Press Releases and History, from the beginning, of the 3000GT Spyder's ups and downs.
ASC developed a 300ZX retractable hardtop for Nissan, which was shown at the 1991 Geneva Auto Salon, but they weren’t interested in the design. However, their competitor, Mitsubishi, was and from 1995-1996 ASC built the limited production 3000GT Spyder at their Rancho Dominguez assembly plant.
The 30th Tokyo Motor Show | October 22 - November 5, 1993
Mitsubishi introduced the 3000GT Spyder that will be ready for market launch within the next 1-2 years. (see video)
Automotive News | January 10, 1994
Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. will introduce a Spyder VR-4 version of its 3000GT sports car in the 1995 model year.
The car will feature the industry's only 'one-touch' retractable hard top, developed with ASC Inc., Mitsubishi announced at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.
Chicago Auto Show | February 5 - 13, 1994
Despite its preproduction appearance at the 1994 Chicago Auto Show, the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder - with a retractable hardtop - would not go on sale until 1995. The Spyder models were converted from 3000GT coupes by ASC Inc.
A rare overhead view of the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder on display during the 1994 Chicago Auto Show. The image captures the two-piece retractable hardtop roof in the stage of folding into the rear-hinged lid trunk storage room.
Automotive News | February 7, 1994
For many in the auto business, nothing stirs the emotions faster than sexy sports cars. Mitsubishi treated its dealers to a peak at an Eclipse convertible concept, the 1995 Eclipse and 1995 3000GT Spyder.
Automotive News | March 7, 1994
Mitsubishi has made a splash on the auto show circuit with its 3000GT Spyder, which will sticker between $57,000 and $62,000. Already, Mitsubishi has taken 500 orders (from Mitsubishi dealers) for a car that is five months from the showroom. Mitsubishi hopes to sell 1,000 Spyders a year.
Automotive News | July 25, 1994
A 3000GT Spyder with a retractable hardtop is due this fall (1994).
Automotive News | September 26, 1994
The ballyhooed 3000GT Spyder, featuring the only retractable hardtop currently in production, will hit showrooms in January (1995). Prices will start at $55,000 for the base engine and rise to $62,000 for the twin-turbocharged version.
Automotive News | October 3, 1994
For 1995, Mitsubishi's big news came this summer with the all-new Eclipse. This winter, the 3000GT Spyder arrives.
The 3000GT Spyder will be the only U.S. model with a retractable hardtop when the car hits showrooms in January (1995).
Automotive News | January 9, 1995
The 3000GT Spyder, will bow in March (1995). Recchia said the base Spyder will be 'roughly' $57,000, the turbo around $62,000. The company has orders (from Mitsubishi dealers) for its entire 1995 Spyder inventory: 1,800 units.
Motor Trend International Auto Show | February, 1995
At the Maryland State Fair Grounds, Lutherville Timonium, MD.
Automotive News | April 17, 1995
MITSUBISHI ADDS TOP-LINER
Mitsubishi announced prices for its new flagship: the 3000GT Spyder retractable hardtop. The roof retracts at the touch of a button.
The Spyder is scheduled to appear in showrooms this month (April 1995). The normally aspirated Spyder SL is $57,449, and the turbocharged Spyder VR-4 is $64,449.
Mitsubishi officials said 1,800 Spyders have been pre-sold (to Mitsubishi dealers), half the scheduled production run for the 1-1/2 years.
Automotive News | April 24, 1995
ASC just launched its retractable convertible hardtop for the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder.
Automotive News | July 31, 1995
Mitsubishi is not rushing to change its 5-year-old entry in the skidding sports car segment. The all-new Spyder convertible is sold out for the next 18 months.
Automotive News | October 2, 1995
Richard Recchia, Mitsubishi Motors America Inc. executive vice president, visited Detroit last week to introduce the 3000GT Spyder convertible, which features a retractable hardtop. ASC Inc. is converting 3000GT coupes to Spyders at its Long Beach, Calif., plant at a rate of about 12 a day. Recchia estimated Mitsubishi will have 700 delivered to dealerships by late October (1995).
Automotive News | November 6, 1995
MITSUBISHI DEALER DOESN'T WANT ANY
I have been associated with a Mitsubishi franchise for nine years as general manager and then owner.
The automobile market in the 1990s has been a real roller-coaster ride. It never ceases to amaze me that a manufacturer with as much money as Mitsubishi cannot put together long-term goals and set realistic objectives.
Mitsubishi's marketing strategies work on the flick of a switch - first a good program and no cars, then cars and no programs.
Mitsubishi recently introduced the 3000GT Spyder. It is expensive and has turned into a non-selling car. If dealers refuse to take their allocation of these $50,000-plus cars, Mitsubishi makes the dealer pay the manufacturer $2,500 for each car turned down. Not only can't we sell them, but they're making us pay them not to ship them.
Is this the sign of a factory that cares about its struggling dealers? Obviously, I don't think so.
In your Oct. 2 issue, Mitsubishi's Richard Recchia said he intends to stick his dealers with 700 of those cars by late October (1995).
SCOTT W. MacDONNELL
Oakdale Imports LLC
Chicago Auto Show | February 10 - 18, 1996
Various 3000GT models fill the colorful display in the Mitsubishi exhibit. In the background, left side is the 3000GT Spyder VR-4, featuring a computer-controlled retractable hardtop.
