In 1971 Chrysler Corporation purchased 15 percent of Mitsubishi, allowing the Japanese company to sell the Mitsubishi Galant as a rebadged Dodge Colt in order to compete in the growing small car market in the US. Less than a decade later Chrysler was bleeding financially and Mitsubishi was not pleased with sales performance.
In 1980 Chrysler sold its Australian manufacturing division to Mitsubishi in order to avoid bankruptcy and in 1981 Mitsubishi founded Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc to sell cars with their own name on them in the US. The first Mitsubishi badged vehicles arrived on US shores on this day in 1981. For the 1982 model year 30,000 vehicles were sent to the US, including the Tredia, Cordia and Starion models, followed by the Mighty Max pickup truck.