By on May 11, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler, Yokohama Geolandar G015 Launch, Moab, Utah, Image: Lerry Liu/Yokohama

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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39 Comments on “Automotive Jobs Return to a Historic Ohio Site; Thank Jeep for It...”

  • avatar

    Always good to see/hear about jobs coming back to the US.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s very true, it’s what it’s all about.

    • 0 avatar

      Jobs never left the US in the way you think, but manufacturing jobs have declined.

      BLS data shows that the production of manufactured goods in the US (in constant dollars, taking inflation out of the equation) has nearly doubled since NAFTA was signed, has gone up every year since 2009, and is now at record levels.

      During the same period, manufacturing employment has fallen by about 1/3. This is due to technology, which has created many more jobs in other sectors (notably, IT and services generally).

      We can be sure that Dana’s new plant in Toledo will employ a lot fewer people than it would have in 1992. Which is actually (perhaps perversely) a good thing.

      • 0 avatar

        “BLS data shows that the production of manufactured goods in the US (in constant dollars, taking inflation out of the equation) has nearly doubled since NAFTA was signed, has gone up every year since 2009, and is now at record levels.”

        Compared that data vs 1991 figures.

  • avatar

    A skip-shift Jeep… Scary thought.

  • avatar

    Always good to see our boys screwing ’em together again. You’ll see this more once Trump buries Hilly in November and automakers get the choice of either doing the right thing or paying a 50% tariff to build in a cheaper country.

    • 0 avatar

      Not that I disagree with the idea of giving people decent jobs, but how is building in USA “doing the right thing”? If anything, the USA was founded on the idea of capitalism and profit.

      You can’t have it both ways. Either companies exploit every possessible loophole and circumstance for maximum profit, or they get bought out and go bankrupt to other more ruthless companies. It’s an ugly system that puts real people last, but it’s our sad reality.

      • 0 avatar

        U.S. companies enjoy the protections of our laws. Negotiated trade agreements give them access to other markets. The tax code gives them breaks to encourage them to invest their money in capital, and so on. In return for that, they have an obligation to provide jobs that enhance the standard of living for their country’s citizens. Otherwise, they are worthless to the country providing them benefits and protection.

        Our auto (and other) companies are rapidly becoming worthless to the vast majority of U.S. citizens. That’s why you’re going to have a guy like Donald Trump as your President starting in 2017. It shouldn’t have ever come to that, but it did.

        Auto companies in places like Germany and Japan get this and have consistently managed to build high quality products while enhancing the standard of living in their home countries by providing high paying jobs. Our auto companies cannot do this. They built crappy products, told us they had to outsource our jobs to remain competitive (even though Honda, Toyota and Subaru can somehow manage to build high quality cars here and make money), and even needed us to bail them out of bankruptcy. Then once they recovered they announced plans to build cars in China!

        So in short, this idea of “capitalism and profit” has its limits, and our companies crossed them long ago. They are about to pay the piper though, and if they go bankrupt, screw ’em. But if they build competitive products using American workers, they’ll be fine.

        • 0 avatar

          Superdessucke, your facts are all jacked up. ‘Your’ OEM’s employ more Americans than Honda and Toyota. All OEM’s leverage global supply bases and manufacturing footprints.

          You’re a f*cking idiot and clearly don’t understand economics. Are you willing to pay 20k for a stripped Fiesta?

          Maybe we do need Bernie so he can send your dumb @ss back to school.

        • 0 avatar

          Also, Superdessucke,
          Please accept my apologies for the personal attacks. They are unwarranted and uncalled for.

        • 0 avatar

          Germany has always been blessed by not being stuck wit a “financial center” in it’s midst. Consisting of at best half literate mediocrities, who nonetheless have been handed half the post war output of the rest of the country. To the point where making decent product is now a mere sideshow for US companies, compared to the riches obtainable by trying to skim off the flood of freshly printed greenbacks issued for the purpose of keeping Trump Tower condos suitably overpriced.

