Automotive Jobs Return to a Historic Ohio Site; Thank Jeep for It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
automotive jobs return to a historic ohio site thank jeep for it

More than 300 jobs are coming to a historic Toledo manufacturing site, and you can thank the car-buying public’s thirst for Jeeps for it.

Dana Holding Corp. is spending $70 million to build a 300,000 square foot axle plant at the former Willys-Overland site, with Jeep being its only named customer, Automotive News reports.

When it ceased Jeep-building operations in 2006, the manufacturing facility (built in 1910) was the oldest in America. Now, the site — which currently houses a smaller building — will supply axles to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ nearby Jeep facility, which produces Wranglers and Cherokees.

Another unnamed automaker will also source its axles from the new plant.

“It is an honor for Dana to return manufacturing to the same historic site where Toledo’s automotive industry began more than 100 years ago,” Dana CEO James Kamsickas said in a statement.

Once up and running later next year, the plant will produce Dana 30 and Dana 44 axles, with the possibility of adding more assembly lines if needed. Both products have a long pedigree, dating back to the 1930s.

Jeep is gearing up for its next-generation Wrangler, due in 2018, which brings aluminum architecture, fuel-sipping engine choices and a long-awaited pickup truck version to the storied model. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has big plans for the Jeep brand, which currently serves as the company’s biggest revenue generator.

[Image: Lerry Liu/Yokohama]

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  • Steverino Steverino on May 11, 2016

    All this buy American backslapping and nobody's commented on the giant Yokohama sticker on the windshield.

    • See 1 previous
    • VoGo VoGo on May 11, 2016

      @tresmonos Not to mention that the vehicle is from a Dutch company with a UK headquarters, run by Italians... ...but I suppose FCA still has some assets in the US.

  • Runs_on_h8raide Runs_on_h8raide on May 11, 2016

    Stuff costs more to make here because the hands of government are in the pockets at all phases of production. Combine that with draconian laws, is it shocking all of the mfg jobs went overseas? Me thinks not...not if you break it down simply and logically. Also...get rid of unions. That's what lawyers are for sheesh.

    • VoGo VoGo on May 11, 2016

      If you actually studied manufacturing employment, you would know that China is grappling with a much larger problem from lost employment in the manufacturing sector than the US and other developed countries. Improving productivity levels are stealing far more jobs than offshoring. Also, if you had invested even 15 seconds scanning the headline, you would see that this was an article about additional employment in the US.

  • Big L from Chicago Big L from Chicago on May 11, 2016

    "Jeep is gearing up for its next-generation Wrangler, due in 2018, which brings aluminum architecture" Is this a rumor, or was this announced by FCA, or is it just aluminum Dana 30 and 44 axle housings?

  • Redapple Redapple on May 12, 2016

    I grew up in Frankenmuth. Poll- which is better, Zehnders or Barbarian Inn? PS- RE New Dana plant. Hope they keep the "Overland" smokestack.

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    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on May 14, 2016

      @FOG Was up there several years ago for a family wedding, and they certainly keep things authentic, right down to a rooster crowing (annoyingly) about an hour too early! I remember thinking "somebody should choke that [....]" without thinking!