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Mitsubishi has a long a successful history in the World Rally Championship, but that appears to have come to a sad end. The Japanese manufacturer has halted new model launches in Europe, a move that is expected to mark the beginning of the brand's withdrawal from the European market. According to reports, under the 'Small but Beautiful' banner, the manufacturer plans to reduce its fixed costs by 20% over the next two years, centring its business structure in Asia. The firm will focus its resources on the South-East Asian market, where it currently has a 6.4% market share, compared with just 1.0% in Europe and 0.9% in North America.

Tommi Makinen and Mitsubishi dominated the WRC for four years in a row in the 1990s.

Mitsubishi had a glorious run in the WRC from 1996 until 1999, winning both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles four years on the trot.
Tommi Makinen was in a class of his own as the Lancer Evolution models dominated the WRC. The Finn's titles came in the Lancer Evo models 3, 4, 5 and 6. Mitsubishi had even greater dominance in the Group N production car class, winning it nine times in a row from 1994 until 2002. Further success followed when Lancers claimed the title from 2006 through to 2009.

Gabriele Pozzo in a Group N Lancer in Argentina in 2006. Photo: Maurice Selden

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