The Decade Run of Diamond Star - Collector Car Canada

2022 07 19 CCC Blog Post – The Decade Run of The Diamond Star

1995 Eagle Talon TSi Turbo AWD

1995 Eagle Talon TSi Turbo AWD

2022 07 19 CCC Blog Post – The Decade Run of The Diamond Star Motors


The Start of Diamond Star Motors

Diamond Star Motors (also known as DSM) was a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi. DSM earned its name from the combination of its two parent companies’ logos, the diamonds in Mitsubishi and the star from Chrysler. Diamond Star Motors’ collaboration between Mitsubishi and Chrysler lasted a decade, producing the Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and the Plymouth Laser. While their joint venture DSM lasted only a decade, their history working together is much longer.

Before DSM

The earliest collaboration of Chrysler and Mitsubishi can be traced back to the 1970s when Mitsubishi wanted to export a larger number of cars than what it was allowed tariff laws. Mitsubishi required the aid of a US car manufacturer; Dodge, a Chrysler division, stepped forward and began to import and distribute several models manufactured by Mitsubishi. Then in 1979, when Chrysler neared bankruptcy, Mitsubishi purchased Chrysler’s Australian operations. During the same period, while Chrysler was importing and distributing roughly 100,000 Mitsubishi cars annually through its dealerships, Chrysler did not honour the handshake deal of being the sole importer of Mitsubishi cars and as it imported another 30,000 cars into the United States market annually. In 1985, to avoid violating the US – Japan Import quota Mitsubishi partnered up with Chrysler to officially create Diamond Star Motors.

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Diamond Star Motors Eagle Talon
Diamond Star Motors Eagle Talon

Creation of the Diamond Star Motors Plant

In 1986, DSM began to construction of the 1.9 million square foot plant with capacity around 240,000 cars a year.  The facility was completed in 1988. As DSM, Mitsubishi and Chrysler went on to create the Mitsubishi Galant, the Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Plymouth Laser. Although all four lines were produced in the same plant, only the Talon, Eclipse, and Laser were considered true DSM cars while the Galant was considered all Mitsubishi as its design was carried over from Japan.

DSM Eclipse

Division of DSM

In 1991, rumors circulated that Chrysler would sell its stake in DSM to Mitsubishi. This began a turbulent shift for Chrysler’s value, driving it to another near-bankruptcy situation, which ended up resulting in Chrysler not renewing the contract for Diamond Star Motors. This allowed Mitsubishi to purchase Chrysler’s equity in DSM, resulting in a new name of the plant, Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America, on July 1st, 1995. Moreover, roles switched in the early 2000s when Mitsubishi Motors encountered financial difficulties of its own, enabling Chrysler to purchase a huge share of Mitsubishi Motors. Thus began another wave of rumours, this time a claim that DSM was coming back. These rumours were quickly put to rest when Chrysler publicly announced that it would not inject more cash into Mitsubishi Motors.  However, that did not stop the two manufacturers from working together to co-develop engines to cut costs for both car manufacturers – a win-win situation.

The Three DSM Cars

What Happened to The Plant

In 2015, Mitsubishi announced it would close the giant 1.9-million-acre plant in Illinois. This opened an opportunity for Rivian, an EV company, to purchase the plant in 2017, Rivian was able to purchase the plant for $16 million after being backed by Amazon.  And so ended the story of Diamond Star Motors – its notable accomplishment remaining in the form of Eagle Talons, Mitsubishi Eclipses and, less so, Plymouth Lasers – which were produced only in the first generation of the DSM pocket rockets.

That’s all for the history of the Diamond Star Motors, what was your favorite DSM car?  Let us know by posting a comment below.  (Remember the weekly prize of a CCC ball cap for Comment of the Week!*)

Are you interested in owning a Diamond Star Eagle Talon TSI?  Be sure to bid on our Eagle Talon TSI Turbo auctions!

 sub-50K km 1995 Eagle Talon TSi Turbo AWD Hatchback 5-speed Manual


*- to be shipped by CCC to winner, maximum one prize per user per year, Canadian residents only.

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