TIL In '03, Mitsubishi offered a "0-0-0" deal in the US which offered a new car for 0 down, 0% interest and 0 payments for a year. Many buyers defaulted after the year leaving Mitsubishi with used vehicles for which they'd received no money and which were now worth less than they cost to manufacture

TIL In '03, Mitsubishi offered a "0-0-0" deal in the US which offered a new car for 0 down, 0% in...

This was available even in 1999 as I took advantage of it. In my case it worked out for them because there is no chance I would have bought the car otherwise. I still have it and it still runs great. As an aside I recall a late night talk radio show where a WW2 vet called in and found the ads (Zero! Zero! Zero!) offensive because Mitsubishi manufactured Japanese Zeros in WW2.

If you think that's bad, their 2005 campaign "Bataan Blowout" and 2007's "Systematic Genocide in China/Cheap Car Day" drew a lot of fire.

I can't believe people would want to ruin their credit over a car. Or I can't believe Mitsubishi would give this offer to anyone who didn't have excellent credit.

"We'll SNEAK ATTACK you with our sales!" "Don't let your old car TORPEDO your social life, buy a new car!" "Don't DROWN in debt, get a car for 0-0-0!"

I can't believe Mitsubishi would give this offer to anyone who didn't have excellent credit.

It was back in the "good old days" where people started thinking "why wouldn't we just give EVERYONE a no-income no-job no-collateral interest-only mortgage, because historically the default rate is so low!"

As an aside I recall a late night talk radio show where a WW2 vet called in and found the ads (Zero! Zero! Zero!) offensive because Mitsubishi manufactured Japanese Zeros in WW2.

So Mitsubishi can never use a 0 ever again?

Ah yes, I remember those campaigns. I was working as a manager for a Mitsubishi store back then. Corporate told us to crash unsold Galants into GM and Ford dealerships at high speeds afterwards.

The most successful campaign we had was the 1987 Rape of Nanking 50th Anniversary Fire Sale, I was working as a junior salesman back then and even I sold 33 cars that week.

No, it's not. I got a single credit card when I turned 18. By the time i turned 22 and was out of college looking to buy a house, my credit score was 740 and qualified me for the best mortgage rates.

It's stupidly simple to have a high credit score. Don't ever buy anything you cannot fully pay off in the next month is all you need to do.

corporate told us to crash unsold Galants into GM and Ford dealerships at high speeds afterwards.

If you couldn't find one you were able to come back but one guy got shot after doing it nine times.

I'm trying to think of anything Mitsubishi produced in 03 besides the evo that was actually worth anything to begin with.

You were looking to buy a house at the age of 22. I'm guessing your debt-to-income ratio isn't exactly average... Am I wrong?

I agree in principle though. It is quite possible to get a good to great credit score young, but just because it is simple doesn't mean it's easy.

It's simple to lose weight: eat healthy and exercise frequently. And here I sit overweight. Trying to work on it though.

And because they fucked all that shit up, it's now ten times as hard for someone my age to build, understand, and utilize credit.

The sheer amount of people who don't even understand how a creditcard works, or why credit is important is staggering.

A lot of these cars were reported "stolen" when their first payment was due.

Whenever we had a report of a Mitsubishi stolen we'd automatically report it to the fraud department for investigation.

I investigated a few of these myself, it was laughable seeing regular people who have never stolen a car try to fake it in these preposterous schemes to try to make it look legit.

99 was the last year for the 3000GT. I have one I bought with this financing.

That's so thankless on customers part. The company was bending over, and the customers...oh well..

That's some good meta right there

3000GT, Dodge Stealth...those were and still are fantastic cars.

For those looking for how the interest free part works financially, here's a basic example. $10,000 car 3% interest 5 year to pay off

If you went to the bank and got a loan at 3% for five years, you would be paying $750 of interest over the five years on top of repaying the $10k.

Lets say it costs $9k for Mitsubishi to make the car so they make $250 off this "interest free" promotion. On the other hand, they can offer you $800 rebate if you pay them $10k cash up front.

TLDR, the interest payment is built into the full price of the car.

What people don't understand is that with a 0 intrest for a year deal, the interest is still accruing for that year

But the interest was 0% for that first year, so there's nothing to accrue.

