Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar SuperDork
1/26/09 11:14 a.m.

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”—Shakespeare

William S. was right: If someone’s miserable enough, they’ll hop into bed with just about anyone. Loneliness has spurred many a rash action. And like the lonely man, in the mid-’80s Chrysler and Mitsubishi were sitting around, moping, waiting for someone—anyone—to knock on their dealership doors.

Chrysler had enjoyed a brief flash of popularity thanks to the K-car and all its spinoffs. The humble little K-car (and about a kajillion government dollars) had helped the manufacturer escape bankruptcy in the late 1970s. They had managed to milk the little platform for everything it was worth—and then some—but by 1985 they were running out of options.

Compared to Mitsubishi, however, Chrysler was on a roll. The Japanese company just didn’t have anything U.S. buyers were interested in, and they were having a harder time importing their vehicles because of “voluntary” import quotas. To protect the U.S. auto industry, Washington had strongly suggested Japanese carmakers limit the number of cars they imported. Toyota, Honda and Nissan quickly began building U.S. factories to sidestep the quotas, but Mitsubishi wasn’t ready. They didn’t have the capital, and they couldn’t raise it without selling more cars. It was a vicious circle.

Since both companies were staggering along like the last two people in a bar at closing time, it’s not too surprising they woke up one morning to find themselves in bed together.

Read the rest of the story

captainzib HalfDork
4/28/09 12:26 p.m.

Loved the article, sending to everyone I know who looks at me when I talk about my car and asks, "What's a DSM?".

Vigo PowerDork
10/3/10 8:41 p.m.

Hmm, this came up on the new front page.

Hard to believe these cars were ever asking $15k once they rolled off the dealer lots.

Also, i have to say a lot of the statements regarding Chrysler in the opening paragraphs were... a little revisionist here, a little inaccurate there, and a lot exaggerated in other places.

Although, it is interesting to compare the derision pointed toward $1.5 billion in loan GUARANTEES (not loans) in 2003, and the attitude towards the more recent, more direct, and much larger government intervention..

lawdogg None
12/18/11 5:17 p.m.

Great article! I wanted to point out, however, that 3000GTs & Stealths were not produced in Illinois. Both were manufactured at Mitsubishi's plant in Nagoya, Japan. They are not technically DSMs.

shelbyz New Reader
1/31/13 9:13 a.m.

Excellent artice. Just wanted to comment on the part that says "don’t even bother with a slushbox car".

This was commonly accepted when this article was written. Nowadays however, some of the fastest drag DSM's are running built automatics.

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