About 800 employees cheered the three millionth car assembled at Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) as a rally red 2010 Eclipse GT was driven off the assembly line in Normal, Illinois recently.
The Eclipse was destined for a dealership somewhere in the Midwest, and was not retained for historical purposes.
The plant started assembling cars in September 1988 as a joint venture between Chrysler Corporation and MMNA, which now fully owns the plant.
MMNA president & CEO Shin Kurihara congratulated employees on their accomplishment and shared memories of his visit to the site of the then-future assembly plant when he visited the vacant field in 1985. “How could I have imagined that I would be here as President almost 25 years and three million vehicles later,” he said.
UAW Local 2488 President Ralph Timan expressed thanks and congratulations to the union’s membership and MMNA. “It’s really about the people, it’s not about the vehicle,” Timan said. “It’s the commitment we’ve made to facility and the car is just a symbol of that. It’s a marker of that continued commitment.”