Automotive Innovation since 1917
Mitsubishi Motors automotive tradition goes back to 1917 when the Mitsubishi Model A, Japans first series-production automobile, was introduced. Over the next two decades the company established themselves as an innovator, developing, amongst others, Japans first diesel engine, its first large-sized bus (the start of the world famous FUSO commercial vehicle series) and the first four-wheel drive passenger car prototype.
The 1960's - Family Motoring
By the beginning of the 1960s, Japans economy was gearing up: wages were rising and the idea of family motoring was taking off. The Mitsubishi 500 was a mass market saloon designed to fulfill this increased demand. This was followed in 1962, by a four-seater micro-compact with a two-stroke air-cooled 359cc engine, the Minica - a name which still lives today. The first Mitsubishi Colt, a larger, more comfortable family car, not a predecessor of the modern Colt - was also introduced in the same year. The first Galant hit the market in 1969 and was a genuine pacesetter in the Japanese market, representing the best and latest in automotive technology and was to sire a long and illustrious line with a string of motor sports honors and consumer awards to its name.
The 1970's & 1980's - International Rallying Success
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 Mitsubishis 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 honors 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 Mitsubishi Pajero 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 honors 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 Pajero 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 honors list - Galants, Colts, Lancers and L200s were all being honored worldwide.
The 1990's - Incredible Advances
Throughout the 1990s the Shogun 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.
In terms of motor-sport, the strength of Mitsubishis 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.
Mitsubishi In Oman
Successful corporate enterprises thrive on the leadership and direction typically provided by an inspirational founding figure. Zubair Automotive Group has been no different. The Group owes much of its success to its Chairman, H.E. Mohammed Al Zubair, who established and nurtured its growth on a core set of corporate values that set it apart from its corporate peers. Those values comprised good old-fashioned hard work, enterprise and perseverance – attributes that continue to drive the Group’s success.
The Group’s history predates that of Oman’s modern renaissance, which began in 1970. The Zubair Automotive Group has its origins in a small business outfit called Muscat Trading Company, established by H.E. Mohammed Al Zubair in 1967. Initially trading in electrical equipment, building materials and tools, the firm diversified into other products and services at the onset of rising economic opportunities triggered by the renaissance. Muscat Trading Company eventually gave way to Zubair Enterprises in 1973, setting in motion a business initiative that has since blossomed into a highly respected and well-diversified business corporation.
Zubair imported its first three Mitsubishi Galants in 1973, heralding a new era in automotive trading in the Sultanate. Not long thereafter, the Automotive Division was spun off into other areas of the automotive business chain, setting up, in the process, new subsidiaries to manage these businesses.