The first moving assembly line for automobiles was developed by Ford Motor Company, transforming cars from unaffordable luxuries into transportation for the masses.
Elias Fife (pictured) and Ralph Van Allen establish Standard Motor Products (SMP) in New York City, specializing in ignition and electrical products.
A west coast branch was opened in Seattle with co-founder Ralph Van Allen as general manager.
SMP moves across the East River to Long Island City, NY.
Elias Fife, (third from right) leading the company’s first sales force, vows to have a “sales force second to none.”
The first American car with four-wheel hydraulic brakes, the Duesenberg Model A, is developed, replacing ones that relied on the pressure of the driver’s foot alone.
Irving Beck, a manufacturer of battery cables, leases space for his operation in SMP’s building on 10th Street, the company's first Queens location. The move made battery cable products the first items to be manufactured at Standard Motor Products.
Engineer Francis W. Davis began exploring how steering could be made easier, and in 1926 invented, demonstrated and patented the first practical power steering system. The Chrysler Imperial sedan was the first vehicle to adopt power steering.
The SMP product line expands to include wire and cable.
SMP begins manufacturing automotive ignition parts. Shipped from Standard in bulk, these ignition parts were stored by installers in glass jars (pictured). As inventories grew and part numbers multiplied, individual cardboard folding cartons replaced the glass jar storage system.
Standard Motor Products markets its products overseas, headed by, Dorothy Lewes, SMP's first Export Manager.
Delco-Remy, a subsidiary of General Motors, initiates a lawsuit against P&D, a prominent aftermarket manufacturer of ignition point sets, claiming infringement of Delco’s design patents. Although SMP was not named as a defendant, Elias Fife knew that a victory for Delco-Remy would mean the end of the aftermarket industry. Fife assumed leadership of the defense of this case, and personally directed the legal efforts on behalf of the entire industry. Going all the way to The Supreme Court, the aftermarket industry won its case and established “The Right to Repair." A motorist has the right to bring their vehicle to any repair shop they choose and, in turn, the repair shop may purchase parts from any source they choose.
EIS Manufacturing was founded in a quiet Bronx residential neighborhood next door to Schwarz Auto Parts. Salesmen drove EIS "Missionary Cars" delivering product information directly to the installer.
Irving Beck sells his wire and cable manufacturing business to SMP, and joins the company as a purchasing agent.
Elias Fife markets Blue Streak®, a premium-quality line of automotive products designed to combat the growing perception about aftermarket replacement parts. The Blue Streak® name became synonymous with premium quality in the automotive aftermarket with a product that was actually superior to the OE part.
Flashing turn signals are introduced.
Bernard Fife (right), son of founder, Elias Fife, joins SMP.
SMP moves from its 10th Street location to its current location at 37-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City, New York.
The first air conditioning system is added to automobiles.
Oldsmobile introduces the first mass-produced, fully automatic transmission.
Standard Motor Products begins marketing products in Canada.
Nathanial Sills, Elias Fife’s son-in-law, joins the company.
SMP acquires Hygrade® Products, Co. and expands its product line to include carburetor repair parts, fuel pumps, shock absorber parts and speedometer cables.
In July 1950, the company begins The “25 Year Club” tradition honoring the service and dedication of employees who have been with the company for 25 years. To date, the "25 Year Club" has over 1,000 members. The tradition still continues nearly 70 years later.
The first cruise control mechanism is developed and is now standard on today’s vehicles.
Chrysler Corporation introduced the first commercially available power steering system for passenger cars on the 1951 Chrysler Imperial.
Blue Streak®/ Hygrade® Motor Products, Ltd. is established in Canada.
SMP becomes a publicly owned company with stock being first traded over the counter.
Blue Streak® brand introduces Lubripoints, an advanced assembled contact breaker point set featuring patented Lubriwick technology.
Automakers introduce the PCV system to begin to reduce harmful emissions.
The first electronic fuel injection system is developed.
Standard Motor Products opens Stanric, its first offshore factory in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Larry Sills, grandson of Elias Fife and a member of the family's third generation, begins his SMP apprenticeship.
