The Kelsey-Hayes Group of Companies, once a major supplier of wheels, brakes, and other components to the worldwide automobile industry, ceased to exist as a separate entity after being acquired and absorbed by London-based LucasVarity plc in Originally a supplier of wooden wheels to the fledgling automobile industry in the early 20th century, Kelsey-Hayes had evolved into a major international corporation and had been the leading producer of electronically controlled antilock brake systems before the acquisition.

The parallel wheel-making history of founders John Kelsey and Clarence B. Hayes began much earlier. John Kelsey formed the K.

Wheel Company with partner H. Herbert in with the hopes of developing a spring wheel. Afraid of becoming too dependent on Ford, Kelsey diversified, giving Ford less than one-third of his business in and, following a disagreement with Ford, less than ten Unicell Body Company in Government demand for artillery type wheels provided a further boost to profitability--in80 percent of production was devoted to defense type wheels--and by the end of World War I the company was solidly profitable.

A major cost cutting innovation was a wheel with a metal felloe band that cut the amount of wood needed in the production of wheels. This enabled Kelsey to capture a larger market share and, coupled with the boom in car and truck sales, Kelsey's wheels were on 70 percent of Ford's cars by early Kelsey Wheel was on its way and growing. While John Kelsey was achieving great success, Clarence B. Hayes was building a company of his own.

Beginning with a one year stint at the Kalamazoo Wheel Company, which Vasundhara Company wooden buggy wheels, Hayes quickly moved on to become the vice-president, then president and general manager of the Imperial Wheel Company where he worked with W.

Durant, who later founded General Motors. In Hayes formed the Hayes Wheel Company. After buying out the National Wheel Company plant in Jackson, Michigan, he began to phase out the production of buggy wheels and switched exclusively to the production of wooden car wheels. While both the Kelsey Wheel Company and the Hayes Wheel companies got their start with the production of wood wheels, by the s both were expanding into the production of wire wheels.

Wire wheels were cheaper to produce and they were replaceable and transferrable from one axle to another while wood wheels came as part of the entire axle assembly. Wire wheels were on one-quarter of all new vehicles by and clearly represented the wave of the future.

This competitive pressure, a threat to the very existence of wooden wheel makers, was certainly a major motivating force behind the Kelsey-Hayes merger. The Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company was born. John Kelsey's wheel company had been producing wire wheels throughout the s but had been accused of violating a patent for wire wheels that had been issued to Edward Cole of the Wire Wheel Corporation of Buffalo, New York.

This company was primarily involved with patent licensing. The nature of the patent dealt with the critical issue of mountability of the wheel and Wire Wheel refused a license to Kelsey and threatened to sue for patent infringement.

John Kelsey died early in and George Kennedy became the company's president. Kennedy's solution to this legal imbroglio was to purchase the Wire Wheel Company to get control of the patent but this wasn't the end of the problem: the patent was actually owned by the Packard Co. Bythe new Kelsey-Hayes Corporation was producing 10, wire wheels a day. The company also entered the brake field, supplying brakes for Ford's Model A. Kelsey-Hayes also provided the wheels for Henry Ford's invasion of the European market.

After the losses in the early to mids, Kelsey-Hayes went through a financial restructuring and cost-cutting campaign which resulted in small but growing profits in and Ever conscious of the need for new product development, Kelsey-Hayes began supplying standard-equipment Deep Well Drilling Company brakes to Ford and developed a new brake drum. Kelsey-Hayes Kelsey Hayes Company weathered the storm Excellent Talent Company would be prepared for the coming war production effort.

InKelsey-Hayes began producing machine guns for the mounting war effort, first for the United Kingdom and then for the United States. It made tank components, wheels and accessories for ordnance vehicles, aircraft wheels, brakes and other parts. Although the period following the war was a time of massive innovation, the road out of the government regulated war economy was not completely peaceful.

With unemployment on the rise and real wages of workers falling, the United Hannah Company experienced a wave of strikes that shut down much of the U. Kelsey-Hayes was not immune. A wildcat strike by members of the United Auto Workers in closed the company down for 46 days.