What you're describing is typical of a sale with "no payments" for the first year- this was no payments AND no interest.

I remember being a kid and mindlessly repeating the catchy tagline "Seats more comfortable than a comfort woman!"

Ahh, '86 was such a different era

Just because they're a huge company doesn't mean that people should intentionally take advantage of them and screw them over.

Real people work for that company and have to worry about losing their jobs if business slows down.


Scott fucking elder

Cancer of austin radio

WW2 vet ... found the ads (Zero! Zero! Zero!) offensive

ugh, those whiney millennials getting offended and "triggered" by the silliest, little things

The 80s were like the wild west of advertising. Before "got milk?" the dairy industry had its famous tagline "HIV IS GAY CANCER" and the classic mascot Sicky the Dying Nancy.

The fuck? They get a free car for a year, then have the nerve to fraudulently claim it's stolen? This is why we can't have nice things.

You're forgetting the infamous "Hitler did nothing wrong" campaign of 1982.

Worked for the ad agency who ran this deal for them at the time. The offer brought in almost exclusively people who had terrible credit. They accepted them all. Sales went though the roof and all the executives got their bonuses. For a year. Then it almost destroyed their US business, which has yet to recover. On reflection, it makes for a good corporate folk song.

3000GT. The car i spent the 90's salivating over was finally within my reach.

That's just bad business strategy. They should have expected it.

FREE bonsai with purchase! BONZAI!

If he's aware of how hilariously bad that commercial is, then I love it. If he's completely unironic here, I hate it, in addition to him too lol.

I closed on my house at 21... with a less than stellar income (36k/year) and a 623 credit score...

This is why we can't have nice things.

Come on down and save big with our "Hol-LOW-COST" SALES EVENT! The last thing we'll do is jew ya!

I hope some day to be as passionate about something as you are about 1990's Mitsubishi automobiles.

Remember the Mustang "Trail Of Tears your way to your Ford dealership today!" campaign?

What currency and when..?

As a 26y/o in the UK, that salary sounds outstanding at 21.

The brilliant person who came up with that must have gotten fat bonus the first year and a boot the next year.

Insurance would reimburse.

Fuck me, how could I forget to list that as well! Always had a soft spot for 3kgt's and Stealths. Honestly anything from Mitsubishi in the 90s was an absolute blast. I have an Eagle Talon myself (rebranded Eclipse).

If you haven't already, and if you feel okay with it, why not post a few pictures of it over at /sub/cars? Us folks over there appreciate cars like these :D!

In australia we have an organisation called Legacy which raises funds to help families of veterans. Subaru was very tactful and renamed the legacy to the liberty just for Australia.

All of this "outrage over outrage culture" stuff makes it sound like people are just making things up to complain and be offended about. But most of the time it's really that people are finally getting the courage to speak out against things that bother them, instead of just bending over and taking it. It's a good thing imo, although like anything it can be taken to the extreme, coopted, etc.

The A6M is usually known as the "Zero" from its Japanese Navy type designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjō sentōki, 零式艦上戦闘機), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service. In Japan, it was unofficially referred to as both Rei-sen and Zero-sen; Japanese pilots most commonly called it Zero-sen, where sen is the first syllable of sentōki, Japanese for "fighter plane"

It's a common thing for car dealers to do. In NJ we have planet Honda where the owner is "Honda Man" a fat guy in a spandex super hero outfit. We also had Brad Benson, formal football Giants super bowl champion make fun of current celebrity scandals and tie it in with a pun describing a deal on his new Hyundais. He also used to constantly mention is 30 foot erection, which was the Giants stadium goal post right on his lot.

Please tell me you bought a brand new 1999 Eclipse GSX for that cheap? Would've been a steal. A 2.5L V6 Galant would also have been a very good choice.

Tell us OP! What did you get :D?!

Jesus! I make 50k and can't afford a house in King County Seattle for the next 5 years unless the housing market here crashes.

"Don't miss this DIVINE WINDow of opportunity!"

It could be pretty tight in the US depending on your location.

This is why we don't live in seattle.

They probably did. "They" being a sales division that got scored on that years sales and not on eating the inevitable clusterfuck that came later.