Seeking to diversify and supply a fuller range of products, SMP acquires Champ Items. Originally Champion Window Anti-Rattler Company, Champ was started in 1929 by a former mechanic and car salesman who introduced the line with a window shim for the Model A Ford.
Taking the first steps necessary towards becoming a basic manufacturer of electronic ignition parts, a separate Electronics Engineering group is created by SMP.
Larry Sills addresses the SMP sales force at the 1973 National Sales Meeting. SMP is well on its way to meeting Elias Fife's original vision that Standard would have "a sales force second to none."
Standard Motor Products is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SMP.
Four Seasons® Comfort Controls of Fort Worth, TX, a rebuilder of automotive compressors and regional air conditioning manufacturer, is purchased by SMP.
SMP purchases Carco Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, a manufacturer of automotive climate controls.
SMP introduces the first technician clinics focusing on electronics.
SMP begins wire and cable production in the Edwardsville, KS facility. A wire and cable line is introduced in Canada shortly thereafter.
Lincoln introduces the first American car with an antilock braking system (ABS). Today SMP offers over 2,400 ABS Sensors.
Taking the lead from Japanese manufacturing processes, “just-in-time” delivery and statistical process control becomes popular.
SMP temperature controls division is formed as Four Seasons® and Carco consolidates and move to Grapevine, TX.
SMP purchases electronics operation from Fairchild’s Hybrid Products Division.
SMP acquires Guaranteed Parts and Sorensen Industries, two manufacturers of ignition and fuel system parts
SMP introduces a temperature control line in Canada.
SMP consolidates three smaller warehouses into one 400,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Disputanta, Virginia.
SMP introduces counterperson training programs to support our customers and raise brand awareness.
SMP enters a joint venture with Lavi Electronics, a Toronto remanufacturer of engine control computers. Standard acquired a majority interest, and the company was renamed Blue Streak Electronics, Inc.
Eric Sills, great-grandson of Elias Fife and a member of the family's fourth generation, begins his tenure at SMP.
The passage of the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 encourages alternative fuel vehicles.
SMP appears on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest industrial corporations as a leader in the Motor Vehicles and Parts category.
Blue Streak® Europe is established giving SMP an expanded global presence.
SMP acquires Federal Parts, a leading manufacturer of economy wire sets.
SMP acquires oxygen sensor manufacturing business from Allied Signal expanding its manufacturing base in the growing sensor category.
Standard Motor Products celebrates 75 years in business.
SMP starts up Unimotor® in Ontario, Canada to manufacture blower and radiator fan motors.
Responding to the need for technician training to keep pace with advancing technology, SMP opens its corporate training center in Irving, Texas.
SMP acquires Hayden®, a manufacturer of fan clutches and transmission oil coolers, to continue its expansion of the Temperature Control Division.
SMP's Electronics Business Unit moves to new facilities in Orlando, FL to continue its advanced manufacturing of automotive electronic components.
SMP engineers develop advanced, double-wire bonding and heat-sink technology for electronic modules creating a stronger, better performing and longer lasting automotive electronic control module.
Cadillac offers automatic stability control, increasing safety in emergency handling situations.
The Toyota Prius was only available in Japan when it first went on sale in 1997, and became the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2000.
The modern-day airbag became standard on vehicles, significantly increasing driver and passenger safety.
Maxair, Everco and Murray become part of the Four Seasons® division of SMP expanding SMP's automotive temperature control offering.
SMP corporate training introduces professional diagnostic seminars continuing the company's commitment to educate automotive technicians.
Carol Cable Ltd, a UK wire manufacturer, becomes part of SMP Holdings Ltd.
SMP enters fuel injection manufacturing by purchasing selected assets of Sagem, Inc., a basic manufacturer of fuel injectors and related parts, from Johnson Controls, Inc.
Dana Corporation agreed to sell a significant portion of the Engine Management operations of its Automotive Aftermarket Group to Standard Motor Products, and the BWD®, Niehoff and Echlin brands join the SMP family. SMP becomes a supplier to NAPA® with the Echlin® brand.
SMP acquires Canadian Engine Management Business from Dana Corporation and begins integrating functions into SMP's Mississauga, Ontario location.
Four Seasons® division receives Environmental Management System ISO 14001:2004 certification for green manufacturing setting the standard for all of SMP's facilities.
