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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 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.
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.
2006 – Champion Laboratories reaches industry recognized service levels and customer satisfaction.
2016 – 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.
2020 – Luber-finer® and Champion Laboratories become part of First Brands Group, LLC (formerly TRICO Group).