Mitsubishi is too hard to spell

Oh, Mitsubishi. What a tangled relationship we have.

On one hand, your shrinking lineup and lack of market share are depressing at best. But you also are somewhat responsible for this very website, so I can’t be too disappointed in your mediocre efforts.

I imagine one of the challenges for a company like Mitsubishi is actually the name itself. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue and isn’t as easy to spell as something like Ford or Chevy.

My completely uninformed hypothesis is that the complicated spelling of Mitsubishi is why we have an ad like this:

Mitsubishi ad from February 1998

The ad above came from a February 1998 magazine and features monochromatic snapshots of a Montero SUV. I don’t recall the last time I saw one of these on the roads, but I’m pretty sure it was rusty and the bumper was being held on with duct tape.

Also, the ad lies. Every time I see one of the new Honda Odysseys, I always think (and sometimes say), “Whoa, nice minivan.” Seriously. Those things are amazing and worth a look if you’re in the market for a people-mover.

Back to the ad, the lower right-hand corner features the Wake Up And Drive tagline (we know how that ended!) and a website for us to visit:

The ad encourages us to visit I suspect, based on no hard evidence whatsoever, that Mitsubishi truncated their name to simply Mitsu as it’s easier to spell for an American audience.

That’s a perfectly legitimate reason, I suppose. But what does look like today?

Well, that’s not bad at all. Unlike, which Mitsubishi let die on the vine, they kept These days it redirects to, but that’s fine. It’s still a healthy bit of web management if you ask me.

Why not simply Well, like Honda, Mitsubishi is a large conglomerate that has businesses in lots of different industries. In the Honda example above, the company chose to advertise the simpler domain. Yes, users have to click around a bit to get to the car section of the site, but they could just as likely want to see information about motorcycles or lawn equipment or the HondaJet. It’s a choice.

In Mitsubishi’s case, they chose to tack the word “cars” on the end of the domain ( or – they both work). This choice takes the viewer directly to the automotive content, but it does make the URL a little more clunky. I really don’t think either option is better or worse. They’re both fine.

Either way, as much as I roll my eyes at Mitsubishi, they deserve the praise for saving an old domain and keeping it alive.

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