By on July 8, 2012

Mitsubishi dubbed their flagship, the Dignity, to denote

“…the English to describe the peerless grandeur and majestic stateliness of the model…”

at least they’ve got a good starting point – the China-only Infiniti M35h LWB.

Previous Dignity/Proudia versions have been twinned with the Korean market Hyundai Equus, but with that alliance over, Mitsubishi turned to Nissan for some help, in the form of a badge engineered Nissan Fuga, or as we know it, Infiniti M.

Mitsubishi didn’t really do much to differentiate the Dignity, or the short-wheelbase, non-hybrid Proudia, from their Infiniti/Nissan counterparts. The mechanical bits are all identical too; the Proudia has the Nissan VQ staple engines, in 2.5L or 3.7L trim, with the big engine offering all-wheel drive. The Dignity comes solely with the hybrid powertrain. The only question that hasn’t been answered so far is “who the hell is going to buy this?”

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19 Comments on “Mitsubishi Gets Some Dignity Via Infiniti...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So are they intending to sell this sucker in North America? I was mildly interested until the “comes solely with the hybrid powertrain” part.

    • 0 avatar
      Toucan

      The hybrid makes both other powertrains obsolete.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Proud Prius driver here.

        The hybrid is icing on the cake, but only if you put it in a car that’s already designed for light weight and good aerodynamics.

        Put a hybrid in a Tahoe, and it’s still a Tahoe. Take the hybrid out of a Prius, and you still have a fantastically efficient little car.

        Also, the hybrid synergy drive in my 2nd-gen Prius gets all of its power from gasoline. It’s a very clever way to extract the most benefit from the gasoline, but it’s still a gas-powered car. Plugin hybrids are a sensible evolution of this, but they’re not revolutionary.

        Cars that don’t run on gasoline — now *that* is interesting. I drove a Leaf the other day and loved it. I’ve owned a Jetta TDI (which could easily be adapted to alternative fuels), too, and really enjoyed driving it (when it ran).

        The hybrid is a real technological step forward, but saying that it makes all other drivetrains obsolete isn’t really true. There are many applications where a conventional drivetrains make sense (constant-power applications), and there are cases where using gasoline/diesel doesn’t make any sense. The hybrid did usher in new world of possible right-tools for the job, though, and that’s downright awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Unlikely, Mitsubishi has never sold the Dignity or Proudia in American in the past, and its hard to see how it would fit into the business plan here.

      Like all previous iterations of the model, this is likely to be Japan-only.

  • avatar
    elmwood

    Awful name. In my North American mind, it seems to represent the concept described on Wikipedia: “… it is usually used to critique the treatment of oppressed and vulnerable groups and peoples.” I see it as a name more akin to a subsidized low income housing development, assisted living center, or brand of adult diapers than a car. Google “dignity” and “brand”, and the results aren’t flattering to its association with a product with upscale aspirations.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Regarding “oppressed and vulnerable”: Have you looked at Mitsubishi’s US sales numbers lately?

      Had to laugh at the comparison to the adult diaper. If Mitsu releases a pickup or SUV called the Depend I’ll know you were on to something.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree. All those oppressed and exploited and living on welfare, all your poor and no credit/no interest/no payment people – come to your nearest Mitsubishi dealership – luxury car is there for you with no interest and no payment for first year.

      I remember there was a supposedly luxury Mitsu called Sigma/Diamante. Was it also rebadge?

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      Well, again, there’s a line in Wikipedia that puts in pretty well: ” In ordinary usage it denotes respect and status, and it is often used to suggest that someone is not receiving a proper degree of respect, or even that they are failing to treat themselves with proper self-respect.”

      This is the problem with many East Asian companies that don’t use well-read native speakers for their marketing teams. Conceptually, they were looking for something along the lines of “dignified” or “dignitary” but ended up with a word that is usually most often used as a contrast word.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    “Dignity”? Where’s the company’s dignity when it has to rebadge cars from other makes as their flagship? “Indignity” is likely a more accurate name. This is from the company that used to produce the famous Zero fighter. Oh how the mighty has fallen.

    Which makes me wonder, what’s the point of this exercise? Usually flagships are for its “halo” effect for the rest of the lineup, which in this case would be moot as it’s just a rebadge of other makes’ model. Or is it just so that Mitsubishi honchos can have something nice to drive with a Mitsubishi badge on it? Is there anyone out there clamoring for something expensive from Mitsubishi to buy?

