Brampton Assembly (AMC)

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AMC Brampton Assembly Plant
Built 1960
Location Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°40′41″N 79°43′19″W / 43.678°N 79.722°W / 43.678; -79.722
Industry Automotive
Products
Area 40 acres (16.2 ha)
Address
  • Kennedy Road
  • Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Defunct 1992

The Brampton Assembly Plant is a former automobile manufacturing facility owned and operated by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in Brampton, Ontario. The factory began production in 1962 to build over 1.2 million AMC cars and Jeep vehicles through the automaker's acquisition by Chrysler in 1987, until it was closed in 1992.

The plant was sold off to Wal-Mart for use as a warehouse, and the buildings were eventually demolished in the 2000s when the site was redeveloped into a shopping center.

History[edit]

The factory was built at the corner of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road for American Motors Canada, Inc., who relocated operations from the old Danforth assembly plant (now Shoppers World Danforth) - which also previously served as the Canadian production site of the Ford Model T and Model A - to Peel-Elder's new "Peel Village" neighborhood in Brampton. The facility produced its first Rambler Classic on January 26, 1961.[1]

The facility was composed of an assembly plant, parts warehouse, and engine plant, with an annual capacity of over 50,000 vehicles while employing 1,100 hourly and 500 salaried workers.[2] The Rambler Classic was built on a line speed of 32 cars per shift.[3] The facility was soon producing 33,000 cars annually in Canada.[4] This assembly plant produced Rambler Americans, AMC Rebels, and later, Hornets, Concords, Gremlins, Spirits, and Eagles. A long rail spur was built south from Canadian National Railway's busy Halton Sub mainline to service the plant. New automobiles were loaded with ramps onto autoracks for rail shipment at the plant.

With very little Canadian production prior to 1965, American Motors was in the best position of the U.S. automakers to take advantage of the Canada–United States Automotive Products Agreement.[5] This plant also allowed AMC to export cars within Commonwealth countries at a favorable tariff rate, making AMC the number one US nameplate in markets such as Trinidad and Jamaica in the 1960s.[6] The assembly of Ambassador models was moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin while production of Ramblers and Rebels increased. By 1969, the output of AMC's Brampton operation was destined to the eastern half of the continent while Kenosha supplied the western regions.[7]

In 1977, AMC hired the first female assembly worker and Cecilia Palmer became Canadian Auto Workers Local 1285's first sister,[3] now Unifor Local 1285.

Passenger car assembly was moved from Brampton to Kenosha in 1978, and this allowed AMC to expand production of its popular Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-7 models.[8]

As Renault increased control of AMC since 1979, the future of the old Brampton facility was in jeopardy by 1982.[9] Renault's strategic business plan was to limit production of AMCs to Kenosha and Jeeps to Toledo as part of efforts to gain economies of scale.[9] Moreover, local production was no longer a prerequisite for duty-free access into the Canadian market as long as the car's Canadian-sourced parts content met a minimum ratio to the total value of its sales in Canada.[9]

Discussions to possibly utilize the assembly plant's capacity with Nissan ended in 1986, while at the time AMC's president, Jose Dedeurwaerder, a former Renault executive, made an "ominous" statement that the automaker was openly looking for a partner.[10]

In 1987, with the Chrysler buyout, the AMC division and its plants (Brampton and Bramalea) were absorbed into Chrysler, becoming part of Chrysler Canada Limited. At the time of Chrysler's purchase, the combined total production capacity of the four of AMC assembly plants (Brampton, Kenosha, Toledo, and the brand new Bramalea Assembly in Brampton) had a combined annually total production capacity of around 700,000 vehicles.[11] This meant overcapacity for Chrysler, and AMC's old Kenosha and Toledo factories were at the top of Chrysler's closure list.[12] The workers in Toledo agreed to concessions to keep the factory open, but by 1990, they were pitted against Brampton Assembly and additional concessions by the Toledo employees were crucial to Chrysler's decision to close Brampton.[12] This old factory was building the Jeep Wrangler, which in 1992 was moved to Toledo.[13] With this transfer AMC's Bramalea plant that was built 1986 was renamed Brampton Assembly and began producing the new large Chrysler LH platform models (Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Intrepid, and Eagle Vision).[13]

Legacy[edit]

The original AMC factory was closed on April 4, 1992[3] and sold to Wal-Mart for use as one of their Canadian warehouses. The remains of the plant's west buildings were torn down in 2005, and the land was redeveloped for commercial/retail use. Among the buildings on the site is a Lowe's home improvement store that opened on December 10, 2007, as one of the first three to be established by the retail chain in Canada.[14] The old factory's east building was demolished in 2007, and a Walmart Supercentre now occupies the site along with a warehouse.

