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Mitsubishi: 50 years in the Philippines

<Mitsubishi Lancer

Mitsubishi is a Japanese multinational automaker that produces a wide range of commercial and passenger vehicles. Mitsubishi is the second largest automotive company in the Philippines in terms of sales, next to Toyota. It owns at least a quarter of the country’s automotive market.


Mitsubishi started out as a shipping company founded by Yataro Iwasaki in 1870. By 1917, Mitsubishi ventured into making automotives by introducing the Mitsubishi Model A, a seven seater sedan.


Mitsubishi has developed numerous automotive technologies that are available on most of its models. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), available on most of its models including the Mitsubishi Mirage, can automatically change gear ratios by controlling the O-pulley diameter.

The company has also released two electric vehicles under the MiEV program: the i-MiEV and the Minicab-MiEV. In Japan, the company has also developed Kei cars, a series of light vehicles.

The designs of most Mitsubishi models also incorporate some of the company’s standard features such as whiplash injury reduction seats, plastic fenders and Hill Start Assist (HSA) for climbing steep roads.


The name Mitsubishi comes from the Japanese words “mitsu” which means “three” and “bishi” meaning “water caltrop”. The very same concept is adopted in their logo design which shows three diamonds forming a pinwheel.

Mitsubishi is also known to have a long standing partnership with action star Jackie Chan, who used Mitsubishi cars in some of his films such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV in “Who Am I?”

Famous models

Mitsubishi has produced some of the country’s most beloved people carriers and commercial vehicles. Three of its car models made it into the top 10 most sold vehicles in the nation for the year 2013. Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) Mitsubishi Montero and Mitsubishi Adventure ranked 2nd and 5th respectively, while the subcompact Mitsubishi Mirage finishing 7th.

The country is also teeming with Mitsubishi L200s and L300s which are generally used for commercial purposes. The L300 FB Chassis Cab sold 6,810 units last year.

Local distributor

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) celebrated their 50th anniversary in the country in 2013. The corporation currently markets 16 vehicle units in the Philippines.

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