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The Dignity/Proudia nameplate has always been applied to other manufacturers’ cars. The first one was a rebadged Hyundai Equus, and 10 years later, the new one is a rebadged Infiniti. Mitsubishi has never self-developed a car in this size class.

      Mitsubishi has been cultivating a product alliance with Nissan for nearly a decade now, the new Dignity is just one part of that, and Nissan has been on the receiving end of rebadged Mitsus just as often as the other way around.

      Mitsubishi eK = Nissan Otti
      Nissan Wingroad = Mitsubishi Lancer Cargo
      Mitsubishi Minicab = Nissan Clipper
      Mitsubishi Pajero Mini = Nissan Kix
      Infiniti M35 = Mitsubishi Proudia
      Infiniti M35h LWB = Mitsubishi Dignity

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        There’s also the Mitsubishi Delica = Nissan Evalia.

        Weren’t Delicas were once pure Mitsubishi? Looks pretty neat too. Too bad they don’t continue making them on their own.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        Incorrect. The Proudia/Dignity were mainly Mitsubishi-engineered, with some input by Hyundai. The Hyundai Equus version was built in Korea by Hyundai, and outlived the Proudia/Dignity by several model years. I believe Hyundai also started equipping it with smaller Hyundai engines after Mitsubishi stopped building the 8A80 V8 (which was after the Mitsubishi home-market versions were cancelled).

        So, if anything, Hyundai cribbed the Proudia/Dignity from Mitsu to base their flagship on.

        Fun Fact: the Proudia/Dignity were the first mainline production gasoline direct injected cars in the world. They had the Mitsubishi 8A80 V8, a 4.5L DOHC V8 FWD. Yes, FWD. Mitsu sold GDI version of the 4G 4 cyl, the 6G V6, and GDI was the only injection system available on the 8A V8, all in 1998-99.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Its really sad to watch Mitsu die right before our eyes. How can you have a flagship that is a rebadge of another brand’s car?

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      See above. The Hyundai Equus flagship was based entirely on Mitsubishi JDM models for years, until 2010 when the current Equus was launched based on the Genesis.

      Of course, Korean tastes are a little different, but the Mitsubishi models were available in Korea concurrent with the Hyundai-built versions (first the Sigma/Magna/Debonair/Grandeur Mk. 1 and 2, then the Proudia/Dignity/Equus Mk. 1). It didn’t seem to hurt Hyundai.

  • avatar
    ccode81

    Don’t be bothered adding this car to your automobile knoledge database.
    There are bunch of Mitsubishi keiretsu companies, all expected to use Mitsubishi cars.
    Executives wants to be carried in something better than Lancer, thus this been prepared.
    (When last Proudia discontinued, Executives were allowed for riding Mercedes, which alliance just started. but that ended up, and good time to replace the vehicles)
    Executive and Cheif executive needs to be in different car to maintain the hierarchy, thus 2 names prepared.
    Also goverment will buy some of the large cars from each company at your market share ratio, thus you get some more buyer there.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      As old as this is, ccode81′s answer is correct. The Mitsu Proudia is for Mitsu execs because they can’t ride in competitor cars (Toyotas and Honda). Mitsu is a huge conglomerate in Asia, from TVs to ships and of course they dabble in cars as well.

      Fun fact: Mitsubishis were/are very prevalent in Korea as Hyundais. The 1st and 2nd Gen Grandeur is a Mitsu Debonair, the 1st Gen Hyundai Equus is a Mitsu Proudia.

      Oddly enough, Kia was in bed with Mazda around the same time. The Kia Potentia is a Mazda Luce (USDM 929) and the Kia Enterprise was a Madza Luce as well.

      Rather odd considering the relationship the Koreans and Japanese had politically in the past with the whole occupation and all.

      • 0 avatar
        ccode81

        Suprise, suprise, a reply to this old article!
        And don’t forget Daewoo Arcadia aka Honda Legend.

        There was an good old day when Japanese economy was multiple times larger than whole other Asian countries put together.
        Some politicians and government officials dreamed Japan to be leader and super power of Asia, by giving ODAs and technology transfer all will follow and forgive the past.
        For such plan, tier2 companies, easy to harrass were forced for this kind of technology transfer for virtually no return.

        Time has changed, and we finally realized non of compensation is enough to satisfy Korean greed. just been asked more and more eternally.

  • avatar

    I’ll be disappointed if it’s not spelled “Digniti” on the trunklid.


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