          Aside from a brief period of full tilt idiot between 1985 and 1992, the same is true for Japan.

          The more financialized an economy gets, the more starkly it’s populace gets neatly sorted into two distinct groups: Toffs and Chavs.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, successful capitalists do not “maximize” profits, they “Optimize” them. The big difference is that when you try to maximize profits you sacrifice quality. Don’t buy at the lowest and sell at the highest because that is how you attract the ruthless companies. Buy the best at the best price and make an honest profit while taking care of your workforce. Just look at Weather-tech. They are a growing and successful company providing a great product made in the U.S. The owner turned down an offer on “The Shark Tank” because they want to move manufacturing offshore.

        That being said, the auto industry is full of short-sited executives willing to sacrifice people and long term success for quarterly bonuses and perks. Tesla is suffering from hiring good ole boys from Generous Motors.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d love to check the tags on all the Trump supporters’ clothing and see what they choose to buy.

      Typical horse sh1t excuses from everybody. “Make someone else do it!”

      I buy American Made whenever I have that option. Nobody wants to do that because it costs more.

      Dana is doing this because shipping axles from Mexico is a pain in the @ss and costly. Dana has Mexican operations so this is likely a logistics cost save. They’re not dumb – they assemble close to the Final Assembly plant. I used to be a tier 2 supplier to Dana and they really have their sh1t together.

      • 0 avatar

        tresmonos: “You’re a f*cking idiot” and “Maybe we do need Bernie so he can send your dumb @ss back to school” along with “Typical horse sh1t excuses from everybody” makes me think of all those Trump haters that grabs a check from Soros to go protest. Thanks for displaying the staple attitude and attack demeanor of the far, FAR left.

        You are one of the most offensive men (gender assumed but not the wisdom or maturity) I’ve had the displeasure to to tolerate here.

        • 0 avatar

          WhiskeyRiver, you’re welcome. This is the first post I’ve ever read of yours, probably because of your *valuable* contributions.

          My political associations are generally on the right side of the spectrum. I’m tired of idiots posting political tripe on an automotive website. I’m making the assumption you’re associating yourself with this phenomena.

          If you’re piling onto a political football that has no legitimacy, you are part of the problem. Educate yourself.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m tired of your f-bombs and smug attitude. If you put about 40 more years behind you, you might gain enough wisdom and experience to carry on a civil discourse.

            If education means thinking I’m better than everyone else then I’ll skip it. Thanks for the suggestion.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m glad that’s settled! We’re tired of each other’s posts. Phew. The internet can now rest easy for the remainder of the day.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m guessing it’s all settled if or when
            Superdessucke accepts your apology. He did nothing to warrant your attack. Nor has anyone else I’ve seen you attack around here. You can’t apologize away being loud and mean.

      • 0 avatar

        “…Dana …they really have their sh1t together.”

        Tell that to the folks with 1st gen Tacomas in northern locales! :p

  • avatar

    Yeah but they still tore down the smokestacks that said “Willys Overland” a few years ago. Those should have been preserved as historic landmarks. Seeing the brand spelled out in bricks was so cool.

  • avatar

    Excellent news, now if we could get more manufacturers to buy quality solid axles instead of putting money into IS that requires constant attention to keep in order.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Good, and Dana should receive a decent ROI on this one.

  • avatar

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

    • 0 avatar

      Yokohama has several manufacturing facilities in the states. They are a global manufacturer and have Detroit based designers as well as their Japan based design group.

      • 0 avatar

        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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    “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?

  • avatar

    I grew up in Frankenmuth.
    Poll- which is better, Zehnders or Barbarian Inn?

    PS- RE New Dana plant. Hope they keep the “Overland” smokestack.

    • 0 avatar

      Free chicken livers.
      Ice cream and elephants and giraffes

    • 0 avatar

      The chicken in both places is exactly the same. There is a tunnel under the main drag that connects the two and I saw an employee moving a cart full of cooked chicken from Zehnders to the Bavarian Inn.

      • 0 avatar

        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!

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