What began a century ago as a simple furniture polish laboratory and plant in the garage of founder Frank Meguiar, Jr., now spans four generations of Meguiar family stewardship. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2001, Meguiar's, Inc. has become one of the world's leading surface care products companies, providing highly specialized products for almost every conceivable type of surface.
In his wildest dreams, it’s doubtful that Barry’s grandfather, Frank Meguiar, Jr., could have foreseen what his first bottle of furniture polish in 1901 would evolve into over the next 100 years. When he first began, he made one bottle of polish at a time using an eggbeater. Eventually, he was able to produce enough product at night with his kids, to fill the orders he would generate the next day to pay for groceries.
From his first bottle of furniture polish, Frank Meguiar, Jr. was steadfastly determined never to sell a product unless he was convinced it was the very best of its kind on the market. To this day, Meguiar's follows that dictate and, as a result, has generated millions of enthusiastic users around the world. Meguiar's describe their customers as "raving fans."
When Frank Meguiar, Jr. passed away in 1950, his three sons, who were his business partners, took the company to the next level. Maurice, the oldest, was the sales manager. Next came Malcolm, Barry’s father, who shared his dad’s love for formulating and created most of the formulations that the company continues to market, including Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax, which is the No.1 selling liquid car wax in America. The youngest of the three brothers, Kenneth, was in charge of production. It was the perfect partnership, and through their efforts and leadership the company thrived through its second generation.
The arrival of the first horseless carriages turned Frank Meguiar’s attention to the automobile. Made out of wood, they were initially coated with the same finishes that were applied to furniture. It was an easy transition that set the course for Meguiar’s preeminence in the car wax business today.
Through the early years, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze polishes and waxes, intended for professional use, were primarily used by car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops, and detailers. Most custom painters polished their customer's automobiles with Meguiar’s products, so the majority of cars put on display in car shows reflected finishes achieved with the use of Meguiar's professional-line products. As car shows became prevalent in the 60’s, the masses of people attending them began to recognize that it was the use of Meguiar’s polishes that created the brilliant, high-gloss finishes. Growing numbers of people began pressuring retailers to stock Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze products.
Compelled by the demands of these enthusiastic fans, the family formally introduced its Meguiar’s brand of consumer automotive products in 1973. Today, the Meguiar's range of products saturate the consumer marketplace.
From its inception, Meguiar’s have been active participants in the collector car hobby. Explains Barry Meguiar, “we are car guys who happen to be in the car wax business. The ultimate experience for us comes when our two passions merge in the exhilaration of “Best of Show” winners who are using our products.” As it happens, that is a regular occurrence.
At last year’s 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most famous car show in the world, 21 of the 25 Best of Class winners and the Best of Show winner all used Meguiar’s products to achieve their flawless perfection.
Meguiar’s sponsors and staffs more than 150 car show events across the country featuring every type of collector car from hot rods and muscle cars to exotic sports cars and vintage classics…with Barry and his wife, Karen, personally involved with many of the major shows. In addition, the family supports more than 1,500 car club events every year. At almost every car show and automotive museum in the country, you will find an abundance of Meguiar’s products proudly being used to maintain and showcase prized automobiles.
Meguiar’s love for the collector car hobby is also expressed through the country’s airwaves. Meguiar’s On Air, an internationally syndicated, multi-media broadcasting network reaching television, radio, and Internet audiences conducts live broadcasts from major automotive events worldwide. Co-hosted by Barry Meguiar, along with nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts from various networks, Meguiar’s On Air allows millions of listeners to enjoy major collector car hobby events as they happen. Barry also hosts Car Crazy radio on Talk America Radio Networks and Car Crazy television on Speedvision, providing listeners and viewers with an insider’s look at the icons of the collector car hobby.
Internationally, Meguiar’s ever-expanding global operations include its headquarters in Hong Kong and its subsidiary offices in Toronto, Paris, and Sydney. Meguiar's intense focus on training and performance, as well as product quality, have captured the respect of carmakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz that partner with Meguiar’s worldwide. Meguiar’s serves as a consultant to most of the major carmakers around the world on paint quality and paint correction issues in their assembly plants and at the dealership level. In addition, Meguiar’s often provides private label appearance car care products to car manufacturers to sell under their own name through their dealership parts departments.
Today’s high-tech, clear-coat finishes require a complete re-education on how to keep these new finishes in "show room" condition. Meguiar’s provides in-depth training through its own, on-site technical facilities, mobile training centers, detailed technical data sheets and training videos.
Meguiar’s technicians work closely with the automotive paint manufacturers, car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops and detailers to keep their products state of the art and user friendly. This provides the competitive edge for Meguiar’s consumer products.
While Meguiar’s corporate headquarters are in Irvine, CA, they manufacture their products in their 200,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art production facility in Menphis, TN. Meguiar's now manufactures more than 300 different cleaners, polishes, waxes, conditioners, and protectants for homes, cars, boats, trains and planes, and almost every other type of surface. Continuing Frank Meguiar, Jr.'s tradition, each Meguiar’s product carries the promise of being the very finest of its kind.
The story is pure Americana, the early pictures are like scenes from a Norman Rockwell painting, and Meguiar's products continue to be found at almost every car show, car museum, car detailing shop, and automotive retailer in America.
Meguiar's is proudly represented by Smits Group - the sole agent for the Meguiar's brand in New Zealand. Smits Group has been supporting the car hobby for over 30 years, bringing trusted brands like Meguiar's to enthusiasts nationwide. To find out more about Smits Group visit www.smitsgroup.co.nz