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John North Willys


In 1906 John North Willys organized the American Motor Car Sales Company to sell the entire output of the Overland Company. During THE panic of 1907 he acquired the manufacturing facilities of the Pope-Toledo Company in an effort to revive the sinking Overland concern. The company was moved to Toledo with Willys as president and in 1908 the production of Willys-Overland totaled 4,000 units. By 1915 Willys-Overland production reached 94,500, second only to Ford. After a post-war bankruptcy threat was averted by Walter P. Chrysler, the company prospered, and in 1929 John N. Willys sold his holdings for $21 million. Hard times after the market crash prompted Willys to return to the company in 1932, but his attempts to save it from bankruptcy were unsuccessful, and Willys-Overland went into receivership in 1933. In 1953 the firm became part of Kaiser Industries Corporation.

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