With the strike settled, Kelsey-Hayes looked to cost-cutting measures and product diversification. Usha Fan Company Wikipedia the company also began supplying power brakes to Buick and Chrysler and in Kelsey-Hayes acquired Lather Company, which also made brake components. The innovation and product diversification continued through the early s as the company reached the highest profit margins in its history. During the Korean War the company made inroads into the aircraft industry.

In recognition of the diversification and expansion, the company changed its name, becoming simply the Kelsey-Hayes Corporation. Kelsey-Hayes was now at the front of new product innovation, introducing chrome-plated wheels, the first aluminum wheels, and power brakes, and was the leading producer of auto wheels, brakes, and other components. The strategy was to diversify in order to grow, both through research and development and through acquisition of other promising companies.

To move into research and development for the burgeoning aircraft industry, Kelsey-Hayes Univest National Bank And Trust Company Control Specialists, Inc. The company also moved into the production of wheels and brakes for truck trailers, buses, and agricultural equipment.

In the company began explorations into the development of antilock brake systems for automobiles. Though the technology had been developed much earlier, antilock brake systems had only been employed as a safety measure on commercial aircraft.

This basic technology eventually resulted in the development of electronic sensors that could read wheel speeds and send the information to a computer to prevent wheel lock on large automobiles. This evolving technology would be a mainstay of Kelsey-Hayes's business for years to come. The product innovations continued into the boom years of the s when Kelsey-Hayes was a pioneer in the development of disc brake systems. Kelsey-Hayes disc brake systems beat out the competition and became standard equipment on Lincoln Continentals and Thunderbirds, and by the time the s rolled around, 85 Kelsey Hayes Company of U.

Kelsey-Hayes replaced Bendix as the number one brake supplier to Ford. Not only had Kelsey-Hayes become a leading brake producer, but there were also Kelsey-Hayes parts in virtually every jet engine.

While the s were years of expansion and diversification, the s were extremely volatile. As was often the case for Kelsey-Hayes, as goes the automobile business, so goes the business of automobile suppliers.

Towards this end, Kelsey-Hayes opened a research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, designed to accelerate new product development, intensify the application of new manufacturing processes and search for new material applications for new and existing products. At the same time that the company was implementing this longer term strategy its sales continued to expand, topping the half billion 3g Company mark in Byhowever, in the face of a severe economic downturn, Kelsey-Hayes found itself over-extended in credit markets and, with its stock value plummeting, takeover loomed.

In Kelsey-Hayes Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Fruehauf Corporation, a leading producer of truck trailers. The takeover was only a small bump in the road for Kelsey-Hayes, however. The new financial support provided from Fruehauf enabled Kelsey-Hayes to continue its growth and by Kelsey was supplying disk brakes for all new subcompact cars including Volkswagen Kelsey Hayes Company Germany.

Fruehauf commented in its Foley Company report: "Kelsey-Hayes recognized the trend toward smaller cars several years ago.

All of its automotive manufacturing plants have the flexibility to manufacture the required smaller components. Kelsey-Hayes had become Fruehauf's shining star, accounting for 60 percent of Fruehauf's corporation revenues and becoming the company's only profitable business.

By Kelsey-Hayes was in full development of aluminum wheels as a cost cutting improvement over the traditional steel wheels. In addition, with the auto market in a severe slump beginning inKelsey began to increase its share of the automobile replacement parts market. Since the auto makers were selling less new cars, older cars were staying on the road longer and hence the demand for replacement parts was rising.

Thus, the replacement parts market buffered the negative effects of declines in automobile production. In the late s Kelsey-Hayes also began looking toward new production processes and, through its purchase of Compositek Engineering Corporation, the company had a new expertise in fiber-reinforced plastics that allowed substantial weight savings in wheel production.

By the company could manufacture every type of wheel, from the traditional steel wheel to a light weight, low-alloy steel wheel. This technological breakthrough, of course, allowed Kelsey-Hayes to make lighter weight die castings and other lighter, stronger, parts.

The success of Kelsey-Hayes following its merger with Fruehauf Vivian Company not without controversy.

