Archive for History

Why Mitsubishi Has Succeeded for a Century

100 Years of Mitsubishi

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is any type of successful company. As Mitsubishi celebrates its 100th anniversary, it deserves a respectful look at its humble beginnings and its big impact on the automotive world.

 

Mitsubishi started as a shipping firm in 1870. The firm, which was run by Yataro Iwasaki, was around for over 40 years before the company tried its hand at a car, the Model-A, in 1917. However, this hand-made car was too expensive to produce and wasn’t a success. Nevertheless, the company persevered. Even while they had to market under the guise of Dodge in order to get their foot in the door, in 1982 Mitsubishi finally made its first official American debut.

 

While the company was being marketed under the Chrysler umbrella, they still worked to engineer and invent technologies that would change the automotive world. Mitsubishi designed the first-ever Traction Control System and the first Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. They also began development on electric vehicles even years before they made their Drive@Earth pledge, which promises to create vehicles that can coexist with a healthy environment.

 

Today, Mitsubishi has continued to redefine standards in electric and hybrid vehicles. Vehicles like the i-MiEV and the Plug-In Hybrid PHEV SUV provide just a glimpse of what’s to come in this dedicated company. A lot has happened for Mitsubishi in the last century, and the upcoming years are sure to be filled with just as much surprise and innovation.

 

Famous Women in Automotive History

Florence Lawrence

By Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research – http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=105441, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29853603

 

This month we wanted to take the time to talk about some of the famous women in automotive history.

  • Mary Anderson. In 1903, this woman invented something that is used on every single car in the world today—the windshield wiper. Her version was a swinging arm with a rubber blade that was manually operated from inside the car. So, the next time you switch on your wipers, think about automotive pioneer Mary Anderson.
  • Florence Lawrence. Silent film star Florence Lawrence purchased her first car in 1913 and realized it was missing some important safety features—turn signals and brake lights. So, she invented. Her simple invention didn’t actually involve lights, but was an “auto signaling arm” that would raise a sign indicating which direction the driver was going to turn. The brake signal raised a “stop” sign.
  • Helene Rother. In 1943, she was hired as the first female automotive designer. She was originally a French jewelry designer, but GM hired her to design some elegant interiors for upscale cars. She spent much of the rest of her career on automotive interior design.
  • Denise McCluggage. She was one of the most celebrated racers of the 1950s, conquering the most difficult tracks all over the world.

As you can see, women played a vital role in making the automotive industry what it is today.