Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Mitsubishi’s automotive origins date back to 1917, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. introduced the Mitsubishi Model A, Japan’s first series-production automobile.
In an effort to boost sales in the U.S. in the early 2000s, Mitsubishi began offering a “0–0–0” finance offer—0% down, 0% interest, and $0 monthly payments (all repayments deferred for 12 months). Initially, sales leapt, but at the end of the year’s “grace period” numerous credit-risky buyers defaulted, leaving Mitsubishi with used vehicles for which they had received no money and which were now worth less than they cost to manufacture. The company’s American credit operation, MMCA, was eventually forced to make a US$454 million provision against its 2003 accounts as a result of these losses.