Building Chrysler, Part 1: How Walter P. made cars

Plant No. 3) Chrysler’s third plant was located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The complex itself dates back to 1916, when Chalmers set up a branch factory. Maxwell opened a factory nearby shortly afterwards. When Chrysler bought Maxwell and some of the bankrupt Chalmers assets, the Windsor location was consolidated.

After the purchase of Dodge Brothers in 1926, their facility located in Toronto was consolidated with the former Chalmers plant and production was moved to Windsor and became Chrysler Corporation of Canada Limited. After acquiring the Chalmers site, Chrysler built a new factory on Tecumseh Road which assembled only Chrysler brands — 20,010 cars in its first year, which gave Chrysler a larger market share in Canada than in the United States.

Among the more notable vehicles assembled there were the groundbreaking Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow models and the “Lil Red Wagon” Dodge pickup truck. Since the early 1980’s it has handled mainly minivan production, and currently assembles the Chrysler Pacifica – the last minivan in the company’s product line.  Status:  Active, assembling Pacific minivans.

Plant No 4.) The fourth and final assembly location for Chrysler brand vehicles during the 1920’s was the former Dodge Main Plant, located in Hamtramck, MI. Originally built in 1910, it remained in operation until age caught up with it in 1980.  In addition to the assembly line, the Dodge Bros. purchase brought with it new foundries capable of producing  engine blocks and cylinder heads, which meant Chrysler no longer depended on outside vendors to supply these items.  Status: Out of Service

Building Chrysler

Just six years after Chrysler introduced its Plymouth brand, the 1 millionth model built rolled off the Lynch Road Assembly plant in Detroit, MI on Aug. 8, 1934. Plymouth achieved the milestone faster than any other American car company. It took Ford 12 years to build 1 million models, and Chevrolet 9 years.

Plant No. 5) Lynch Road Assembly Plant, Detroit, MI — Lynch Road was opened to assemble new DeSotos and Plymouths in 1928 at 6334 Lynch Rd.  Production ended in April of 1981, and production capacity was moved to the Newark Assembly plant in Newark Delaware.
Status: Out of Service.

Plant No. 6)
Plant number six was a former Graham-Paige facility, located in Stockton, CA.  It was acquired in 1926 and was used until 1954 to assemble the Dodge B Series trucks and vans, as well as Plymouth trucks and panel delivery trucks in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.
Status: Out of service.

Next week, we’ll review the history of Chrysler’s North American assembly plants No. 7 though No. 18, and cover the company history from the Great Depression of the 1930s, though the Chrysler bankruptcy of the 1970’s.