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Technological Change - Essay Example

Firstly, this topic reveals how Mitsubishi Motors carries technological developments and achievements during its way of life. Secondly, the newest technology will be described and the company’s SWOT analysis explains its place in the market. To begin with changes over the years, I would like to go back to the end of the Second World War, where Japans large industrial groups were dismantled by order of the Allied powers and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was split into three regional companies, each with participation in motor vehicles development.

The most important for the country at that time was commercial vehicles, the situation being further complicated during the first few years by a severe fuel lack. In the result, 1946 attained the introduction of a bus which could be run on either petrol or alternative fuels, and in 1947, an electric bus. The innovations continued in the truck field with Japans first truck to be equipped with an air suspension system, as well as the first tilt-cab truck.

Passenger vehicle production was confined mainly to Mitsubishis first scooter. In the beginning of 1960s, Japans economy was gearing up: wages were rising and the idea of family motoring was taking off. The Mitsubishi 500, a mass market saloon, fulfilled this need. Later, in 1962, by a four-seat micro-compact with a two-stroke air-cooled 359cc engine, the Minica – the name which is still alive today. The first Colt -a larger and more comfortable family car – was also introduced in the same year, and the first Galant in 1969.

Considering the technological changes, this one was an effective step in the Japanese market, represented the best and latest in automotive technology and brought motor sports reputation and consumer awards to its name. With similar growth in its commercial vehicle production it was decided that the company should build a single action to focus on the automotive industry and, in 1970, the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) was created. The 1970s, Mitsubishi attained success in international rallying with Galants and Lancers, demonstrating the qualities of performance and reliability for which they are known today.

Moreover, in 1982 the Shogun (named Pajero or Montero in other countries) was launched, a 4×4 which was quite different from anything that had been seen before. Just a few months later, in the Paris Dakar rally, it took award in the Production Class and the Marathon Class, and also the Best Team award. Two years later the Shogun became a global best-seller, winning 4×4 of the Year awards in Britain, France, Australia, Spain and West Germany. Technologically, this decade saw unbelievable advances.

In 1990 MMC introduced the world’s first Traction Control System, followed by Super Select 4WD and Multi-mode ABS in 1991 and INVECS in 1992. Commercial production of the Libero electric car began in 1994, almost at the same time as 1996 saw the development of the GDI engine. Considering the terms of motor-sport, the strength of Mitsubishi 4×4 tradition was yet again demonstrated by a record breaking 12th victory in the 2007 Dakar rally – the seventh following victory for the Japanese manufacturer.

In 2002, Mitsubishi Motors Europe was established in order to coordinate sales and after-sales especially for the European market. European product renewal started with the Colt in 2004 and after that the Grandis, Lancer Evolution IX, and then new L200 and most recently the Colt CZC Cabriolet joined the collection. In 2007 the full product line-up revolution was further developed with the introduction of the new Outlander and improved Shogun. 2008 saw the introduction of the all new Lancer, Lancer Sportback and face lifted Colt.

2007 and 2008 saw a confusion of new model introductions, with the launch of the new Outlander, revised Shogun, I city car, new Lancer and Lancer Sportback, and the flagship Lancer Evolution X. (Colt Car Company, 2009) In Tokyo, 2nd of March, 2009 the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Peugeot Citroen PSA stated that both companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding partnership on electric vehicles based on a vehicle currently under development by MMC in Japan. From now on, these two partners will be making an electric vehicles for Europe – MMC’s i MiEV*, manufactured by MMC and sold under Peugeot brand.

(JCN Newswir, 2009) Additionally, this new step would be beneficial since the partnership of MMC and PSA Peugeot Citroen will ease and accelerate the introduction of their electric vehicles in the European market. These two companies are now in discussions on a joint agreement, targeting market launch at the end of 2010 or the very beginning of 2011. For MMC, this project is consistent with its worldwide electric vehicle strategy. Currently involved in testing and promotional activities in Japan, New Zealand, and the United States and across Europe, i MiEV will be launched in Japan during the summer of 2009.

Step toward possible future, it introduce the electric vehicle i MiEV which will provide cleaner and quieter environment, save money (as it is not using gas or petrol) and be comfortable for everyone and everywhere. Before launching such a phenomenon, it requires a lot of testing, which you can find in Appendix 1. Testing will also contain examine issues including market acceptability, as well as incentives and structural issues such as the suitability of the charging infrastructure. (The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. ,2009) The first car will roll off the production line in 2011.

The plant will make Class C Peugeot and Citroen cars, as well as four-wheel drive Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroen vehicles. Peugeot Citroen will have a 70% stake in the joint venture, while Mitsubishi will hold 30%. All these cars will be manufactured in Kaluga and be sold on the domestic market. The plant will make 160,000 cars a year, including 110,000 Class C and 50,000 off-road vehicles. In the future, the plant’s capacity will be increased to 300,000 to match the predicted growth in demand. The plant will employ about 3,000 people.

Both companies are to invest 470 million Euros initially in the plant. (Anon, 2009) Considering the future plans, Mitsubishi Motors decided that it will discontinue its original-equipment manufacturer contract with Chrysler in 2010, as Chrysler produces a pickup truck called Raider that has recently seen slack sales. The alliance between Mitsubishi and Chrysler lasted from 1971. In Appendix 2 can be found sales chart (1982-2006), which shows that sales of Mitsubishi Motors started to drop from 2002. It looks like it was kind of motivation for the company.

According Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko, fiscal year (2007-’08) they aimed to be in profit, and they were making efforts to ensure their company earns profits consistently without being influenced by exchange rates and prime oil prices, even if they do change to a certain degree. “We won’t turn into the red even if the yen goes up to 110 yen” he said strictly. Sales chart (1997-2007) can be found in Appendix 2. Moreover, A SWOT Analysis has been attached below. A SWOT Analysis is a vital factor in the company’s report; it is used to evaluate a Mitsubishi Motors company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.