JAPAN-AUTO-MITSUBISHI-EARNINGS

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.