Rambler Drive, a street to the west of the plant leading into the Peel Village neighborhood off Kennedy, serves as a reminder of AMC's former presence in the area.[15]

Annual production[edit]

American Motors' original Brampton production and products for model years (MY) from 1961 to 1992:[16]

1979 Jeep CJ-7 manufactured November 1978 at AMC's Brampton Assembly
Year Model Units MY totals
1961 Rambler Classic 4,168 4,168
1962 Rambler American 5,050
Rambler Classic 12,297 17,347
1963 Rambler American 5,308
Rambler Classic 18,941
Rambler Ambassador 3,242 27,491
1964 Rambler American 11,860
Rambler Classic 19,247
Rambler Ambassador 1,877 32,984
1965 Rambler American 9,391
Rambler Classic 18,264
Rambler Ambassador 6,893 34,548
1966 Rambler American 9,314
Rambler Classic 11,606
AMC Ambassador 7,852 28,772
1967 Rambler American 5,434
AMC Rebel 15,836
AMC Ambassador 10,125 31,395
1968 Rambler American 25,296
AMC Rebel 9,718
AMC Ambassador 6,413 41,427
1969 American 24,185
AMC Rebel 15,529 38,714
1970 AMC Hornet 36,408
AMC Gremlin 3,260
AMC Rebel 3,581 43,249
1971 AMC Hornet 17,666
AMC Gremlin 23,428 41,094
1972 AMC Hornet 18,650
AMC Gremlin 33,091 57,741
1973 AMC Hornet 32,331
AMC Gremlin 37,663 69,994
1974 AMC Hornet 43,150
AMC Gremlin 39,223 82,373
1975 AMC Hornet 21,848
AMC Gremlin 10,163 32,011
1976 AMC Hornet 35,204
AMC Gremlin 14,422 49,626
1977 AMC Hornet 21,218
AMC Gremlin 19,166 40,284
1978 AMC Concord 41,017
AMC Gremlin 4,211 45,228
1979 Jeep CJ-5 20,913
Jeep CJ-7 30,684 51,597
1980 Jeep CJ-5 12,050
Jeep CJ-7 17,993 30,043
1981 AMC Concord 10,441
AMC Eagle 10,347 20,788
1982 AMC Concord 10,117
AMC Eagle 20,900 31,017
1983 AMC Concord 14,277
AMC Spirit 1,689
AMC Eagle 10,424
AMC Eagle SX/4 5,398 31,788
1984 AMC Eagle 25,535
AMC Eagle SX/4 1 25,536
1985 AMC Eagle 16,866 16,866
1986 AMC Eagle 8,217 8,217
1987 AMC Eagle 4,996
Jeep Wrangler 44,517 49,513
1988 Eagle Wagon * 2,305
Jeep Wrangler 46,130 48,435
1989 Jeep Wrangler 71,025 71,025
1990 Jeep Wrangler 57,451 57,451
1991 Jeep Wrangler 57,241 57,241
1992 Jeep Wrangler 82,015 82,015
1961-1992 Grand total 1,280,078
* Note: the final AMC branded car (not Jeep), a 1988 AMC Eagle, was built on December 11, 1987, and shipped from Brampton on December 15 to a dealer in the U.S.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacobs, Andrew James (2016). The new domestic automakers in the United States and Canada: history, impacts, and prospects. Lexington Books. p. 61. ISBN 9780739188262. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Hatchery - Section II - Vehicle Production at the American Motors Corporation" (PDF). AMC Eagle Nest. p. 10. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "The History of Brampton's Largest Union Local - UNIFOR 1285". UNIFOR Local 1285. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Anastakis, Dimitry (2005). Auto pact: creating a borderless North American auto industry, 1960-1971. University of Toronto Press. p. 125. ISBN 9780802038210. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Anastakis, p. 128.
  6. ^ Billeter, Vera (1965). Logoz, Arthur, ed. "The American Motors Story". Auto-Universum 1966 (English edition). Zürich, Switzerland: Verlag International Automobile Parade. IX: 18. 
  7. ^ Anastakis, pp. 128-129.
  8. ^ Schnapps, John B. (1978). Corporate Strategies of the Automotive Manufacturers: Strategic histories - Volume 2 of Corporate Strategies of the Automotive Manufacturers: Final Report. U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. pp. 11–23. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c Perry, Ross (1982). The Future of Canada's Auto Industry: The Big Three and the Japanese Challenge. Canadian Institute for Economic Policy. p. 153. ISBN 9780888626103. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Cranswick, Marc (2011). The Cars of American Motors: An Illustrated History. McFarland. p. 311. ISBN 9780786485703. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Risen, James (10 March 1987). "Chrysler Plans to Buy AMC for $757 Million: Reaches Accord on Purchasing Renault's 46.1% Interest; Wants Jeep, Assembly Plants, Dealers". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Phelps, Nicholas A.; Raines, Philip (2003). The New Competition for Inward Investment: Companies, Institutions and Territorial Development. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 102. ISBN 9781781956984. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Brampton, Ontario Chrysler plants". Allpar. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Lowe's expands internationally, opens first Canadian stores" (Press release). Groupe CNW. 10 December 2007. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Rambler Drive, Brampton, ON, Canada". Google Maps. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  16. ^ Dr. Rambler (October 2009). "Brampton production figures according to Plant Tour Brochure". Geocities. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Strang, Alan. "The Last AMC Built (from American Motoring, Newsletter of the American Motors Owners Association, Vol. 12, No. 4, September 1988". southern classic. Retrieved 7 January 2016.