Arthur and Sadie Warn started a Willy's dealership in Southpark, Washington in the 1930's, and founded Warn Industries on June 10, 1948. Warn Industries began with one man's idea for converting thousands of surplus World War II Jeeps into useful, on-road vehicles. Arthur Warn's extraordinary invention of wheel locking hubs revolutionized the automotive industry. Arthur's original idea was a bolt on-bolt off hub model, and he held numerous patents. Originally, Arthur made door to door sales in Seattle, but Sadie saw a larger market and placed ads in Popular Mechanics, which started the mail order business. With orders coming in, they were challenged to build enough hubs to meet demand. Arthur started working with Belleview Manufacturing in Portland, a small four man operation working out of a two car garage. By 1954, WARN locking hubs were offered as optional factory equipment by major domestic automotive manufacturers.
The WARN winch, developed in 1959, was the first recreational winch. With pioneering features such as a rugged drive train, the WARN winch quickly became the leading brand for off-road racers, avid four wheelers, weekend adventurers and hard working ranchers. In the 1970's, Warn established its long-time relationship with Ford, with initial production of 20,000 hub sets per month for the F-Series pickups and Broncos. Thurston Warn was named President in 1968, and in the 1980's Arthur's grandsons (Michael and Daniel) became Board Members. Mike Warn was named CEO in 1984. In the 1990's Warn created the ATV/UTV winch market.
In 2000, Mike Warn, sold the family owned business. Jon Kreitz, former Warn CEO, led a management buyout with institutional investors, Endeavour Capital & Norwest Equity. Warn was acquired by Dover Corporation in October 2003 and is part of a multi-billion dollar, global manufacturer of diversified products. Dover is (DOV) on the New York Stock Exchange. (www.dovercorporation.com)
To comply with automotive industry standards, Warn obtained ISO/TS certification in 2004. In 2005, Warn opened a sales office in the Netherlands, added two domestic distribution centers and for a short time, expanded production with a facility in Mexico. In 2005, Jon Kreitz retired from Warn, and Thomas Giacomini was selected as Warn's CEO/President. In 2005 and 2006, Warn brought several innovative products to the market, including the PowerPlant compressor winch and the PullzAll.
In late 2007, Thomas Giacomini was promoted to Dover, and John McCalla was promoted to Warn's CEO. In 2007, Warn developed the 18,000 lb. winch for the tow/recovery, severe duty markets and was selected to provide all vehicle self recovery winches for the U.S. military's MRAP program.
Warn celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008 by releasing the XL product line (20-30,000 lb. hydraulic winches) for use on trailers and in the tow/recovery market. Also, Warn introduced the first fan cooled electric winch for recreational users.
In 2009, Warn provided winches to the US military's M-ATV program; and launched the new ProVantage plow system for ATVs and UTVs. In 2010, Warn also supplied winches to the US Military for the MRAP vehicles. Warn offered a new severe duty hub to the market, which is on FABCO vehicles, and our utility line of winches were re-introduced under the WARN brand.
In 2011, John Stransky was named President of Warn. The revolutionary new Olympus winch was released, showcasing Warn's legendary engineering capabilities. Also in 2011, Warn released the VR winch line, targeted at the entry level consumer. In 2012, Warn released a new entry level powersports winch line (Vantage), as well as a new premium line (ProVantage) and an all new premium truck winch line (ZEON). Warn also introduced the Warn Authorized Retail Network program, to ensure that WARN products are sold to consumers through Authorized Retailers and dealers, that can provide a high level of customer service, product knowledge and a positive selling experience
In 2014, Warn launched the ZEON Platinum winch line - the most technically advanced winch on the market, with the industryss first remote clutch, using an advanced wireless remote. The aftermarket premium locking hubs were launched for 2005+ Ford SuperDuty trucks that offer new styling, and a more robust design that allows for easier installation and maintenance. Also introduced were a full line of replacement synthetic ropes and rope extensions, LED lights for truck and Powersports applications, and the innovative drill-powered portable winch.