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Kaiser Motors, a subsidiary of Kaiser Industries, was a manufacturer of automobiles in the United States from 1946–1963 based in Willow Run, Michigan (USA). The company was also known as Kaiser-Frazer from 1946 to 1951.
Its founders, Henry J. Kaiser was a United States industrialist and Joseph W. Frazer, president of the Graham-Paige Corporation started making an automobiles with the brand names Kaiser and Frazer after World War II. Kaiser-Frazer also built a small car called the Henry J, named for Henry Kaiser. The Henry J was also sold through Sears-Roebuck catalogs under the brand name Allstate.
In 1951 after too many disputes with Henry Kaiser, Joseph Frazer left Kaiser-Frazer and K-F was reorganized in 1952 under the name Kaiser Motors. In 1953, Kaiser purchased the assets of the Willys-Overland Corporation, makers of Willys cars and Jeep vehicles, and in 1954 merged the automotive manufacturing assets of both Kaiser and Willys under the name of Willys Motors, Incorporated.
Kaiser includes Deluxe, Carolina, Traveler, Dragon and Manhattan sedans.
Henry J, a small economy car including Corsair and Vagabond.
Darrin, the first production fiberglass sports car in the USA, beating Corvette to market by one month.
Willys, including "Aero-Willys" and all sub-trim levels include Aero-Lark, Aero Ace et al.
Jeep, including pick-ups, CJ Vehicles, all steel wagons, Wagoneer and Jeepster marques.
Allstate, designed to sell through and by Sears-Roebuck Department stores in the southern USA, a slightly restyled Henry J. The cars were equipped with Allstate products (tires, battery, etc.). The modest styling changes distinguishing the Allstate from the Henry J were executed by Alex Tremulis, the designer of the Tucker.
Production of Kaiser and Willys automobiles ceased during the 1955 model year, but production of Willys Jeeps in Toledo, Ohio continued. Kaiser continued automobile production in Argentina under the Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) name and in Brazil under the Willys do Brasil name, using the dies formerly employed in the U.S. well into the 1960s.
The company changed its name to Kaiser-Jeep in 1963. By 1969, Kaiser Industries decided to leave the auto business, which was sold to American Motors in 1970. As part of the transaction, Kaiser acquired a 22% interest in AMC, which it later divested. Included in the sale was the General Products Division, which Kaiser had purchased from Studebaker in 1964 as it prepared to leave the auto business itself. AMC renamed the division AM General, which still operates today, and is best known as the manufacturer of the Hummer.
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