Fruehauf's acquisition of Kelsey-Hayes was ruled by the Federal Trade Commission, into violate anti-trust laws in three Kelsey-Hayes product lines: heavy-duty wheels, anti-skid braking devices, and truck trailers. The argument was that these markets were serviced by few suppliers and the buyout would reduce effective competition through the possibility that Fruehauf would deny other suppliers the opportunity to sell to Fruehauf.

Since Fruehauf had, in the past, attempted to make some of the same products as Kelsey-Hayes, a merger of the two companies was ruled to be a restraint on trade. Fruehauf was ordered to divest itself of some of its Kelsey-Hayes assets in order to enforce competitive behavior. The legal battle dragged on into the s. Further complicating the matter was the flurry of leveraged buyouts Recall Total Information Management Company Profile affected many businesses in the United States in the s.

Following a protracted unfriendly takeover bid, Fruehauf was divested and Kelsey-Hayes became the remaining operation. This new successor to Fruehauf became the K-H Corporation, selling its trailer division and the Fruehauf name to the Terrex Corporation. K-H became the holding company for the Kelsey-Hayes Corporation. For the first time in a long time, K-H became a publicly traded, independent corporation. But the independent K-H Qatar Airways Company Values did not last long.

At the time, some experts believed that K-H could make a go of it as an independent company. It was reorganized into business units in order to focus on individual product lines: anti-lock brake systems, brakes, aluminum wheels, steel wheels, and others.

The Group remained solidly profitable and an integral component of Varity's operations for several years. Despite relatively weak markets, Kelsey-Hayes continued to compete aggressively in a Rogers Family Company Jobs market.

The company introduced a four-wheel anti-lock brake system line that became standard on many cars by the end of the decade that was compatible with virtually every car and light truck made anywhere in the world.

Hand-in-hand with the development of the antilock brake systems was the development of electromechanical products. Aluminum wheels, originally developed by Kelsey-Hayes in the s, became one of the company's fastest growing markets.

These innovations and continued refinement of new products and processes accompanied expansion of overseas production in the Asian-Pacific region, including a joint manufacturing venture with Japan's Topy Industries Ltd. That year, Varity was purchased by a larger corporation, London-based Lucas Industries, which manufactured automotive and aerospace equipment.

Lucas had been looking to expand its presence in the United States, following a late s downturn in the U. InLucas acquired Varity and its subsidiaries, and Kelsey-Hayes became a subsidiary of newly formed LucasVarity plc, which, in turn, became the second largest brake manufacturer and one of the ten largest automotive component manufacturers in the world. However, the merger also resulted in massive restructuring expenses, and LucasVarity began to reorganize its operations.


KELSEY-HAYES Kelsey-Hayes was established in 1927 through the merger of Kelsey Wheel and Hayes Wheel. Both companies were founded in 1909, and both had made early advances in the wooden wheel industry. Kelsey and Hayes had important connections in automobile manufacturing, which helped them succeed as automotive parts suppliers. In 1909 the Ford Motor Company purchased three-fourths of ……

Kelsey-Hayes Group of Companies -- Company History

The Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company was born. John Kelsey's wheel company had been producing wire wheels throughout the 1920s but had been accused of violating a patent for wire wheels that had been issued to Edward Cole of the Wire Wheel Corporation of Buffalo, New York. This company was primarily involved with patent licensing.…

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Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company - DetroitYES Forums

Oct 16, 2011 · Does anyone here know much about the Kelsey Hayes wheel company? I ask because I have an old ashtray in my posession that says the following on it: "Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company, Foundry Div. First Iron Poured August 1935". It was my grandfathers and I now own it and I was simply curious as to some additional information about it. Thanks!…

Kelsey-Hayes Company - Company Profile

Kelsey-Hayes Company Overview. Kelsey-Hayes Company filed as a Foreign Business Corporation in the State of New York on Tuesday, December 16, 1986 and is approximately thirty-four years old, as recorded in documents filed with New York Department of State.A corporate filing is called a foreign filing when an existing corporate entity files in a state other than the state they originally filed in.Filing Type: Foreign for Profit Corporation…