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.
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 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.
In 2019 we celebrated our 100th birthday! A whole century of helping drivers solve their car problems, and keep vehicles on the road. Here’s to the next 100 years.