Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Diamond Star Motors
Diamond Star Motors (commonly abbreviated to DSM) was a vehicle manufacturing division jointly owned by Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The name Diamond Star Motors comes from the parent companies logos: a five-point star (Chrysler), and three diamonds (Mitsubishi). Three of the vehicles produced via Diamond Star Motors are also generally referred to as DSMs: the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser.
The beginnings of Diamond Star Motors started in the 1970s, when Chrysler and Mitsubishi first began collaborating. Dodge imported and distributed in the US several small cars manufactured by Mitsubishi, mostly marketed as Dodge Colts. Plymouth versions eventually also were created, and were marketed in Canada as well. These captive imports were successful, and some later vehicles (such as the early Dodge Caravan and Dodge 20 pickup) used Mitsubishi engines in Chrysler chassis. During Chrysler's near-bankruptcy in 1979, Mitsubishi purchased Chrysler's Australian operations.
During the early 1980s, Dodge was looking for a way to boost lagging sales and Mitsubishi was looking to increase its US sales without violating the voluntary import-quota system which had been agreed between the U.S. and Japanese governments. In October 1985, the two parent companies officially incorporated Diamond Star Motors as a way for each company to benefit from the other's strengths. Shortly afterward in April of 1986, ground was broken on a 1.9 million square-foot (177,000 m²) production facility in Normal, Illinois. The plant was finished in March of 1988 and could produce 240,000 new vehicles each year.
Initially, six models based on three platforms (two of which were co-designed by Mitsubishi and Chrysler) were produced at this facility.
The Galant sedan was Mitsubishi's own design, carried over from Japan. The Talon, Eclipse, and Laser (referred to as DSMs or, occasionally, TELs) were smaller 2+2 sports cars.
- 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor
- 2005 Mitsubishi Galant
- 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse (PS24S)
- Dodge Stratus/Chrysler Sebring coupe
The later history of DSM is complicated by the shifting relations of its two corporate parents. Chrysler actually allowed Mitsubishi to purchase its equity stake in the factory as early as 1991. Manufacturing of Chrysler vehicles was after that by contract only, and periodic rumors persisted that the contract might not be renewed. Diamond-Star Motors was officially renamed to Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, Inc. on July 1, 1995.
Nevertheless, in 2000, Daimler-Chrysler, as it had then become, purchased a large block of Mitsubishi Motors stock, which made it appear that joint production might again ensue. However, in 2004, when Mitsubishi suffered a financial crisis, Daimler-Chrysler very publicly refused requests for a further capital injection, again raising questions about the status of the relationship. Late in the year, though, existing contracts for joint engine and platform development were renewed, so it would appear that the relationship may have cooled, but will not be ended.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details