Standard Motor Products begins remanufacturing compressors at its plant in Reynosa, Mexico. Today, SMP has three manufacturing facilities in Reynosa; Temperature Control, Engine Management and Wire and Cable.
SMP opens manufacturing facility in Bialystok, Poland to serve expanding European markets.
SMP develops a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) compatible fuel injector establishing the company as a leader and innovator in fuel system technologies.
All vehicles made or sold in the U.S. are now required to have Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). SMP has added TPMS sensors to its growing engine control line.
SMP acquires Federal Mogul Wire product line adding the well respected Belden® brand to the wire lineup. SMP begins supplying Belden® Edge® wire sets to NAPA®.
Unimotor® develops hybrid battery cooling blower for low-emission hybrid trucks establishing SMP as a leader in this advanced technology.
SMP launches Intermotor® brand in the United States establishing SMP as a leader in the engine management import market.
SMP steps into the age of social media with its first Facebook brand page. SMP Facebook pages now include Standard®, Four Seasons®, BWD®, Intermotor®, TechSmart®, ACI®, Hayden Automotive® and Standard Motorcycle®.
SMP is a major contributor to a redesigned HVAC system for the military HUMVEE, helping to engineer a solution to reduce the oppressive in-vehicle temperature. Three SMP Temperature Control division plants, in the US and Canada, engineered, manufactured and supplied the A/C compressor, evaporator, heater core, condenser coils, front and rear HVAC motor housing assemblies and the condenser fan assemblies. As the result of SMP engineering and ingenuity, the in-vehicle temperature was lowered from 95ºF to 83ºF for a 13% reduction.
Flanked by SMP Board of Directors, CEO, Lawrence Sills, rings the NYSE Closing Bell to commemorate SMP's 90th anniversary.
SMP's Hong Kong facility transitions from manufacturing to procurement while maintaining an engineering support staff.
Hayden®, a manufacturer of fan clutches and transmission oil coolers, moves into the Grapevine, Texas facility.
SMP uploads its first YouTube video, welcoming a new age of product communication, motorist interaction, and technical training. Today SMP video channels have more than 27 million views.
SMP launches the Standard® Motorcycle Products Brand.
SMP develops and launches the Techsmart® brand. TechSmart® is designed to provide a line of enhanced engine control products to the professional service technician with a focus on new technology, new categories and problem-solving improvements to the original part.
On July 12, 2011 Standard® Brand joins the social media site Twitter and posts its first tweet. Today BWD®, TechSmart®, and Intermotor® brands join Standard® in the Twitter universe.
SMP acquires BLD® products engine controls business expanding SMP's basic footprint in emission controls with PCV valve manufacturing.
Forecast® Trading Company is acquired by SMP, and the OEM brand becomes part of the SMP family.
"Making it in America" in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of The Atlantic Magazine prominently features SMP, highlighting the story of American manufacturing, its challenges and the people who make it possible. CEO, Larry Sills was interviewed along with other SMP employees for this narrative which was also broadcast nationally on NPR radio.
The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, referred to as Right to Repair, takes a giant leap forward as the Massachusetts legislature passed H. 4362, a Right to Repair bill on July 31, 2012 marking the first time that this federal legislation will become law.
CompressorWorks® is acquired by SMP joining Four Seasons as a key brand in the automotive compressor category in SMP Temperature Control Division.
SMP counts more than 60,000 in its growing family of Facebook "fans" across its popular brands.
SMP acquires an equity position in Orange Electronics giving SMP a manufacturing base in TPMS sensor manufacturing. Orange has been an innovator in the field of wireless tire pressure monitoring systems, is certified worldwide, and has received many awards and patents for TPMS innovation including one for advanced TPMS Clone-able technology.
SMP acquires the assets of Pensacola Fuel Injection's diesel remanufacturing. Providing an expanded base for diesel fuel system manufacturing, the acquisition includes a wide range of diesel fuel injectors, diesel pumps and turbo chargers.
SMP forms a joint venture with Gwo Yng Enterprise Co., Ltd., a basic manufacturer of air conditioning accumulators, filter driers, hose assemblies and switches for the automotive aftermarket, original equipment and original equipment service markets. SMP also acquires the assets of Annex Manufacturing, a distributer of a variety of temperature control products for the automotive aftermarket.
