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Chrysler Commemorates Jeep Brandís History In Toledo Community


The Chrysler Group recently announced its plans to preserve one of the three most distinguished smokestacks on the former Jeep Parkway facility in Toledo. The smokestacks have been a well known part of the horizon of Toledo since 1915.

The oldest manufacturing facility in North America, Toledo's Parkway Plant has built about 11 million vehicles in its 96-year history. In 2006, the operations at the site came to a halt after manufacturing Jeep brand products for 64 years. The Jeep brand included military vehicles for World War II. And just last year, the production of the Jeep Wrangler and the new, four-door Unlimited version of the Wrangler was transferred to the new, $2.1 billion state-of-the-art Toledo Supplier Park.

Deb Morrisssett, the Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for the Chrysler Group, commented that the site holds a rich history and is close to their heart though the Parkway facility does not anymore offer their manufacturing needs. He added that the group was invested in Toledo's past and the city's future so they were hoping that the preserved smokestack serves as a reminder to the constituents of Toledo of the significant role they portrayed in history.

The site became the headquarters and main manufacturing facility for the Willys-Overland Motor Company in 1909. Parkway started producing Jeep military vehicles in the early 1940s before shifting over to the Civilian Jeep (CJ) in 1945. The Kaiser Motors in 1953 acquired Willys-Overland. A decade later, Kaiser-Jeep Corporation took ownership and then sold it in 1970 to American Motors Corporation, the maker of quality American-motors oxygen sensor.

Aside from the preservation of the smokestacks, the Chrysler Group also announced its plans for bricks from the two crossed up smokestacks.

Frank Fountain, the Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Public Policy for the Chrysler Group, said that they were inviting Toledo constituents to own a piece of the Jeep history by buying the bricks from those smokestacks. He added that the proceeds of the sales will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo and the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund will match the proceeds that would double the benefit to this worthy cause; thereby remaining the two stacks part of the Toledo Community. The bricks can be bought at $39.99.

In the state of Ohio, the Chrysler Group has 7,941 employees and earning $465 million in annual wages and providing more than $26 million in taxable income to the state. Nonetheless, the group's dedication to the city of Toledo and state of Ohio is not just for business sake. Chrysler also sponsors a wide array of community programs in Toledo that include 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 Diamante Awards.