Mitsubishi Motors Takes Third Straight Dakar Rally Title

Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 21, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - The Mitsubishi Pajero
Evolution/Montero Evolution crew of Hiroshi Masuoka and Andreas Schulz
have won the 2003 Telefonica Dakar Rally in 49 hours, 8 minutes and 52
seconds. Masuoka's win represents Mitsubishi's third straight Dakar
Rally victory and eighth triumph ever, cementing its status as the most
successful manufacturer in the 25 year history of the event.

Mitsubishi's dominated this year's rally, taking a clean sweep of the
top four spots. The all-French crew of Jean-Pierre Fontenay and Gilles
Picard claimed second in their classic Pajero/Montero, while teammates
Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret came in third. Portugal's
Carlos Sousa and Henri Magne finished a fine fourth overall in their
Mitsubishi L200 Strada.

Sunday's victory by the 42-year-old Masuoka marks his second successive
win, making him only the fourth person to win back-to-back titles. "I am
so very happy to win this 25th Dakar Rally", said a delighted Masuoka.
"This year was a great race; it was fast and there were some good stages
in Tunisia and Libya. It was hard though. Every day we were doing
160/180 km/h and it was exciting to race against Stephane, but in the
second half we were more careful and reduced our speed to save the car.
I was waiting in case he made a mistake."

Masuoka's success came in the new model Pajero Evolution which has been
developed over the last two years and which debuted at the UAE Desert
Challenge 2002.

"The car is fantastic. It was developed last year and finished at the
end of August. Mitsubishi has worked very hard on the suspension
settings. We tested the car for two weeks in Morocco and it showed
potential from the start," he added.

"Three overall victories in a row show Mitsubishi Motors' dominance of
the world's toughest overland race," said Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
president and CEO Rolf Eckrodt. "We are committed to staying ahead of
all our competitors for off-road vehicles also in the future. In the
end, it is the customer who benefits from our passion to improve
performance year by year."



                             OVERALL AFTER SS 17 

1. H.MASUOKA /             MITSUBISHI PAJERO /           49.08.52 
        A.SCHULZ                MONTERO EVOLUTION
 
2. J-P.FONTENAY /          MITSUBISHI PAJERO /           51.01.04
+1.52.12 
         G.PICARD               MONTERO EVOLUTION

3. S.PETERHANSEL /         MITSUBISHI PAJERO /           51.25.20
+2.16.28
        J-P.COTTRET             MONTERO EVOLUTION 

4. C.SOUSA / H.MAGNE       MITSUBISHI / L200 STRADA      51.36.39
+2.27.47 

5. G.DE VILLIERS /              NISSAN PICK UP           51.54.47
+2.45.55 
          P.MAIMON

6. S.HENRARD / B.WILLIS        VOLKSWAGEN TAREK          52.51.07
+3.42.15 

7. A.VATANEN / T.THORNER        NISSAN PICK UP           53.34.51
+4.25.59 

8. J.KLEINSCHMIDT / F.PONS     VOLKSWAGEN TAREK          57.25.48
+8.16.56

9. L.ALPHAND / M.STEVENSON          BMW X5               58.04.58
+8.56.06 

10. J-L.MONTERDE /          MITSUBISHI PAJERO /          58.17.11
+9.08.19  
          R.TORNABELL           MONTERO EVOLUTION




About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was established in 1970 and is
one of the few automobile companies in the world that produces a full
line of automotive products ranging from 660-cc mini cars and passenger
cars to commercial vehicles and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The company
also operates consumer financing services and provides this to its
customer base. Automobile operations accounted for 98% of fiscal 2000
revenues and financing business, 2%. The company has one hundred and
eighty nine consolidated subsidiaries worldwide. Overseas sales
accounted for 56.8% of fiscal 2000 revenues. Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries, Ltd. is the major shareholder with 25.62% of issued
stock.For further information, please visit the Mitsubishi Motors
Corporation home page at: www.mitsubishi-motors.co.jp
<http://www.mitsubishi-motors.co.jp> 

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