So how does that work? Marking it as stolen means that you don't have to pay it back at all ?

The problem was that they couldn't default on the loan (and give the car back) without hurting their credit. And if they keep the car, they'll eventually have to pay it off -- which means they didn't save money after all. So the only way to use the car for free was to somehow get rid of it without giving it back to the dealer -- hence, "it was stolen."

Mitsubishi used to make great cars. We had one in our family since 1992. We retired her this year sadly, that was the car I was brought home in from the hospital when I was born. The car lasted us almost 25 years!

400 a month???? Where were you living that rent was so low?

Enormously negative. On the other hand if you don't need a mortgage or new credit card and already own your home it may not really matter.

Which is a wonderful deal. Their 000 deal should have been reserved for flawless creditworthy buyers.

Since he says it is less than stellar I imagine it is USD. 28k/year in pounds.

Try our new "hassle free" buying!

Even if you were correct, your "Anyone with a different opinion than me is uneducated and ignorant" attitude makes you seem like an asshole.

Yes thank you. Sorry for my misjudgement of time

Only works for mattresses.

How hard is it to fake a car theft? Drive it somewhere, don't be seen by cameras, torch it.

Try crack.

That's kinda the point. People who don't usually steal cars feel the need to overdo the details that you otherwise wouldn't. It's almost like Colombo, people start offering theories when they should just keep quiet and stick to the facts.


I'm not sure I believe these ad campaigns are real

The average rent for a 2 bedroom place was $850. I found a 2 bedroom townhouse with a garage a couple miles away from campus for $750 per month. We got three people and I volunteered to put my bedroom in the garage so my rent was only $230.

That wasn't even the good part. Mitsubishi ended up with a sudden huge glut of vehicles that they then largely threw up for auction, with many people buying their own cars back for less than a 4th of the original price.

It's sad to see how far they've fallen. I wouldn't say they were ever the best, but the Mirage, Eclipse, Galant, Outlander and Montero were all extremely popular cars in the early 2000s, and they made fun (and good) cars like the Evo and 2000GT.

They pigeonholed themselves when they decided to have the Outlander, Eclipse and Galant share a platform in 2005, though, and things just went downhill from there.

Now, I can't really think of a single US manufacturer that's worse then them. At one point, I would have said they were on par with a Kia or a Hyundai, but that's long past as those brands have grown in the US and popularity and reliability has increased. I hope the Nissan deals works out for them, but I kind of doubt it at this point. Their website shows they have 13 current, models which is surprising to me. I think they need to scale down, and focus on making a few qualities vehicles to work themselves back into the market.

I had basically no credit and they gave me this deal as a college student ('00 i think). I bought an eclipse and remember not paying on it and then using my credit card to pay payments when they finally started coming due. Nothing like a college kid making excellent financial decisions. I refinanced the car and sold it to a family member eventually and then joined the military.

Poor, poor multinational corporation. I hope their feelings weren't hurt too badly.

Cause it was actually happening

Or their campaign started on 9/12/2001. "Our interest rates are coming down faster than the Twin Towers!"

It's much easier to screw it up than to build it. And very few young people understand the consequences of things like late payments.

Yeah but in fairness, that was an awareness campaign for Mustang drivers after it falls apart, not a sales slogan.

You shouldn't feel sorry for a rich multinational corporation, but we should remember this every time someone asks why they have to pay intereston something

Reminds me of my uncle's rant against KIA: "It's them reminding us how they killed our guys in the Korean war." What, how? "KIA stands for killed in action."


So my wife bought a car once that had 0% interest. And it was just that, 0% for the entire time. We never paid a penny in interest, ever. Maybe there are times when it's a 'scam' like that, and others it's not.

Debit card.

"why is grandpa hiding under the coffee table?"

Wrong Korea though...

VR4 wasn't just a twin turbo motor, it also had limited slip awd, all wheel steering, active aero/active exhaust, and I think an extra gear.

The top model (VR4) is AWD.

This reads like a Greek tragedy set in the pre housing bubble economy.

Execs doing what execs do...

Let me guess, they fired the execs (who got a nice severance), then brought in new execs to fix things, i.e. go back to the old way. These execs get fat bonuses again for the "fix".

