About Champion Laboratories

Our History of Innovative Automotive Filter Manufacturing

Since the humble beginnings of Luber-finer in 1936, Champion Laboratories, Inc. has grown into a global leader in automotive filter manufacturing. There have been many milestones along the way, highlighting our evolution as a private label automotive filter manufacturer and our success as a filter manufacturing partner. Here is a chronological history of how we became a trusted fuel dispenser filter supplier, a respected manufacturer of heavy duty filters and more.

 

Luber-finer® begins operation from a Los Angeles garage offering oil filters for passenger cars. Early success leads to a demand for truck applications and the development of the Luber-finer® 750 bypass filter.

1936

Kleen Pak Manufacturing Company is relocated to West Salem, IL. Howard Gaither is elected president of the company.

1955

Pyroil purchases Kleen Pak.

1956

Champion Laboratories patents the engine-end relief valve for spin-on oil filters, a major innovation in the industry.

1959

Tom Mowatt joins the company and works alongside Howard Gaither.

1964

Champion Laboratories and parent company Pyroil are acquired by STP Corporation and racing enthusiast Andy Granatelli.

1970

Pyroil becomes a division of Champion Laboratories.

1974

UIS, an international corporation headquartered in New York, purchases Champion Laboratories, providing strong financial backing for the company.

1975

Race car driver Jackie Stewart is named spokesman for national advertising campaign.

1977

Champion Laboratories acquires Luber-finer®.

1979

Howard Gaither retires and Tom Mowatt becomes president..

1981

Champion Laboratories acquires Lee.

1983

Pyroil is sold to Valvoline.

1988

York, South Carolina manufacturing facility receives ISO 9002 registration; Champion Laboratories is the first filter manufacturer in the United States to be certified.

1994

Eurofilter, Ltd. is acquired to increase penetration into global markets.

1995

Kleener cabin air filters are introduced, marking Champion Laboratories entry into a new, emerging aftermarket segment and reflecting the company's leadership position.

1995

Luber-finer® creates new packaging designs and logos for all its filters, adding installation instructions communicated through universal symbols.

1996

Champion is one of only 158 companies around the world recognized by General Motors with the prestigious QSP Supplier of the Year award.

1996

ISO 9001/QS-9000 registered.

1997

ISO/TS16949 Certification, West Salem Plant

2000

Luber-finer® introduces the Imperial XL extended life oil filter

2001

Champion Laboratories achieves ISO/TS16949 Certification, company wide.

2002

Champion Laboratories, manufacturer of Luber-finer® Filters, announces a $38 million investment in expansion of the Illinois and South Carolina facilities, including a 50,000 sq. ft. expansion of the Illinois facilities and new production equipment in both Illinois and South Carolina.

2002

Champion Laboratories, along with five other United Industrial Syndicate companies are purchased by The Carlyle Group. United Components, Inc. was formed by Carlyle to manage and grow the company.

2003

Tom Mowatt retires and John Evans becomes President. Champion launches the innovative heavy-duty Zgard 9750 By-Pass filter with a unique zinc composite filter media. Champion also successfully launches the new "Ecore Advanced Technology" spin-on filter.

2004

Champion Laboratories celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

2005

Champion Laboratories reaches industry recognized service levels and customer satisfaction.

2006

Luber-Finer® renews its commitment to empowering fleet managers, and those who support and service them, by launching Luber-Finer® University, a comprehensive interactive training and learning portal.

2016

Champion Laboratories expands its presence as a global supplier of quality filters by opening a facility in Shanghai, China.

2017