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 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 and Radweld Engineering LTD was established.
Holt 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.
In 1948, Holts became a family business when Douglas Holt’s elder son started working for the company. He worked as a Chemist developing and helping to produce the car maintenance 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.
Holts acquired Romac Ind Ltd. Romac made tyre repair and motor repair accessories – Tyreweld is an emergency repair product which seals punctures in tyres. 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. Holts was growing and becoming a recognised name across the world.
The expansion continued when Holt Lloyd was bought by Morgan Crucible – Advanced Materials Group. 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.
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.
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.
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.