Old School

A couple thoughts on Mitsubishi Owner Day being postponed in 2019:

For most attendees, MOD (and similar) events are merely standing around in crowded parking lots all day. June-July in SoCal isn’t the best time to spend a day standing around on the tarmac—even with free In-n-Out and a t-shirt.

I attended a couple of SoCal Rob’s SoCal DSM cruises the year before they lead to the first Mitsubishi Owner Day. And I attended MOD every year for a few years after that. Hell, if you’ve still got one of the M-GEN shirts from 2011, see where that QR code links you now.

It was incredible seeing nearly 40 Mitsubishi 4WDs fill an entire row at MOD17.

It was an honor to sit with global leadership, product teams, and talk shop with the CEO at MOD18.

This year, I was planning on spending most of the night before in the parking lot enjoying cool weather and cool conversations before bailing out before dawn to go sailing. You seen 300 hard-parking Evos, you’ve seen them all, really.

And yet, news of MOD being tabled is still a bit sad. Can’t say I blame them wanting to take a closer look at things. The past couple years have seen what should be their biggest advocates stalking them across the web, sabotaging their every marketing move.

If you’ve been to SoCal MOD, you know it’s almost entirely staffed by employees who stay up all night getting things ready, then stay late to pick up all the trash left by trash-talking assholes who, sadly, seem to take great pleasure in savaging the brand online.

I don’t know if those people are paid to be there or not, but regardless, Mitsubishi spend a LOT of time (money) and money (money) making MOD happen. Why would they do that for a crowd that, by and large, isn’t interested in their current product offerings, if not actively costing them revenue through lost sales?

I know I wouldn’t.

MOD was born out of a guy we called SoCal Rob organizing DSM cruises on Saturday mornings. It was built on the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood among fellow owners who, regardless of background or automotive pursuit, found our lives were better because we chose the Mitsubishi over the Nissan or Honda or whatever.

It was a celebration of being a family of sorts.

I haven’t driven any of the new Mitsubishis yet—but I want to. And I was really hoping to get an up-close-and-personal look at the Engelberg Tourer. Mitsubishi’s message about delaying MOD while they figure out its future means that door may remain open. I really hope so.

If anyone at MMNA is in the audience, here’s a quick list of things I’d love to see for the next MOD to make it both more inclusive and relevant to the brand when—and if—it returns.

Reach out to the EclipseCross, New Mirage, and Outlander communities. Invite them to attend and give them privileged parking so they can show up at their leisure. They are your current customers and they deserve to feel the way you made the rest of us feel for the last 30 years.

Sell reserved parking spots. Donate at least half the proceeds to charity. Which charity? I dunno, maybe something that helps kids discover the joy—and confidence—of working on their own vehicles.

Make those reserved spots a random raffle. Or stand up a page where people can upload a couple pictures and a bio for curation or votes. (You can have M-Gen.net back if you want it.)

Consider a legacy owner advisory board-type thing, where OGs (like me) who truly believe in the brand and want to see it succeed can get together with your people to explore ideas together. We’ll sign NDAs if you want. We want to help!

You might say it’s in our DNA.


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1 Comment

  1. Yesterday, my daughter and I drove to Oklahoma to attend the Thunder Valley Raceway Import Day at the drag strip. On our 2.5 hour drive, she asked me about cars and my involvement prior to her being born. I began to share my love for DSM’s, how I know every single aspect inside and out of the 4g63t, countless hours modifying it. I shared many stories of the bonds built, we could post a thread on a forum asking if anyone in the surrounding area was available and willing to help with a build, etc. Fellow DSM enthusiasts often times would drive many miles just to lend a helping hand to a stranger they only knew via online auto forum.

    I shared with my daughter how that spawned the idea to organize car meets/cruises, and how ultimately it lead to me being interviewed by Mitsubishi R&D to create something they had never done before…a car meet for the ages for all Mitsubishi enthusiasts, and the best part? It was right in our backyard in Cypress. Her eyes lit up, followed by “wow dad, that’s so cool, I wish I could have seen it and experienced that”. So I asked her to Google “Mitsubishi Owners Day” and she began to see all the events across the US. What began as an idea for SoCal Mitsubishi enthusiasts had expanded all over the country. She shared there were “MODs” on the east coast, in Illinois, midwest, and of course in SoCal.

    She began reading various columns, articles, even threads about MOD. I shared with her I used to be known as SoCal Rob and she chuckled. She googled my old moniker and saw many archived posts/comments from 15+ years ago. One of the articles she found was this one, and as she read it out loud, her eyes watered and she couldn’t believe it. “Dad, you helped start this???” Yes ma’am I did, and this article PERFECTLY personifies the exact mentality I had when I began organizing local events. To quote the above phrase, “It was built on the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood among fellow owners who, regardless of background or automotive pursuit, found our lives were better because we chose the Mitsubishi over the Nissan or Honda or whatever.”

    It was about the bond, it was about the friendships, it was about sharing a common hobby that we truly enjoyed. I’ll never forget those times, they were some of the best years of my life, honestly. Thank you for writing this article, it reminds me of one of my best friends in the DSM community that went by DR1665, if this is you, I miss you brother!

    Where is SoCal Rob? I’m here, watching and enjoying the thousands of auto enthusiasts take part in something I helped start many years ago.

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