January 20, 2003
First Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV rolls off assembly line in Illinois
Normal, Illinois – Local officials and NASA Endeavour astronaut Colonel Mark Lee joined Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) executives as the first Mitsubishi Endeavor, a crossover S.U.V., rolled off the line at the company’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois.
The Endeavor is the sixth model produced on a single assembly line at the facility, joining three other Mitsubishi products and two built for alliance partner DaimlerChrysler. No other auto plant in the country produces more models on a single line.
The Endeavor platform will serve as the underpinnings for future Project America vehicles, including the next generation Galant mid-sized sedan, Eclipse sport coupe and Eclipse Spyder convertible.
MMNA Manufacturing Division President and Chief Operating Officer Rich Gilligan presented the first Endeavor to USAF Col. Lee (Ret.), a former NASA astronaut and payload commander on the first Endeavour STS-47 space shuttle mission in 1992, and Space Center Chief Executive Officer Larry Capps.
“Our first Endeavour shuttle mission was a collaborative effort between the United States and Japan,” Lee said. “It’s exciting to see that spirit continue as Mitsubishi Motors kicks off its Project America initiative with an Endeavor launch of its own.”
Lee and Capps will take the donated vehicle to Huntsville, Ala., where Space Camp staff will use it as the official vehicle for their travel to schools and other venues throughout the country.