In the minds of many auto enthusiasts, Mitsubishi has become an afterthought. It has transformed from a company known for its turbocharged, all-wheel-drive rally machines into an automaker with a very boring lineup. Maybe we are being unfair, though. While the company doesn't have much of a performance presence anymore, the Japanese brand is doing quite well financially.

According to Reuters, Mitsubishi Motors had an operating profit of 123.4 billion yen ($1.2 billion) worldwide for the fiscal year that ended in March. That's twice as much as last year and a new all-time record for the Japanese automaker. It's even paying dividends to investors for the first time in 16 years, and its expected profit of 135 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in the new fiscal year matches a goal it had set for itself to achieve two years from now.

The automaker currently focuses much of its efforts on Southeast Asia, which accounts for about a quarter of its sales. It will put even greater attention there in the coming years with more local production, according to Reuters.

However, the company is seeing success in North America too. For the 2013 calendar year, Mitsubishi Motors NA saw sales increase by 7.7 percent, and that growth has continued this year. Our By the Numbers figures have shown that it posted gains in two of the first three months of 2014, and while Mitsu's totals are relatively small, that's still a fact that larger companies like Honda and Volkswagen can't brag about.


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  • 44 Comments
      KeiCarLvr
      • 8 Months Ago
      Glad that Mitsu's gamble is paying off for them. What thick-headed enthusiasts here and on other sites don't realize is that the majority of the world just wants TRANSPORTATION, not performance models.
      steve.epps
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have two Mitsubishi's a 98 3000 GT and 2001 Montero XLS. Both are high mileage and are really good vehicles. the GT has a 162,000 which I do all the maintenance myself, still drives like new and I will never get rid of it. The Montero ( full size real 4x4) has 141,000 and I have never even changed a spark plug! Never a check engine light, nothing! I just now purchased a timing belt/water pump Master kit with gaskets, Crank ,Cam seals, Timing belt, tensoners and water pump, genuine MB parts for $102 on Ebay! Can't beat that. Along with that I'll replace the pan and valve cover gaskets, give it a tune up and new hoses and it will run another 100,000 NO PROBLEM!!! I do think Mitsubishi should bring back a new version of the 3000 gt VR4 twin turbo to get people looking at Mitsubishi again here in the USA. I love my 98 and they still have a huge fanfare, clubs and enthusiast's. Come on Mitsubishi "YOU CAN DO IT"
      Wu am I
      • 8 Months Ago
      that's good for a car maker without much presence in US of A!!
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 8 Months Ago
      Its good to see that they are doing well.
      maverick_02
      • 8 Months Ago
      Please bring back the Montero Sport!
        juststudent
        • 8 Months Ago
        @maverick_02
        We have those in South East Asia and it's quite popular SUV. Dunno why.
          maverick_02
          • 8 Months Ago
          @juststudent
          I'm a huge fan of the new one. Had a 98. Best vehicle I've driven in my life.
      carguy1701
      • 8 Months Ago
      And yet their North American offerings are a joke...
        djrroar1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        Looks like their plan is to sell cars and make money. Business is up nicely in the U.S. Looks like their plan is working quite well!
        Master Austin
        • 8 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        Well they cater to people with bad credit, so yeah that might be working for awhile, but Mitsu is one of those companies where whenever I see a driver I'm left thinking "Really? You couldnt find something better?' Its definately not a car people aspire to, more like a car that people are forced into because of bad credit.
        vroooomy
        • 8 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        IThey survive on the outlander employees can buy a $25k one for around $13k it's a pos plus their interest terms are crazy. Sure they will put you in it for $200 month with $1000 down. For 80 months which dealers don't tell you. Go try to trade it in. 2 year old worth about 12k but I owe $25k lol
          djrroar1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @vroooomy
          You have no idea what you are talking about. Hard to fix stupid.
          carguy1701
          • 8 Months Ago
          @vroooomy
          "2 year old worth about 12k but I owe $25k lol" Sounds like he has direct, first-hand experience.
      djrroar1
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like their plan, make cars and make money. Seems like a good idea.
      Felipe Politano
