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The DSM car debate - what is a DSM?

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Founder & Zookeeper
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
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The term "DSM" has multiple meanings if you type it into Google. In the auto enthusiast world, the acronym stands for Diamond Star Motors. That was the company founded by Chrysler and Mitsubishi, used to build a co-branded line of cars between 1989 through 1999 - though the company was officially dissolved in 1993, and the Chrysler branded cars were only offered through 1997. The model line up included the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser (as well as the Galant VR-4 for a a couple of the early years).

Partnering between auto manufacturers was quite common in the 80's and 90's. Many of the small pickups were co-branded to help more automakers bring new vehicles to market under their brand, while keep production costs low. You saw it with Mitsubishi and Chrysler, Ford and Mazda, Chevrolet and Isuzu, and a few others. Mitsubishi fans will also remember the 3000GT and Dodge Stealth collaboration.

For DSM car enthusiasts, the partnership resulted in a cult classic. The rally-bred 4G63t engine used in the turbocharged Eclipse, Talon, Laser, and Galant VR-4 will be sought after for many years. You could find them in FWD versions and AWD, and as time goes on, the turbocharged DSMs will become more difficult to find, and thus, will likely go up in value eventually. The AWD versions will be the cream of the crop.

The 1991-1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 and 1991-1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse shared most of the drivetrain and frame components, and was used in the World Rally Championship. The Galant VR-4 was built in limited numbers and sold in Japan, with a small number of them being imported to the United States and other countries around the world. While the Eclipse, Talon, and Laser were built and sold only in the United States (with a few rare exceptions).

There will always be a debate on whether or not a non-4G63 DSM is actually considered a true DSM, as most of those cars were fitted with a Chrysler engine (outside of the convertibles). As far as this website is concerned, those are still DSMs. The same goes for the 1995-1999 DSM cars, which some will also argue are not "true" DSMs, since Diamond Star Motors was no longer in business when those cars were sold. The reality is, the tooling used to build those cars came from the DSM collaboration, so again, on this website, we do consider them to be DSMs. Everyone is welcome to keep those debates going though!

Read how Wikipedia defines the DSM here:
DSM = DiamondStar Motors, up until 1996 or so. Then they switched their name to MMMA = Mitsu Motors Manufacturing of America. Then this year, they switched to MMNA = Mitsu Motors North America.

I have worked at the plant.
Taken from the VFAQ:

What is a DSM?

A joint effort by Mitsubishi (three diamonds) and the Chrysler Corporation (penta-star) to build some of the most incredible automobiles in the world. The vehicles were produced with the names Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Plymouth Laser. DSM cars are assembled in Normal, Illinois. The '94-and-up Mitsubishi Galant is also assembled at the DSM plant in IL; previous Galant's were assembled in Japan. The Eclipse and Galant (since '89) share the same platform.

What happened to DSM?
What happened to Eagle?
Diamond-Star Motors was officially dissolved in 1993 after the design and production tooling for the 1994 and 1995 cars was complete. Mitsubishi Motors continues to operate the plant formerly responsible for DSM cars under sole ownership.

The "Eagle" brand name was originally created as a method of integrating AMC dealerships and products into Chrysler. It continued for some time as a marque, much as General Motors now continues to market under several brand names. It was eventually discontinued as Chrysler sought to improve their business operations. For more information, go to

Are 2Gs (second generation, 1995+ cars) really DSMs?
[Note: this information applies only to the definition of a 'DSM' as used for the purposes of the Talon Digest, and does not reflect the personal opinion of any individual.]

2G cars are considered DSMs because they are direct descendants of the original DSM cars. Although they were technically not built by Diamond Star Motors, their connection to the original line is unmistakable, as they share the name, trim levels and original intention of the 1G cars.

Also, some early 95 cars have DSM labeling on them, leading many to believe that all 2Gs were built by Diamond Star Motors. This is not the case, as Diamond Star Motors officially ceased to exist in mid-1993, when Chrysler sold off all of its Mitsubishi holdings, technically making the 1994 cars the last of the DSMs. This type of hair-splitting is not important for Club purposes, however, and the Club has decided that 2Gers have as much right to be included as earlier owners.

The Galant VR-4 is something of an oddity in the club, but the VR-4 shares many important components with the 1G cars, including the unusual AWD drivetrain. It can be argued that the Galant VR-4 is the "parent" of all DSMs: the original concept for the DSM in North America was a four-door. Also the VR-4 platform was originally concieved to be Mitsubishi's entry into the rally racing circuit before DSM existed.

A similar situation exists with the 2G Spyder convertible, but it's connection with the other 2G cars is unmistakable. Thus the Spyder and VR4 are included in the scope of the Talon Digest.

Other pseudo-related cars, such as the non-USA Lancer and Mirage, are not included in the Digest.

Wanna learn more about DSM's? Go to or the 1000 already answered questions.

and all of the cars oficially(euro spec,not counting the "Grey imports") brought to Europe,5000 1gs,4000 2gs all had "Daimond USA" stated as the manufacturer.
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