SMP launches its SMP Parts App for Apple and Android devices in September. Key features include a UPC scanner, a search function and access to rich content such as install instructions and videos.
In November, Standard Motor Products launched its revamped Standard Brand website featuring responsive architecture, an all-new interface and a redesigned eCatalog. As a result, it has never been easier to filter through Standard Brand’s more than 40,000 parts. The website’s user-friendly format has been applied to other SMP brand websites over time.
On the heels of its 95th anniversary, SMP looks to the future by appointing Eric Sills as President of the company. As the great-grandson of Elias Fife and son of CEO Lawrence Sills, Eric Sills becomes the fourth generation of the Fife/Sills family to be appointed to the Office of the Chief Executive.
During the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Opening General Session in November, SMP Chairman and CEO Larry Sills was presented with the AWDA's most prestigious honor, the Jack Creamer Leader of the Year Award.
In March, President Eric Sills becomes the fourth CEO in SMP’s history. He’s also appointed to the Board of Directors. Former CEO Larry Sills is named Executive Chairman of the Board.
SMP acquires the North American automotive ignition wire business from General Cable to expand an already extensive ignition wire offering.
In April, SMP launches its Standard Interactive Buyer’s Guide. Consisting of seven interactive, illustrated parts guides, the tool allows customers to search across all Standard® parts guides at the same time. Plus, search results are highlighted for easy identification, and the part numbers in each index and parts guide link to SMP’s award-winning eCatalog.
Larry Sills, Executive Chairman of the Board, celebrates 50 years at SMP. During his tenure at SMP, the grandson of SMP founder, Elias Fife, has held several important positions including General Sales Manager, Vice President of Operations, company President and CEO.
In August, Standard Motor Products became the first manufacturer to have TPMS sensors registered with NSF® International, a leading independent, accredited organization that tests and verifies the functionality of products and systems. NSF® TPMS registration provides third-party assurance to consumers, shops and insurance companies that our aftermarket TPMS sensors meet all applicable federal requirements and will fit and function properly in a manner equivalent to the OE sensor on the vehicle.
SMP is accepted to the Manufactured Again (MERA) Certification program. Based on ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 quality standards, the program helps customers identify remanufactured products with like-new quality and warranty coverage while also promoting environmentally friendly standards. To receive certification, SMP was required to provide third-party evidence that its facilities conformed to MERA's quality standards.
SMP forms joint venture with Foshan Guangdong Automotive Air Conditioning Co., Ltd. (FGD), a China-based manufacturer of air conditioning compressors for the automotive aftermarket and the Chinese Original Equipment market. The new company is named Foshan FGD SMP Automotive Compressor Co., LTD.
SMP expands its line of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) components for its Standard® and Intermotor® lines. The expansion of ADAS components includes Blind Spot Detection Sensors, Cruise Control Distance Sensors and Lane Departure System Cameras and provides coverage for all major domestic and Japanese manufacturers including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.
Building on our rich history of quality and durability, we’re proud to say that Blue Streak® is stronger than ever. Our Blue Streak® program includes our original Blue Streak® products such as points, condensers, caps and rotors, as well as our new heavier-duty, longer-lasting ignition coils that are engineered and manufactured at our TS16949-certified facility in Bialystok, Poland.
We're excited to announce that our new Standard® packaging won the New Packaging Showcase Award for Marketing at this year's AAPEX show. As a full-service supplier, we're committed to excellence across all of our departments, whether it's product, engineering, training, sales, or marketing. We'd like to give a special thanks to our marketing team and our agency, TFI Envision, for all the hard work that went into this design.
At this year's AWDA Opening Session, Standard Motor Products was presented with the Art Fisher Memorial Scholarship Award. The award is given to a company or individual in recognition of their leadership and commitment to education and training, either within their own organization or throughout the auto care industry. On behalf of our world-class training team, we're honored to accept this award.
Standard Motor Products announces that it is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Over the years, SMP has grown by leaps and bounds from the company that Elias Fife founded in 1919. SMP now employs approximately 4,400 people, generates over a billion dollars in net sales, operates in more than 25 facilities around the world, and is a leading independent manufacturer and distributor of replacement parts in the automotive aftermarket.
