Oct 9, 2005

Acres Of DaimlerChrysler Vehicles

Left: Jeeps in front of the former Elder Beerman store

I was taken aback Saturday when I saw the large number of Daimler Chrysler vehicles filling the empty parking lots of the former NorthTowne Square Mall. The company has been leasing this space to store excess inventory, as well as using some of the many acres at the old Jeep Parkway site.

This relationship is not new, having been arranged several years ago. However, there seem to be more vehicles in the lots than I have ever seen. I hope that this is not a sign of slacking demand for new vehicles, as so many Toledoans depend on the success of DaimlerChrysler's operations in this area. When last I passed this site, Liberty and Wrangler vehicles ringed the eastern half of the dead mall, while today the vehicles almost completely circle the structure and are creeping out onto the grass.

There were, by my count, about a dozen security personnel guarding the vehicles. I assume that the keys to each new vehicle are either in the ignition or in a readily-accessed place inside.

Left: Daimler Chrysler vehicles parked at the rear of the building, near the old theater

At any rate my appearance with a camera set the security team into immediate action. I had taken nary a photo when a red pickup roared from behind me and blocked my car, which was parked on Mel Simon Drive (the circular road ringing the former mall). Two other vehicles pulled up within 15 seconds.

The threat level was lowered when I explained that I write for the Toledo Free Press, and the security officer went out of his way to apologize for the sudden critical mass of forces.

There are a few perks to being a member of the media (pay is certainly not one of them); chief among these is the ability to get past the first levels of bureaucracy in an organization, as employees are typically nervous about saying the wrong thing to the media. Alas, this power only goes so far, as mid-level types are usually savvy enough not to be intimidated by a press badge.

My photos do not really do this story justice; an aerial photo might be a better way to capture the magnitude of the many thousands of DaimlerChrysler vehicles waiting for someone to purchase them.


Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike, I heard that these were being held for rework to avoid a future recall. A problem has been identified and they want it fixed before the leave the plant area.

The finished cars scheduled for rail shipment are in the impound/ship lot on Hill Ave.

That's what I heard anyway.

It would be foolish to make that many cars without customers waithing, wouldn't it?

Or, is this over production being used to break the people working at Stickney into submission?

I wonder...

Lisa Renee said...

Sigh...see I need a press pass.
Somehow "hey guys it's cool I'm just a blogger" I don't think would work. (lol)

I hope it's as HT said because that many unsold cars would be a problem. Though with the last report about consumer credit card debt new car sales going down is probably expected.

Lisa Renee said...

um let me clarify hoping it's HT's first statment not Stickney being forced into submission.


Anonymous said...

They have cars in many different areas always have. These are quotes I've heard in the last two days "I haven't had a weekend off all month and with the ten hours I really need to spend some time with my son" and "My arm gets way more sleep than I do". These are my friends and co-workers. It totally sucks to work at jeep(but hey I make 26 dollars a hour and atleast 10-11 dollars of that goes to taxes) it's extremely hard work and you have no life outside because your so tired.
Hooda thunkit I think they want to make sure they have enough cars to so unlike the Cherokee (people still wanted to buy) they will have an overflow because the new Wrangler will look different.

Anonymous said...

We lost our contract with the railroad.

Lloyd said...

I think DCX is trying to "picket proof" themselves....just my opinion.