June 18, 2007
Chrysler Celebrates the Rich History of the
Jeep Brand in the Toledo Community
- Demolition of historic
Parkway site nears completion
- 'Overland' smokestack to
be preserved as symbol of historic link to City of Toledo
- Bricks salvaged from
the other two smokestacks will be sold to benefit Boys and Girls Club
Toledo, Ohio - As
demolition of the former Jeep Parkway facility in Toledo draws to
a close, the Chrysler Group today announced plans to preserve one of the
three recognizable smokestacks on the site. The smokestacks have been
a well known part of the Toledo skyline since 1915.
Parkway Plant was the oldest manufacturing facility in North America,
churning out approximately 11 million vehicles in its 96-year
history. Operations at the site ceased in 2006, after 64
years of manufacturing Jeep brand products, including military vehicles for
World War II. Production of the Jeep Wrangler and the new, four-door
Unlimited version of the Wrangler was relocated to the new, $2.1 billion
state-of-the-art Toledo Supplier Park last year.
the Parkway facility no longer served our manufacturing needs, the site
holds a rich history and is close to my heart," said Deb Morrisssett,
Vice President - Regulatory Affairs for the Chrysler Group.
"We are invested in Toledo's past and the city's future. We
hope that the preserved smokestack serves as a reminder to the citizens of
Toledo of the important role they played in history."
the site became the headquarters and main manufacturing facility for the
Willys-Overland Motor Company. Parkway began producing Jeep military
vehicles in the early 1940s before switching over to the Civilian Jeep (CJ)
in 1945. In 1953 Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland, and ten
years later Kaiser-Jeep Corporation took ownership and then sold it to
American Motors Corporation in 1970.
Chrysler Group also announced plans for bricks from the two demolished
smokestacks. "We're inviting Toledo residents to own a piece of
Jeep history by purchasing the bricks from those
smokestacks," said Frank Fountain, Senior Vice President -
External Affairs and Public Policy for the Chrysler Group.
"Proceeds from the sale will go to the Boys and Girls Club of
Toledo. In addition, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund will match
the proceeds - doubling the benefit to this worthy cause. So in a
way, the two stacks will remain a part of this
community." The bricks will be available for $39.99.
Details on the brick sale can be found at www.thescoop-cg.com/jeepbricks/.
Chrysler Group employs 7,941 in the state of Ohio, generating $465 million
in annual wages and providing more than $26 million in taxable income to
the state. But the company's commitment to the city of Toledo and
state of Ohio goes beyond business. Chrysler also sponsors a wide
variety of community programs in Toledo, including the Art Tatum Jazz
Heritage Festival, the Toledo Urban League, City's Youth Entrepreneur
Program, Toledo Opera, the Toledo Museum of Art, Valentine Theatre and the
Chrysler Group, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler,
Jeep®, Dodge and Mopar® brand vehicles and products. Total sales worldwide
in 2006 were 2.7 million vehicles. Sales outside of North America were the
highest in a decade with an increase of 15 percent over 2005. On the heels
of the company’s record product launch year (Chrysler Group launched 10
all-new vehicles in 2006), the company plans to extend that streak with eight
all-new products in 2007. Its product lineup features some of the world's
most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander and
Dodge Charger. The DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, the Company's
philanthropic arm, gave $23.6 million in grants in 2006.
Daimler Chrysler Media Services