Friday 22nd September 1989
In a move that sent ripples throughout the automotive world, the Chrysler Corporation sold 50% of its interest in the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The decision came at a time when most other American automobile manufacturers, including Chrysler’s top rivals Ford and General Motors (GM), were eagerly buying up shares of Japanese automobile stock and strengthening ties with Japanese manufacturers. Chrysler claimed that it was taking advantage of a bullish Japanese market at a potential gain of $310 million, but industry pundits speculated that the motive went much deeper. Chrysler’s audacious move likely stemmed from disagreements between the two companies over Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales and distribution. In many cases, Mitsubishi-made products were being sold under the Chrysler name, often in direct competition with the Mitsubishi marque.