Eric Sills, CEO and President, and a fourth-generation descendant of the founder, stated, “In this highly competitive industry, we owe our sustained success to both the dedication of our talented employees as well as to our loyal customers. We are committed to entering our next centennial with the same determination and ingenuity that has made SMP the automotive market leader that it is today.”
To commemorate its 100th anniversary in business, Standard Motor Products rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
SMP acquires assets of MK Company Ltd., a plastic injector molder in London, Ontario. MK Company will now be known as the Unimotor Plastics Department.
SMP announces the launch of its SMP Cares website, a new site dedicated to highlighting the company’s efforts supporting local communities through service, volunteerism and donations.
With the high demand for oxygen and ventilating equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SMP’s Temperature Control Division has delivered heat exchangers suitable for oxygen concentrators and oxygen generators, key components used in the production of medical ventilators.
The inaugural report summarizes SMP's commitment to be environmentally and socially responsible, and highlights the Company’s initiatives, goals and achievements related to ethics, its business, its employees and communities, and the planet.
SMP acquires the particulate matter sensor product line from Stoneridge Inc. The advanced emissions control technology is used in commercial vehicles expanding use in the original equipment heavy-duty market.
Eric Sills, President and CEO of Standard Motor Products and incoming Board Chairman of AASA, speaks before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Commerce. He was one of only four to testify on supply chain resilience and American competitiveness.
The hearing took place virtually and can be viewed on the Committee webpage HERE. Read Sills’ full testimony HERE.
SMP acquires Trombetta, a worldwide leader in providing power switching and power management products to OE customers in various markets. With the acquisition of Trombetta, SMP adds manufacturing facilities in Tijuana, Mexica, Milwaukee, WI, Sheboygan Falls, WI as well as a majority ownership in a joint venture in Wuxi, China.
SMP acquires Stabil, a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of components, including electronic sensors, control units and clamping devices to the European OE market, servicing both commercial and light vehicle applications. Stabil has facilities in Pécel, Hungary and Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany.
SMP shows its support and gratitude to Long Island City healthcare workers as they continue to care for patients combating COVID-19. SMP employees donated over $1,000 in healthy snacks that were distributed to Mount Sinai’s key personnel in Astoria.
SMP give back to our communities through the extraordinary generosity in both time and money donations in 2021. Additionally, SMP continued to support the training and education of our next generation of technicians and automotive students through its Annual Scholarship Contest.
SMP is recipient of the 2021 Spirit of NAPA trophy, presented at NAPA Auto Parts’ Vendor Summit and Supplier Awards Banquet on May 25, 2022.
In presenting the award, Jamie Walton, NAPA’s Executive Vice President & Chief Merchandising Officer, had this to say about SMP’s performance, “The Spirit of NAPA encompasses market leadership, outstanding products and service, and a firm commitment to winning the right way with integrity.” Continued Walton, “Equally as impressive was the fact that despite a sales increase beyond expectations and global supply challenges, this supplier maintained a fill rate well above the Industry.”
Q2 2022 delivered record sales of electric vehicles with 196,788 sold, or 66.4% more than in Q2 2021. With these sales, electric vehicles account for 5.6% of new vehicle sales. While electric vehicles still account for less than 1% of vehicles on the road, SMP is committed to expanding our offering for electric and hybrid vehicles.
SMP introduces a new operating segment, “Engineered Solutions,” focusing on non-Aftermarket end markets, including both on-highway (commercial and light vehicles) and off-highway (construction, agriculture, power sports, and other) applications. Offerings include product categories from both of SMP’s legacy operating segments and provide a broad array of conventional and future-oriented technologies, including those that are specific to vehicle electrification and those that are powertrain-neutral.
With the introduction of Engineered Solutions, SMP announces its intent to rename its Engine Management segment to “Vehicle Control” to more accurately reflect the evolution of the products and categories SMP offers, and the future areas of product growth including powertrain-neutral and electrification-specific offerings. The three subcategories of the segment include “Ignition, Emissions and Fuel,” “Wire Sets and Other,” and “Electrical and Safety.”