The History of Charter Automotive

Charter Automotive, a member of the Charter Manufacturing family of companies, was created when Milwaukee Wire Products acquired Valve Train Components in February of 2007. Together, a leading global supplier of automotive components with a broad range of manufacturing capabilities and product offerings was formed. To best support customers, the company now operates three strategically positioned facilities around the world.

In 2008, Charter Automotive made further advancements toward supporting customers' global requirements when a warehouse and distribution facility was opened in Wuhu, China, designed to support the rapid expansion of the Chinese auto industry.

In 2013, Charter Automotive completed two additional large-scale expansion initiatives, which included the simultaneous relocation UK operations from Lichfield to Burntwood, and the opening of its newest manufacturing site in Changzhou, China. Upon successful transition into a state-of-the-art, fully redesigned facility, UK operations commenced full-scale production of Valve Spring Retainers in 2013. Further east, the Changzhou facility launched full scale production of core product in 2014.

Going forward, Charter Automotive remains committed to continued global expansion with a focus on expanded product offerings, enhanced manufacturing capabilities, and advanced technical support.

The History of Milwaukee Wire Products

In 1948, at the request of Chrysler Corporation, the Mellowes family established Milwaukee Wire Products (MWP) to manufacture dipsticks for the internal combustion engine and powertrain industries.

The company's first 50 years were focused on growing its products to support the North American automotive industry. They quickly added transaxle retaining rings and valve keys to the product portfolio before adding valve spring retainers in 1989. In 2005, the company acquired the assets of ProTube Design Limited, simultaneously expanding guide manufacturing capability, and allowing for exploration of other high volume automotive tube applications. In addition, the company began offering a fully integrated fluid measurement system by combining indicator and tube.

MWP began turning its attention to the global automotive industry when its European office was opened near Frankfurt, Germany in 2005 to begin providing local support to the local market. In 2007, this support was quickly followed with a local manufacturing presence as Milwaukee Wire Products acquired Valve Train Components (VTC) of Lichfield, England. The acquisition of VTC represented an important step in the company's international growth strategy, enabling the newly formed Charter Automotive to accelerate growth in Europe by offering valve key and valve spring retainer systems to a larger group of international customers.

The History of Valve Train Components

Valve Train Components (VTC) began as part of a larger presswork group, but was established as an independent company in 1994. Since then, VTC focused on the supply of high quality, cost effective components to the automotive industry.

VTC occupied a manufacturing facility close to the West Midlands, strategically situated at the heart of the UK automotive manufacturing region. From this facility, the manufacture and supply of valve keys formed the basis of the original core business, focusing on single, center, and multi-bead designs produced on a wide range of high tech forming and grinding equipment.

In 2002, the business expanded and diversified with the introduction of synchromesh sliding keys, which quickly became an important addition to the product portfolio. Developed for manual transmission applications, these components helped enhance VTC's reputation for supplying technically innovative products.

By 2007, the business had experienced continued growth and supplied in excess of 300 million components to a wide range of blue chip customers when VTC was acquired by Milwaukee Wire Products. The acquisition represented an important step in the company's growth strategy by creating a more diverse product portfolio of complimentary offerings and provided access to new customers/markets.