Since 1919, Holts has been a global leader in the manufacture of car care products, supplying superior performing appearance, repair, maintenance and winter products to the automotive aftermarket.
The Holts company began in 1919. Douglas Holt had spent time working for Austin Motor Company during the war, so had learned about cars and mechanics. Keen to use this knowledge and make money after the war, he opened a small shop selling spare car parts.
Using the money he made from selling off old Triumph stock, he bought a ticket to the USA where he first saw chemical products sold for repairing motor cars.
Finding a gap in the market on his return Holt focussed the business on chemical products. Wondarweld, a product still available today, was born.
When he returned to the UK, Douglas Holt realised that there was a gap in the market for chemical products which could repair motor cars. He decided to focus the business on these chemical products and fill this gap in the market. Wondarweld, a repair product for leaks which is still available today, was born.
When WW2 began, there were restrictions on cars, so Douglas Holt needed to diversify his business away from chemical car products. He decided to focus on engineering and Radweld Engineering LTD was established.
Holt continued to innovate, searching for ways to solve the everyday problems of drivers. He used his own experience as a driver, creating new products in response to problems with his own car. Gun Gum was one such product, When Holt’s exhaust needed repairing he developed the gum to seal the hole. Gun Gum is still available today and is one of Holts’ most successful ranges.
Holts became a family business, when Douglas’ elder son joined the company. He worked as a Chemist producing products alongside his father.
After success in the UK, Douglas Holt started to look further afield for new markets. Holts expanded into France and formed an alliance with General Motors, who had a full distribution network.
The company later expanded into Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy to help drivers across Europe repair their cars in emergencies.
Always searching for useful automotive repair products, Holts acquired Romac Ind Ltd. Romac made tyre repair and motor repair accessories – Tyreweld is an emergency repair product which seals punctures in tyres to get you back on the road. It’s still one of Holts most successful products. Holts and Romac went on to launch the successful safety belt buckle.
After many successful years, Douglas Holt died. His son took over the company and carried on his father’s legacy of solving drivers’ problems.
Holts continued to produce products for a range of automotive needs, including repairs and paints.
Holt Products Company merged with Lloyds Industries, and became Holt Lloyd. Today the company is known as Holt Lloyd International, and has 4 brands within its family. From humble beginnings, Holts was growing and becoming a recognised name across the world.
The expansion continued when Holt Lloyd was bought by Morgan Crucible. This made Holt Lloyd the largest car care group in the world, spanning many countries and markets.
After 10 years with Morgan Crucible, the companies parted ways. Members of Holt Lloyd led a management buyout from Morgan Crucible, and then Holt Lloyd was purchased by Allied Signal.
Simoniz was added to the Holt Lloyd family during this year as well. Simoniz is an established brand with decades of experience in car care products, and was a strong addition to Holt Lloyd.
Holt Lloyd added Prestone to the family alongside Holts, Redex and Simoniz. Prestone has a strong American heritage as makers of the number one coolant in the US. Their products are rigorously tested to ensure they excel in extremes, and has been a welcome addition to the Holts portfolio and the UK market.
Holt Lloyd was bought by KIK Custom Products, one of North America’s largest independent manufacturers of consumer packaged goods, and added to their family of manufacturing companies along with Prestone US. KIK have 5 consumer product units: Household, pool, personal care, hospitality and automotive – which Holts, Prestone, Simoniz and Redex sit under.
We’re celebrating our 100th birthday this year. A whole century of keeping cars running, and we’re still solving your problems today.