Dana Holding Corporation outlined a $70-million plan to expand and improve a plant site in Toledo, OH, as a new “high-tech” axle manufacturing operation. Assembly of Dana 30 and Dana 44 axles would begin in late 2017, and future programs and assembly lines may be possible at the same location.

Dana’s expansion project will receive financial and other assistance from the State of Ohio, local and regional government and revenue agencies, electrical utility FirstEnergy Corp., and private development and employment agencies. It noted that its final commitment to the expansion plan remains subject to the formal approvals of financial incentives by state and local entities, which are expected later this month.

Both of the product lines associated with the new operation are automotive axle systems available as beam axle and independent suspension systems, and both are currently installed in several production programs by different automotive OEMs, in particular General Motors Corp. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Included among the vehicles that incorporate the axle products are FCA’s Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Liberty, and the new manufacturing operations will be located less than three miles from the automaker’s Toledo Assembly Complex. In fact, the new operation will be on a redeveloped site that once was home to Willys-Overland Motors, the onetime automaker that developed the original Jeep vehicle under commission from the U.S. military.

In addition to supplying FCA’s Jeep assembly operation, Dana’s expanded Toledo plant will supply axles to another, unnamed “global automaker.”

Dana noted its new plant is adjacent to Interstate 75 and well situated to support automakers throughout the region.

It plans to expand a newly built, 100,000-sq.ft. building to nearly 300,000 sq.ft. as part of the $70-million improvement. The manufacturer did not indicate what sort of equipment or systems would be installed in the plant. It predicted it would employ more than 300 by 2020.

Speaking of the manufacturer’s commitment to Toledo, where it is headquartered, president and CEO James Kamsickas, president and CEO, said "the investment in this new manufacturing facility is another substantial example of Dana's commitment to the city and our community.  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."