Mitsubishi Is Moving From California to Tennessee

July 2nd, 2019 by

Mitsubishi is one of the last remaining Japanese auto manufacturers to still have one of its U.S. headquarters in California. Soon enough that will change, according to a report by Automotive News. Mitsubishi’s days in Cypress, California, are coming to a close as they plan to move to Tennessee (no date has been announced as of yet), where they will be closer to its Alliance partner Nissan which has been in Tennesse for the last 13 years. 

California isn’t the cheapest place to live, let alone do business if we are honest. Anyway for the company to find money to save is a good thing. “The move is part of an ongoing plan to reinvent every aspect of Mitsubishi Motors in the US, from corporate leadership to dealer partners to every touch-point in a customer’s relationship with their vehicle, and will sharpen the company’s focus on future growth and innovation,” Mitsubishi representatives said in a statement.

The parts distribution department is the only part of Mitsubishi’s US operation that isn’t making a move to the Volunteer State. It will stay in Southern California. The research and development union will remain in Michigan. 


The origin of Mitsubishi dates back to 1870 when founder, Yataro Iwasaki, started a shipping firm with three aging steamships. Yataro’s sibling, son and his nephew decided to expand the business into various fields during their respective terms as president for the company, and during their time, they set the foundation of the Mitsubishi companies. After WWII, the original Mitsubishi was dismissed becoming the independent companies they are today.

The history of “Mitsubishi” starts in Japan. Its founder, Yataro Iwasaki worked for the Kochi clan and distinguished himself in managing its Osaka trading operations. It helped when it came to managing Mitsubishi later on. 

When 1870 rolled around, he set up his own shipping company, Tsukumo Shokai, and it had three steamships which leased from the clan. The beginning of Mitsubishi was born.

The company proliferated while undergoing several name changes which included Mitsukawa Shokai, Mitsubishi Jokisen Kaisha (Mitsubishi Steamship Company) and, Yubin Kisen Mitsubishi Kaisha (Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company).

The Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company introduced the service to China while becoming the first Japanese company to open an overseas route. However, politically things went southward for Mitsubishi in the early 1880s, and the government decided to sponsor the establishment of another competitor. The competition almost bankrupted both businesses.

In 1885 Yataro died of cancer and his brother Yanosuke, which was younger than him, became president of Mitsubishi next. The issue between Mitsubishi and its competitor ended with a government-arbitrated merger the same year, which created Nippon Yusen–which today is the NYK Line.

While the competition was escalating, Mitsubishi was diversifying. The company decided to purchase the Yoshioka copper mine in Okayama and Takashima coal mine in Nagasaki. When it leased, and then they decided to buy the Nagasaki Shipbuilding Yard from the government in 1884, they later engineered Japan’s first domestically produced steel steamship there as well.

A New Beginning

In 1946, the old Mitsubishi organization ended. The Mitsubishi holding company was disbanded while the trading house fragmented into hundreds of independent enterprises, according to the history section on Some of the Mitsubishi companies dropped the name and the emblem under pressure from the occupation forces.

In 1954, over 100 companies, that had been part of the trading house Mitsubishi Corporation, came together to reestablish the company. Also, the principal components of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reunited in 1964 as well.

Mitsubishi companies that decided to part with the name and emblem after the war began started using it again as well as the three-diamond mark. Japan was the scene of unmatched economic growth in the 50s and 60s, and the Mitsubishi companies were a part of that growth in their established industries and new ones as well.

The Mitsubishi companies established the Mitsubishi Foundation in 1969. The companies are also active while supporting worthy causes through their charitable foundations. The Mitsubishi pavilions have been highlights of expositions in Japan since the historic EXPO’70 in Osaka in 1970, according to 

One thing Mitsubishi does well is that the company takes part to actively be in the life of the community they serve. You can search the inventory of Mitsubishi vehicles at University Mitsubishi. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you. 

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