DaimlerChrysler's Jeep Parkway Plant Closing After 95 Years

Date 2005/7/26 20:31:29 | Topic: Facilities

The Toledo Blade has a nice article about the legendary Jeep Parkway plant in Toledo, Ohio. The plant is closing next year as production moves to a new factory a few miles away. Here's a snippet:
During World War II it built not only Jeeps but also trailers, 155-mm. shells, aircraft parts, rockets, and other military equipment.

It has survived various owners and labor disputes over the decades. It exported vehicles or parts in so-called kits for production worldwide. It made two civilian Jeep models, the CJ-5 and original Wagoneer, for nearly 30 years each. And churned out nearly 2.9 million Jeep XJ models alone, mostly under the Cherokee name.

Jeep Parkway’s run as the nation’s longest-producing auto factory will come to an end a year from now after DaimlerChrysler AG stops building Jeep Wranglers there and starts production of the redesigned sport-utility vehicle at a $900 million multi-factory plant a few miles away.

Although Chrysler hasn’t announced Jeep Parkway’s ultimate fate, most expect the plant’s remaining buildings to be demolished as others on the site have been through the years.

With Jeep Parkway’s last buildings undoubtedly will go the smokestacks emblazoned with the Overland name, signaling the end of an era.

“It’s been the heart of nearly every family here,” local Jeep historian and retiree Ron Szymanski said of the factory. “They made their lives there. They sent their kids through college so they didn’t have to work there.”

The multi-factory plant being built by Chrysler and three key suppliers is joining the four-year-old Toledo North Assembly Plant next door to replace Jeep Parkway.

Next year those plants will produce not only the redesigned Wrangler and Jeep Liberty, for which Toledo North was built, but also a four-door version of the Wrangler and a Dodge SUV off the Liberty platform believed to be modeled on the Nitro concept.
Check out the entire article.



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