Budd's innovative product was all-steel auto body parts. Among his first customers were the Dodge Brothers, whose 1915 all-steel-bodied touring car was a success. By the 1930s, it was pioneering the use of stainless steel in rail cars and building stainless-steel aircraft bodies. In the 1950s, Budd supplied virtually every major automaker in the United States. The company also moved into plastics, scientific measurement, electronics and nuclear energy, building an empire that would be stripped back to its automotive core in the 1970s and 1980s. Since 1978, Budd Co. has been owned by a German company, now ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG, a supplier to the automotive industry worldwide.
While the company survives, the Philadelphia plant closed in 2002. It was sold in 2004 to create the Budd Commerce Center - a project that was to include office, retail, residential, distribution and manufacturing facilities. Parts of the property have been reused, such as new offices for Temple University's administrative services and health system, but the majority of it remains abandoned.