Mitsubishi Motors is launching a fully redesigned Pajero today in Japan. The popular SUV (2.5 million are on the road) now also lends its name to the new “Pajero Forest & Local Mountain Restoration Initiative”. The initiative means Mitsubishi will work with the town of Hayakawa-cho in Yamanashi Prefecture to cultivate a three-hectare area that will be known as the Pajero Forest. The space will be cared for – brush cleaned, new trees planted – by volunteer Mitsubishi employee groups for at least seven years. Mitsubishi drivers will also be invited to participate in the cleanup days. The cynic in me says this is free publicity for a company that will get its customers to do its bidding. And seven years? Seven years does not a forest make. The optimist in me realizes that taking care of the land – even under these bizarre circumstances – is better than not.
But back to the vehicle. Mitsubishi says the new Pajero is better for the environment than its predecessors. Mitsubishi says that hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury and other environment-loading substance levels have been substantially reduced. All new Pajero models also reach Japan’s three-star emission ratings, which means emission level are 50 percent below the Japanese 2005 Emission Standard requirements.