June 16, 2015,
FCA Canada (formerly Chrysler Canada) marked its 90th anniversary today at a special celebration on the banks of the Detroit River and steps from its Canadian headquarters.
The celebration was attended by employees, senior executives, local media and other special guests. Fittingly, the event was held at Windsor’s Dieppe Gardens, the former location of the Dominion Typograph Company. There, in 1896, the Dodge brothers established their bicycle company, a precursor to FCA’s modern-day Dodge vehicle brand.
The Chrysler Corporation of Canada Limited was incorporated in Windsor, Ontario, on June 17, 1925, only 11 days after Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, Michigan. Chrysler Corporation of Canada was the successor to the former Maxwell-Chalmers Motor Company of Canada.
In 1928, the Company acquired Canada’s Dodge Bros. operations and truck manufacturer Graham Bros., while the Plymouth and DeSoto divisions were also established, making Chrysler Corp. a full-line Canadian auto manufacturer. A year later, it opened its first new assembly facility, the nucleus for the current Windsor Assembly Plant.
Today, FCA Canada is comprised of seven automotive brands: Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep®
, Ram Truck and Mopar. It operates two vehicle manufacturing facilities in Windsor (Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan ) and Brampton, Ontario (Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger), plus a key casting plant in Etobicoke in Toronto’s west end. Nationally, the Company has three Regional Business Centres, three Parts Distribution Centres and the unique Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC), also in Windsor.
The Chrysler Corporation of Canada Limited’s first President was Ohio-born John D. Mansfield. Today, FCA Canada’s 13th President and CEO Reid Bigland addressed the assembled crowd:
“It is a very special honour to help commemorate the 90th anniversary of FCA Canada,” said Bigland. “Over nine decades we’ve grown into the largest automotive company in Canada and a pillar in the Windsor business community. From humble beginnings in 1925 with 181 employees and 4,500 vehicles built, we’ve grown to 10,585 employees, 596,000 vehicles built annually, 440 dealers and a position as the number one-selling automaker in Canada. I want to sincerely thank our employees, dealers and customers past and present for their hard work and endorsement. I think even Mr. Chrysler would be surprised to see where we are today!”
Media attending today’s event had the opportunity to ride along in a wide selection of Canadian-built FCA vehicles spanning its 90-year history, some of which were on loan and handled on-site by Kingsville, Ontario’s Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village. These included a 1926 Chrysler Model 50, a 1959 Dodge Custom Royal and a 1984 Dodge Caravan.
Also on hand were a selection of present-day models, including the Brampton-built 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The most powerful muscle car on the road today, it sat just metres from an original, Windsor-built, 1900s-era Evan & Dodge bicycle, graciously loaned from the Detroit Historical Society and providing a striking visual for just how far FCA Canada has come in its 90-year history and beyond.
*For additional FCA Canada historic information and photography, please visit fcamedia.ca
Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, FCA Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 97th anniversary in 2022. FCA Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCA, a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA Canada has approximately 440 dealers that sell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo products, as well as SRT performance products. The company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. In addition to its assembly facilities, which produce the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Chrysler Voyager and Chrysler Grand Caravan (Windsor) and Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger (Brampton), FCA Canada operates an aluminum casting plant in Etobicoke, a research and development centre in Windsor, and has sales offices and parts distribution centers throughout the country.