Mitsubishi's 2006 Raider pickup rides on a Dodge Dakota platform. It was designed in California. It has an American family of engines. It is built at a Chrysler group truck plant in Michigan.
Yet Mitsubishi is using Japanese themes and images to sell the Raider to American buyers.
"While our competitors are hiding from the fact that they are Japanese, we want to make sure that we have a communication technique to celebrate the Japanese-ness of our brand," says Dave Schembri, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.
Mitsubishi began to use "J.Cool" marketing messages, based on Japanese pop culture, when it launched the redesigned Eclipse in May.
The Raider, which went on sale last month, also uses J.Cool themes and the "Driven to Thrill" tag line. Mitsubishi's advertising agency, BBDO, created both.