Mitsubishi entered the Dakar Rally in 1983, winning their first title in their third year of competition. The early and late 1990s were dominated by the Japanese car maker, who clinched no less than 4 wins between 1992 and 1998. And then there were the 2000's, in which the Mitsubishi Pajeros were practically unchallenged for the overall win until earlier this year.
Mitsubishi won 7 consecutive titles in the Dakar Rally starting 2001, until the competition had to move to South America due to the terrorist threat in Northern Africa. Overall, Mitsubishi's winning percentage in the famous race is close to 50%, making the Japanese car maker the winningest manufacturer to ever take part in the Dakar Rally.
“Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today their decision to withdraw from Cross Country Rallying, starting with the legendary Dakar Rally,” said the announcement issued by Mitsubishi earlier today.
“In its 26 entries in this event, Mitsubishi Motors won the rally a total of 12 times, including seven consecutive victories. In addition to this unparalleled record the company also gained 4WD technology that informs its production vehicles, most visible in their durability and off road performance.”
“The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, leading to today's announcement.”