Automotive News | February 26, 1996
FOCUS GROUPS' CONCERNS LED SUPPLIER TO ADD SAFETY FEATURES
Although auto shows are primarily showcases for automakers, suppliers sometimes use them to unveil new products. ASC Inc.'s motorized convertible hardtop is a case in point. Four years ago, the company displayed a prototype hardtop on the Nissan 300ZX for the Geneva auto show.
It was a throwback of sorts to the 1950s, when motorized hardtops were popular. The car was a hit, but ASC wanted to be sure the market would accept it. The company decided to show a video of the car to two focus groups in California. The participants were likely buyers: business owners who earned more than $100,000 a year and had previously owned a convertible.
They ranged from 30 to 50 years old, and each had owned a Japanese or German luxury car.
The results were encouraging. Participants liked the power top's ability to draw a crowd when the owner raised or lowered it. Women appreciated the added security of a hardtop, since conventional soft tops can be slashed open by knife-wielding thieves.
But participants were concerned about safety. Would Junior get injured if he stuck his fingers over the windshield as the top was closing? Would the top be damaged if it lowered onto a forgotten package in the trunk? Could a motorist close the top manually in case of a power failure?
Their concerns seemed reasonable, so ASC added a manual system to shut the top, plus safety features to protect Junior's fingers and the packages in the trunk. The hardtop made its debut last July (1995), on the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder.
Automotive News | March 18, 1996
MITSUBISHI CHIPS IN ON SPYDER: IMPORTER PAYS 2-MONTH FLOORPLAN
Mitsubishi is offering floor- planning assistance on the 1995 3000GT Spyder for February and March (1996). The company is trying to ease the burden for dealers who have housed the flashy but slow-selling sports cars over the winter.
Kevin Ormes, group vice president of sales and marketing for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc., said the company made the move for a couple of reasons:
Unlike many luxury convertibles, the Spyder has no subsidized lease deals.
Convertibles don't sell well in cold weather anyway. The harsh East Coast winter has made a hard vehicle to sell an even harder sell.
'We told them we'd help them defer the cost until spring,' Ormes said. And the company is looking at other ways it can assist dealers after that.
The savings equal 9.25 percent of the dealer's invoice price divided by 12 to represent the monthly floorplan cost. The savings are credited to the dealer's parts account for February and March (1996).
So a car with an invoice price of $54,000 (the invoice on one of the Spyder models) would net a dealer $416.25 a month, for a savings of $832.50.
The Spyder is a Mitsubishi 3000GT coupe converted into a retractable hardtop by ASC Inc. The 1995 SL lists for $57,449 and the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive VR-4 is $64,449.
Mitsubishi introduced the flashy sports car last June. Dealers sold 232 Spyders in 1995 and 56 in the first two months of 1996.
When the car was introduced, Mitsubishi said 1,800 1995 models were pre-sold to dealers for the next 18 months. Ormes said many of those cars are at ASC and all but about '180 or 190' of the 1995s have been allocated to dealers.
Ormes said 1996 Spyder production has begun; the company plans to start shipping them to dealers within about 60 days.
Scott MacDonnell, president of Oakdale Imports (Toyota-Mitsubishi) in Oakdale, N.Y., said he has yet to sell a Spyder. He has three in stock. He hopes the break on floor planning and the upcoming spring selling season will help.
'I've got to do something with them,' said MacDonnell, who retails about 700 new Mitsubishis annually.
Tom Croxton, general manager of Miller Mitsubishi in Van Nuys, Calif., on the other hand, said he has sold 10 Spyders and has one in stock.
'We're in an area where people are 'image conscious'; it is an emotional purchase,' said Croxton, whose dealership has sold more than 500 3000GTs since they came out in 1991.
Automotive News | April 24, 1996
Last year saw the arrival of the limited-production Spyder with a retractable hard top. It was designed at Mitsubishi's Design Studio in Cypress, Calif., and is transformed from a 3000GT to a Spyder by ASC Inc. in Long Beach, Calif.
Automotive News | August 26, 1996
The Spyder is an on-order car only, which means dealers will not have 1997 versions (1996 model-year) in inventory. The sticker of the 1997 Spyder is expected to increase by at least $3,000 as a result.
Automotive News | November 18, 1996
Mitsubishi: A $10,000 rebate to dealers on the 1995 3000GT Spyder.
Automotive News | April 21, 1997
Mitsubishi is paying dealer incentives on the 3000GT sports cars until April 30. The regional programs give dealers $5,000 to $7,500 on the 1996 3000GT Spyder.
Automotive News | July 21, 1997
When John Sanderson, vice president of sales for Siemens Automotive Corp., plunked down $100 for a raffle ticket, he figured it was just a donation for a charity event, the Subway/Joe Dumars Celebrity Tennis Classic, founded by Detroit Pistons basketball star Joe Dumars. That changed when Sanderson won a $60,000 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder donated by Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. Sanderson bought the ticket on behalf of Siemens, which reimbursed him. But rather than give the $100 back to Siemens, Sanderson gave the car back to Dumars' charity, which benefits Children's Hospital of Michigan/Detroit.
Automotive News | August 25, 1997
3000GT: The pricey Spyder has been deleted from the model line.