About Autolite

Autolite Company History

The birth of Autolite® began in 1911 when two small companies started producing buggy lamps, and became a thriving automotive parts manufacturer by the 1930s. But its history as a spark plug manufacturer began in 1935 when Royce G. Martin, President of the Electric Autolite Company, equipped and staffed a lab to develop the first Autolite spark plug. Leading the project was Robert Twells, a ceramic engineer, who eagerly researched current patents and ceramic insulator technology. With a handful of new draftsman and staff members, it only took a few months before the Electric Autolite Company had a spark plug available for distribution. Autolite had instant success, as the brand supplied spark plugs and other ignition parts to well-known automotive leaders including Chrysler, Studebaker, Packard and Willys.

  • 1936 - First Autolite Spark Plug produced  - Fostoria, OH.
  • 1948 - The Autolite Resistor Spark Plug was introduced.
  • 1956 - Autolite produces first Power Tip Spark Plug.
  • 1961 - Autolite purchased by Ford.
  • 1973 - Autolite purchased by Bendix.
  • 1976 - Autolite® produced first Suppressor Spark Plug.
  • 1983 - The Allied Corporation acquired Bendix.  In the 1983 merger, the three brand names FRAM, Bendix, and Autolite became part of Allied Automotive, one of the five business sectors of Allied Corporation.
  • 1987 - Autolite produces first Platinum Spark Plug for Ford O.E.
  • 1989 - Autolite produces Six Billionth Spark Plug.
  • 2002 - Autolite produces Nine Billionth spark plug.
  • 2003 - Autolite produces first High Thread Spark Plug for Ford Triton Engine with 3 valve design - released O.E. in 2004.
  • 2005 - Autolite produces first XP .6mm Fine Wire Xtreme Performance® Spark Plug.
  • 2007 - In April, the Autolite® brand produced its 10 billionth spark plug.  Autolite also introduces several new products including Coil-on-Plug Insulator Boots, Premium Small Engine spark plugs (Xtreme Sport® and Xtreme Start ), and two new innovative lighting products, the Flareglo Safety Lite and the Spaceglo Utility Lite.
  • 2013 – Autolite debuts a new look and logo for the brand
  • 2014 – Autolite launches new packaging graphics for its spark plugs