Mitsubishi, whose name means "three diamonds," was founded in the 1870s, but didn’t get into the car business until 1917 when it unveiled the Model A, Japan's first series production passenger car. However, the company didn’t begin producing passenger vehicles on a grand scale until 1964; World War II had derailed earlier efforts. In 1970 the Mitsubishi mother ship spun off its car-building arm into the Mitsubishi Motor Corp. (MMC). In March 2000, MMC and DaimlerChrysler reached a strategic alliance for passenger cars, but went their separate ways in 2005 due to financial problems. Since then, the Japanese manufacturer has pared down its lineup and focused primarily on performance-oriented cars that offer consumers good value.