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The 1954 KW Logo

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

INTEGRATING KAISER MOTORS WITH WILLYS MOTORS:

As mentioned in the 1955 testimony by Edgar Kaiser, initially when Kaiser purchased the Willys-Overlands assets, Kaiser Industries operated it as a separate automotive company called Willys Motors, an entity distinct from the other automotive company Kaiser Motors. Part of the reason for this was that both organizations had separate plants, Kaiser in Michigan (at Willow Run) and Willys in Toledo, and separate sales and distribution systems.

Step one of the integration was to blend the sales and marketing teams of Kaiser and Willys. Later, in early 1954, the Willow plant was shut down and manufacturing was moved to Toledo. By early 1955, most of the integration of Kaiser Motors into Willys Motors had been complete (I don’t know if Kaiser motors existed after that).

As a part of the integration strategy, and perhaps to bring cars, jeeps and truck under one umbrella logo, the marketing team introduced the Kaiser Willys name and the KW logo. These appear on a variety of brochures and documents from 1954, but pretty much disappear by early 1955. Here’s an example of the sales and dealers’ newspaper, the Kaiser Willys News. It features both the logo and the dual name:

kaiser-willys-news-example

But by early 1955, this KW and Kaiser disappears, replaced by just Willys and the W logo:

willys-news-example

Maury found this good example of Kaiser Willys coupled with the KW on a service manual. It also labels the sales division as the Kaiser Willys Sales Division.

1954-vintage-willys-service-time-schedule-manual

In terms of brochures, here’s an early 1954 version of a CJ-3B brochure with the KW:

1954-cj3b-brochure30

Here are the later 1954 versions of this same brochure, with the one on the left intended for the Willys-Overland Export Company, while the one on the right was marketed by the Willys Motors, Inc. Gone is KW and Kaiser Willys, though Willys and the W-O logo reappear on the Export brochure:

1954-cj3b-brochure-comparison

Willys-Overland Export brochure is on the left, while the standard brochure for Willys Motors is on the right.

Here’s another somewhat common brochure that I hadn’t dated until yesterday. That’s because it didn’t register with me that this brochure has both a KW logo and a KW-form number (KW-1706). It’s the Farm Power Brochure that extolled the virtues of four wheel drive and it’s practicality on the farm. I’ll just show the first and last images here. The full brochure can be seen in the post below.

1954-kw-1706-jeep-far-power-1-lores 1954-kw-1706-jeep-far-power-5-lores

There are quite a few examples of the KW and Kaiser Willys logos on documents. However, by 1955, those logos were mostly removed in favor of ‘Jeep’ and Willys.

Tomorrow, we’ll visit the initial attempts to harmonize sales brochures across models.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments on “The 1954 KW Logo

  1. David Eilers Post author

    Craig: “As part of a general push to place all of their corporate holdings under the Kaiser name, in 1963, the company changed the name of Willys Motors to Kaiser Jeep Corporation.”

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