volvo (which had taken over DAF Passenger Cars and produced cars in the old DAF factory in Born) and the Dutch state. Mitsubishi produced the Carisma and the Space Star in Born. Because Mercedes-Benz merged with Chrysler in 2000, it also acquired an interest in Mitsubishi. Since 2001, Mitsubishi has been the full owner of NedCar, which from 2004 produced both the Mitsubishi Colt and the Smart forfour (Smart is, after all, part of Mercedes-Benz). They were technically the same cars. When Mitsubishi partnered with PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) for the production of an SUV, part of the production of the Outlander and its brothers went from PSA to Born from 2008 to 2012.
The Outlander has been a great success in the Netherlands in recent years, partly thanks to the additional benefit that the Dutch tax system offered. But Mitsubishi has been struggling financially for years and is now partly owned by Nissan.
The brand name Mitsubishi is a combination of the Japanese words ‘mitsu’ meaning ‘three’ and ‘hishi’ (pronounced ‘bishi’ when linked to another word), which means diamond or diamond shape.