Duralast is one of the leading automotive aftermarket parts brands in the world, with a well-earned reputation for quality, value, and reliability. Established in 1969, the company has grown and expanded its range of products to include everything from brakes and belts to batteries and spark plugs. But how did it all begin? In this post, we’ll uncover the origin of Duralast and the story behind where it’s made.
Where it All Started
Duralast was founded by two brothers, Alan and Robert Smith, who were passionate about cars and wanted to make sure that everyone had access to quality aftermarket parts. With an initial investment of only a few hundred dollars, the brothers set up shop in their parents’ basement in 1969 and got to work designing and manufacturing their own aftermarket parts.
At first, the brothers focused mainly on brakes and brake parts, but over time their range of products soon expanded to include batteries, ignition systems, and other wear parts. In order to stay ahead of the competition, they invested heavily in research and development, pioneering new techniques and technologies that would eventually become industry standard.
Breaking Into the Automotive Aftermarket
In the early days, the brothers focused their efforts on selling their parts directly to automotive shops. However, as the company grew, they began to realize the potential of reaching out to a wider audience. With this in mind, they began selling their parts through retail outlets such as auto parts stores and even department stores. This opened up a much larger market for the brothers, allowing them to make a substantial impact on the automotive aftermarket.
The Birth of the Duralast Brand
In the late 1970s, the company decided to rebrand themselves as Duralast, a brand name that has become synonymous with quality and reliability in the automotive aftermarket. The new name reflected the company’s commitment to producing reliable, durable parts that could stand up to the rigors of daily driving. The company also began using the iconic Duralast logo, which quickly became a recognizable symbol of quality and dependability.
The success of the Duralast brand in the United States gave the company the confidence to expand their operations into Europe and Asia. In the early 1980s, the company began manufacturing and distributing their parts in several countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. This international expansion allowed them to reach new markets and customers, further cementing their place as a leading automotive aftermarket brand.
Today, Duralast is a global leader in the automotive aftermarket and continues to produce quality parts with an emphasis on reliability and durability. The company has invested heavily in research and development, introducing new technologies that have revolutionized the industry. From brakes to batteries and spark plugs, Duralast has a reputation for providing customers with the best in automotive aftermarket parts.
Where it’s Made
The majority of Duralast’s parts are manufactured in the United States, with plants located in North Carolina, Indiana, and Illinois. The company is committed to using the latest technologies to produce high-quality parts, and all of their plants are staffed by experienced technicians who are highly knowledgeable about automotive aftermarket parts.
The company also has manufacturing facilities in China and Mexico, as well as a distribution center in the United Kingdom. This allows them to reach customers all over the world, ensuring that they can provide the best parts and service wherever their customers may be.
Duralast is an iconic aftermarket brand that has been providing quality automotive parts for over 50 years. From humble beginnings in the Smith brothers’ basement, to a global leader in the automotive aftermarket, Duralast has earned its reputation for quality, value, and reliability. With a commitment to research and development, and manufacturing plants around the world, Duralast is well positioned to remain at the forefront of the automotive aftermarket.
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