Company Background & History: Chronology

Chronology

The following is a chronology of the milestones marking the growth and success of Champion Laboratories, Inc.:

1936

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.

1955

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

1956

Pyroil purchases Kleen Pak.

1959

Champion (owned by Pyroil) is merged with Kleen Pak. The combined operations become Champion Laboratories.

1959

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

1964

Tom Mowatt joins the company and works alongside Howard Gaither.

1970

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

1974

Pyroil becomes a division of Champion Laboratories.

1975

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

1977

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

1979

Champion Laboratories acquires Luber-finer.

1981

Howard Gaither retires and Tom Mowatt becomes president.

1983

Champion Laboratories acquires Lee.

1988

Pyroil is sold to Valvoline.

1994

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

1995

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.

1996

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.

1997

ISO 9001/QS-9000 registered.

1999

Champion Laboratories breaks ground on new 200,000 square foot facility in Salitillo, Mexico

2000

ISO/TS16949 Certification, West Salem Plant

2001

Luber-finer introduces the Imperial XL extended life oil filter

2002

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.

2003

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.

2004

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.

2005

Champion celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Camilla Denison is Business Unit President of Champion Laboratories, Inc.

2006

Manufacturing operations cease in Saltillo, Mexico with production lines moved to the Albion facilities. Champion Laboratories reaches industry recognized service levels and customer satisfaction.