Somebody watched the big short

Also there's a video on YouTube I believe called the basics of economics that describes the credit cycle and the reason why we go from depression to recovery to prosperity to recession and back to depression. It's a fascinating video that got me interested in economics.

"well I don't personally experience that problem therefore it doesn't exist."

That would still be considered decent here. Feelsbadman.

I owned one of these as well... I bought a Galant and had it for 13 months. I only made one payment and then I was in an accident where the car was totaled. Lucky for me I had GAP insurance which kicked in and paid the remainder that was owed on the car. All in all I had a car for a year and a month and only paid $313 (one month's payment).

The Galant was actually a highly rated car back then.

Even at full price, that's enviably low. I pay 950 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment, no garage.

Was it the VR4? I think they only shipped like 274 of those to the U.S. in '99, so they're pretty rare now, and I bet it goes up in value.

I see more unnecessary apostrophes in your post than Mitsubishis on the road nowadays.

Yes I am aware of that, but any time I try to explain or articulate any of this or part of this to someone my age I get a blank stare. "I don't need credit for anything." Is the normal reply.

I was sure this was going to turn into the undertaker hell in a cage but

It isnt that Americans arent financially responsible, its that when you offer a deal like this, all the lowlifes come out of the woodworks

It was a simpler time.

Volkswagens "free gas" killed it.

Yes....But if you need a car you might as well go with the one offering you free money.

For kicks let's say you have the 30k cash to buy that car. They are offering a promo of 0% on a 6 year loan. So you take the loan and put your 30k into a fairly conservative investment and make 5% per year instead. If you find one that accrues monthly (not hard) you will end that 6 years with $40,500. So you made 10,500 bucks by using someone else's money for your car. This is why, even if you have the cash, if someone offers you 0% interest for something you are going to purchase anyways you take it.

Edit: Ok this is getting a bit of attention and a few good questions. So I would like to link to an article about much larger purchases. This is an article on why billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, would take out a mortgage on a $6 million house. Dude could buy hundreds of $6 million houses with cash but still uses a loan because his money makes more elsewhere. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0717/Zuckerberg-s-1-percent-mortgage-Why-does-a-billionair...

Edit 2: Much more in depth article using real numbers. On mortgages the numbers can become astounding. Obviously due to the larger base price of a house vs most cars. http://www.businessinsider.com/im-worth-15-million-and-id-never-recommend-paying-off-your-mortgag...

No, I wish. I got the SL which was already stretching my budget to the max, the only other one left on the floor was a VR4 which I just couldn't afford (plus it was white which I don't care for). If I had it to do again I would have found a way.

That's kind of stellar.

The average income for a person over 25 is 32k/year.

So, that's above average for anyone. For a young person, that's very good. Especially considering they don't count people under 25 because they usually earn so much less.

It's not an insane amount or like uber wealthy or anything. But it's not typical for a 21 year old.

It was in college. I had a strict budget of $400 per month for living expenses. I went to an in state school and had merit scholarships that covered 80% of my tuition. It wasn't until I got married and graduated that I was able to start any significant savings. But I certainly did have a higher than average income in an area with moderate housing prices to be able to purchase so young.

My point is that you get a good credit score by never having a single late payment. You can do that even if you have to take on significant student loan debts. All it takes is sticking to a budget and having some savings for unexpected things.

Those cars were insane, and their specs hold up well today. I don't think my '17 GTI sport would hold up well against a '91 VR4 in a 1/4 mile.

Depending on the bonus, might have been worth it.

Also, really, the problem was not the marketing idea. It was the "credit worthiness" level..."sub-prime" loans before the housing market crash, if you will. This is a good marketing idea if executed properly. It should offset interest to the remaining loan terms and may increase interest over the life of the loan (amortization schedule...deferred payments for 1 year).

Of course, I could be wrong about everything.

TL:DR - If they just increased their standards for the car loans, this could have been a more successful marketing idea.

implying people gave half a shit about credit before 2008

I'll just be enjoying getting cash back on my credit card, extended warranties and being able to do charge backs if needed. Credit cards aren't needed, but if you're good with your money they're a very valuable tool.

implying hindsight isn't a useful tool to make me feel smart

A lot of things are possible. That doesn't mean that's how they are.