      • 8 Months Ago
      You know, raw numbers can be pretty misleading and those high profits might be telling a success story somewhat disconnected to reality. See, high profits like Mitsu's could be due to some not-so-good motivators such as a low investment rate, for example. They might not be making a ton of money, but they're not spending any on the other hand. Mitsu's current lineup is composed of very frugal, simplistic machines and no heavy investment in technology or R&D is required. Keep in mind that making cheap subcompacts and crossovers costs far less than developing luxury cars, sports cars or even a truly competitive midsize mainstream sedan. Besides, most of its models are based on reworked ancient platforms, already amortized after years on the market. Even their new US-market compact and midsize sedans (new Lancer and Galant, maybe?) won't be developed in-house (those will actually be reskinned versions of Renault's Fluence and Latitude, also known as the Samsung SM3 and SM5) in order to save them some development money. I mean, they're OUTSOURCING development and production of two CRUCIAL products, and that goes a long way to show the company's newfound penny-pinching habits. And they're not commiting to a next generation EVO for the very same reason… so, all in all, I don't mean to be negative here, for profits are always a sign of hope, at least; but sometimes sticking to a business plan (thou shall spend less) can distance a brand even further from its audience, render its products obsolete or irrelevant and risk its sustainability in the long haul… but hey, Mitsubishi should know better.
        Engineer.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        They know better than you. Evo is a marginal product. 99,999% of people outside USA aren't going to buy an Evo for any kind of drives. Also, the best selling Mitsubishi vehicles worldwide are mainly SUV's. Cars have never been Mitsubishis strong point, not even the 2006 Lancer, it was horribly selling as a car. The C-size car segment, where the Lancer belongs, has very high competition, and Mitsubishi does not particulary have any strong technologies to complete there. All of their special tech is for other kind of vehicles. Like the new CEO stated, they have only limited resources to develope new products which is why they think it's stupid to try to build the whole line up. Instead they will focus mainly on SUV's that has been their strong money maker since 80's and they already have a lot of special technology for SUV's, very good and advanced 4 wheel-drive technologies that are actually one of the best that any car manufacturer has. It would be stupidity to focus on Lancer, when most of Lancer buyers aren't buying an AWD car. Their SUV's globally are selling much better than the Lancer is, and profit margins in SUV like vehicles are better.
        djrroar1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        Take a look at the number of car companies that share engineering and design, it is happening more and more because of the investment that is required. Not unusual and actual very smart.
          foxtrot685
          • 8 Months Ago
          @djrroar1
          ^^ Oh Notcarguyuy... Renault/Nissan VAG Subaru/Toyota PSA Ford/GM Mitsubishi/ChryCo and there are many MANY more, either specific shared projects such as drive train or larger projects such as platforms and chassis.
          carguy1701
          • 8 Months Ago
          @djrroar1
          You sure? Mazda and Fiat, I'll grant you, but other than that...
      Master Austin
      • 8 Months Ago
      Doesnt matter how good their profits are, the stigma of having under competitive products that appeal to low credit buyers doesnt help any. And Oh yeah, the Montero sport was crap even when it existed. They did have a few decent products that sent them apart like the Eclipse of the late 80s, but it was still unreliable junk as it was today.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        The Montero Sport was certainly not crap. It had plenty of wheel travel and had a manually lockable center diff- a rarity then and now.
      vroooomy
      • 8 Months Ago
      But not in America
      Street King
      • 8 Months Ago
      Pretty easy to "turn an OPERATING profit" after slashing and cutting back everything without any new investment. Mitsubishi hasn't even debuted a new Lancer since 2006. Figure its at least 2 billion to tool up for a new one and I think you'll begin to understand their little play on the numbers. The BS about a new EVO has been floating around since 2010 - but what have we seen? Nothing - a 3 cylinder POS Mirage. Go Mitsu! /sarcasm
      Felipe Politano
      • 8 Months Ago
      LOL oh boy, I thought there were no Mitsu fanboys left after the 90s… I see them working hard here to downvote whomever states the obvious (Mitsubishi is lost, no matter the profits) and upvote every beacon of hope. You go, fellas.
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