Simoniz® - A Ride Through Time
BORN IN 1910, the Simoniz brand is an American icon and notably, the world’s oldest and most recognized car appearance brand. Here is a look back in time at the legendary brand that shaped and revolutionized the car care, home care, and commercial and industrial markets in the United States and worldwide.
The Simoniz Company comes into being as the first American car wax company. Founded by George Simon, he along with Elmer Rich of the Great Northern Railway, organized the Simons Manufacturing Co. The firm’s products were named Simon’s Cleaner and Simon’s Paste Wax.
Mr. Rich and his brother, R.J. Rich, acquire full ownership and change the name of the firm to the Simoniz Company. Its first office and backroom factory was located at 2121 Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Rich creates what was to become one of the world’s best known slogans: “Motorists Wise, Simoniz”. When radio attained prominence, Simoniz was quick to take advantage of the novel opportunities afforded by the new medium. For the next 40 years, Simoniz was the number one car wax company in the world.
Simoniz becomes so synonymous with waxing cars, its name finds a place in the Webster Dictionary.
The Simoniz Company opens the first Simoniz Garage with well-trained staff and premium products, including Kleener Wax and Liquid Kleener, unique formulations that clean and polish furniture as well as cars, creating a new trend in both markets.
During the war, Mr. Rich recognizes the potential market in household products and the Simoniz Company enters into the floor wax business. Shortly after, Simoniz Non-Scuff Floor Wax revolutionizes the household floor wax market.
A new division of Simoniz is organized and offers a complete line of floor waxes, finishes, polishes, cleaners and sponges that are formulated and packaged for business and public large-volume users.
Vista One-Step Cleaner/Wax enters the market. Combining a cleaner and wax in one product, Vista made it possible for car owners to get the unequalled benefits of both Simoniz cleaner and wax in a single step. Virtually overnight, Vista explodes to the top among all car care products.
Consumer Reports informs its readers that the new Simoniz Vinyl Floor Wax is, from all standpoints, the most acceptable floor care brand. Simoniz once again pioneers a new type of floor care product with the introduction of Vista One-Step Cleaner/Wax.
The Simoniz Company participates in its first international Trade Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, featuring its extensive product lines.
Simoniz introduces Tone, the first aerosol furniture spray wax that soon tripled its sales. Other household products introduced included Plumit Drain Cleaner, Sta-Soft Sponge, the only synthetic non-hardening sponge on the market, and Reddi spray starch.
Over a 20 year span, Simoniz sponsors race car drivers in the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious races in the world. The Simoniz car and driving teams find their way into the winners circle.
A popular Simoniz wax commercial features, Moe, Larry and “Curly” of the Three Stooges, the famous American slapstick comedy team. During that same period, James Bond in his Aston Martin is featured in a Simoniz Vista commercial. The Simoniz brand was also referred to in Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman”, the film “Arthur” with Dudley Moore, “A Christmas Story”, “Seinfeld”, and hundreds of other films and TV mentions.
Morton International purchases the controlling interest in the Simoniz® Company, adding Master Wax, Detergent Proof and Smooth Pre Softened products to the Simoniz line.
The Simoniz brand is acquired by Union Carbide and introduces numerous products into the marketplace, including Shines Like the Sun, Super Poly, BodyGard, Double Wax, Simoniz II, Shine Booster and Super Blue.
As part of the divestiture from Union Carbide, First Brands Corporation is formed and purchases the Simoniz brand, including other popular automotive brands including Prestone® and STP®. Richard Petty becomes the spokesman for these elite brands.
First Brands enters into an exclusive license agreement with Syndet Products, Inc. located in Bolton, CT to manufacture and distribute Simoniz brand products nationally to the commercial carwash industry. Syndet Products, a leading manufacturer of carwash and janitorial detergents in the Northeast, later expands this line to include detail shop and janitorial/sanitation cleaning products.
Syndet Products begins franchising Simoniz Express Detail Centers. Eighty-five successful franchises open over the next three years throughout the U.S.
Syndet Products purchases the Simoniz brand from First Brands and renames the company Simoniz USA, Inc. The Simoniz brand becomes one of the most advertised brands in the automotive appearance industry.
Loctite Corporation of Hartford and Simoniz USA sign a licensing agreement under which Loctite is the exclusive retail marketing and distribution company for Simoniz car care products. Loctite, a worldwide specialty chemical company, manufactures, markets and distributes Simoniz auto appearance products in the U.S., Mexico and international markets.
Simoniz enters into a new market and distributes the Royale Marine® line of premium watercraft products nationally to the retail marine industry.
Simoniz launches its first “direct response” TV marketing product called Simoniz Furniture Scratch Remover. The program is so highly successful that it is placed at major retail and drug chains, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target stores, and more. Several years later, the company launches FixIT!, a revolutionary car scratch remover promoted as an “As Seen on TV” product by the iconic pitchman Billy Mays. FixIt! becomes the #1 direct response product in the U.S.
Once again, Simoniz leads the industry in innovative carwash technology and patents the first on-line tire dressing machine, the Tire Shiner®, automating a car wash service that previously could only be done manually, dramatically changing the way that tires are cleaned.
Spurred by the successful launch of the Simoniz Furniture Scratch Remover, Simoniz introduces the Simoniz Detailer's Brushless Carwash, producing over 500 million consumer impressions and re-establishing the brand as an innovative market leader.
Simoniz Specialty Markets division launches Simoniz System 5, later re-named Simoniz GlassCoat to new car and motorcycle dealerships. GlassCoat, a uniquely formulated and proprietary nano ceramic coating that reacts with a vehicle’s clear coat finish, quickly becomes the industry standard. GlassCoat proves to be the most durable sealant on the market and has been applied to millions of vehicles in the U.S., China and European markets.
Simoniz introduces its first line of environmentally friendly products, Green Scene®, to the carwash and janitorial markets, all approved by the EPA for their “Designed for the Environment” program.
Simoniz purchases three car wash distribution companies, becoming the largest provider of car care products to the professional carwash and detail shop markets in the country.
Simoniz acquires Washing Equipment Technologies of New York, selling and servicing PDQ carwash equipment in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, creating the finest single source of supplies for all carwash needs.
The Simoniz Hot Wax® program is launched, dramatically impacting the car wash industry. Once a labor intensive hand wax application, vehicles can now receive genuine Simoniz Carnauba wax automatically and in minutes through a visually exciting on-line process.
Simoniz USA opens “The Simoniz Garage”, the country’s largest and most technologically advanced Detail Shop and Training Center. Detailers from around the world visit “The Garage” to be trained by the Simoniz professional staff. Shortly thereafter, it opens a second “Garage” specializing in window tinting.
As sales continue to expand, Simoniz purchases a 14 acre, 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Rocky Hill, Connecticut that serves as its major distribution center for domestic and international markets.
Simoniz acquires Epic Industries, Inc. of New Brunswick, New Jersey, a company founded in 1921 that specialized in cleaners and cleaning systems in the warewashing and laundry segments. This strategic acquisition enables Simoniz to become one of the largest suppliers of warewashing and cleaning products to the food service and restaurant industries in the Northeast.
Simoniz China opens the first international Simoniz Carwash and Detail Center location in Beijing, offering carwash and detail services with an American flair. Five additional centers open shortly thereafter.
Over 100 years later, the Simoniz brand remains one of the most recognized car care and JanSan brands in the world. Simoniz USA continues to take leadership positions, introducing innovative products and solutions to the marketplace.