The conglomerate now known as Mitsubishi was founded in the latter half of the 1870s as a shipping company. During the subsequent decades, Mitsubishi significantly prospered and had expanded its operations into many different industrial sectors. What is quite interesting is that while Mitsubishi was very famous for its production of wartime vehicles (the Japanese fighter plane known as the "Zero" perhaps being one of the most notorious), the company had apparently overlooked the sales potential for motor vehicles.
After the war ended and the domestic economy was in ruins, Mitsubishi was tasked with the challenge of helping to rebuild the Japanese infrastructure. Thus, it began the rudimentary production of three-wheeled transport vehicles before realising the potential to enter into the industry as a direct manufacturer. However, this growth did not occur as quickly as was seen with other Japanese firms such as Toyota or Nissan. It was actually not until 1960 that the first mass-produced family car was offered to the public.
During the 1970s, Mitsubishi experienced the very same economic boom that was occurring throughout Japan. This allowed for further expansion and by the latter part of the decade, the Mitsubishi brand had begun to enter into the American market. This entrance was aided by the fact that like many Japanese manufacturers, Mitsubishi represented a cost-effective alternative to many western luxury cars.
Mitsubishi has now re-branded itself as a high-end vehicle manufacturer and offers a variety of vehicles ranging from economical models to those that can only be considered cutting-edge and fuel-efficient alternatives that continue to prove quite popular.