Toledo North Assembly Plant :: Assembly

Toledo North Assembly Plant

Toledo plant manager GonzalezThe Chrysler-Toledo story began in 1903, when Albert A. Pope took over Toledo Steamer. When the 1907 recession shut down Pope’s car companies, John North Willys bought the huge Toledo plant for Overland Motor Company. (Another consequence that would have major ramifications for Chrysler: Owen R. Skelton then left his engineering job at Pope-Toledo to become a transmission specialist for Packard, sending him on his way to join with Carl Breer and Fred Zeder.) Toledo remained Willys-Overland’s primary plant through the creation of the Jeep, World War II, and the postwar boom.

1997 Jeep Parkway plantIn 1953, Kaiser bought Willys-Overland for million, primarily to get a product (Jeep) which had no real domestic competitors, coupled to a thriving export and international licensing business (including India’s Mahindra) — major boons for a small car company with fierce domestic competitors. Kaiser changed the name to Willys Motors, and combined its production and sales organizations, rapidly turning the company around.

A great deal of money was raised almost immediately, because Kaiser was being able to sell its massive Willow Run plant to General Motors to replace an automatic transmission plant destroyed by fire; Kaiser moved into the Willys Toledo plant, GM moved into Willow Run, and Kaiser pocketed almost enough to pay for Willys.

Jeep-Overland plant in 1993Willys’ Jeep Parkway plant, above, was well established when, in 1942, the Stickney Plant was built by Autolite; in 1964, AMC bought it for use as a machining and engine plant.

In 1962, the corporate name was changed to the Kaiser Jeep Corporation. To quote Bill Watson, after 1955, “Willys Motors never looked back, becoming a nice little source of income for the Kaisers.”

On March 3, 1964, Kaiser Jeep took over Studebaker’s military vehicle production contracts as the latter shut down their operations, acquiring Studebaker’s Chippewa Avenue Plant as part of the deal. In the same year, AMC purchased Autolite’s 22-year-old Stickney plant, to use for machining and building engines.

TNAP signToledo Machining (in Perrysburg) opened in 1967, and was expanded in 1969; from then until the present day it built various components for numerous Chrysler factories and vehicles.

In 1970, American Motors (AMC) bought the U.S. operations of Kaiser Jeep; this company, the result of a union between Hudson and Nash, spun the military vehicle operations off into AM General a year later.

In 1981, the Stickney plant was converted to build the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, becoming the Toledo Assembly Plant when Chrysler Corporation acquired AMC in 1987. Wagoneer production stopped in 1991, and the plant was demolished, replaced by Toledo North and the Toledo Supplier Park (Toledo South).

In 1996, nearly 40% of the Jeep Cherokees made in Toledo were shipped outside the United States; half of all Cherokees were for customers outside North America.

Jeep Wrangler assembly TNAP supplier park robots tracks

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