Chatham-Kent is the largest municipality within southwestern Ontario. At 2,458 square kilometres, it is the twelveth biggest municipality by area within Canada. During 1998 Kent County and its municipalities merged to become the modern Chatham-Kent. Practically half of the municipality's 110,000 people live within the previous Chatham City. Other population centres are Dresden, Blenheim, Ridgetown, Wallaceburg and Tilbury.
Located within Ontario's industrial heartland, Chatham-Kent has well developed agricultural and automotive sectors. The municipality has been nicknamed, "The Classic Car Capital of Canada." Hank Chrysler, father of Walter P. Chrysler (of the Chrysler company), was born within Chatham. Among Canada's earliest car manufacturers, Gray-Dort Motors Ltd., had its beginnings in Chatham City. AutoLiv Canada, which manufactures airbags, is located in Tilbury. The world's largest vintage automobile auction house, RM Auctions, and RM Restorations, the world's largest vintage automobile restoration company, are located within Blenheim.
The areas energy and agricultural sectors are thriving. Commercial Alcohols, amongst the biggest ethanol plants in the world is situated in Chatham-Kent. The biotechnology company Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited has its headquarters in the municipality of Chatham-Kent. The largest producer of fresh fish and second biggest frozen vegetable processor in Canada, Omstead Foods is situated here. Thompsons Limited is a third-generation, family owned and operated business headquartered within Blenheim serving the agricultural industry with a network of modern elevators situated across the United States and Southern Ontario. Thompsons even has retail centres selling fertilizer, seed, crop protectants and other agricultural services. Under its Hyland Seeds brand, the business sells popcorn, seed and bean products. Chatham-Kent attracts lots of foreign labourers to work on area farms during the growing season. The head office of Union Gas are situated in Chatham. The land along the shore of Lake Erie has proven perfect for the establishment of lots of wind farms.
For the surrounding population, Chatham is the retail center. Big-box stores are especially many at the north end of St. Clair Street within Chatham and on Communication Road in Blenheim.
The company of Mallory Industries is an international company based in Blenheim, and within Sioux City, Iowa. The company makes wash brushes and squeegees throughout North America. The successful company was started by George W. Mallory in 1891 within Guilds. The factory began in Mallory's home and moved to Blenheim in 1914. Its present location is on Communication Road south of Blenheim, where it situated during 1957.