It all started back in the early 50's as a one-man operation in the basement of a house called Summit Motor Products. Through various acquisitions and the formation of strategic alliances, the once small, one-man operation emerged to become the largest, independently owned manufacturer of automatic transmission clutches and gears in the world.
The timeline below illustrates Alto's progression throughout the years - from inception to present day; Alto continues to achieve tremendous growth and popularity worldwide.
- In 1953, in the basement of Summit Place in Central New Jersey, SMP, Inc was begun by Sandy Landa as one-man auto parts distribution business.
- In 1962 J&L Stamping, a small stamping company, was acquired. J&L was a manufacturer of flat metal stampings, which included clutch plates. The company was later renamed Alto Products Corp.
- In 1982, we purchased Plainville Special Tool, Inc., a metal stamping plant since 1952. The acquisition of Plainville Special Tool greatly increased our manufacturing capabilities and diversified our product line into a great many metal stampings.
- In 1993, an assembly plant in Alabama was added to our production facilities. This facility gives us a competitive edge to compete in the worldwide market.
- In 1995, our Plainville plant was merged with Grodel, an existing screw machine plant, and renamed Alto Components Corp. This further expanded our manufacturing capabilities.
- In 1997, we consolidated our transmission parts main distribution warehouse to a 150,000 square foot (14,000 square meter) expansion in our Alabama facility. The corporate offices were also relocated to our Alabama facility in 1997 and were expanded in 1998 to integrate all administrative operations. All operating divisions were incorporated into Alto Products Corp., but continue to operate as individual profit centers.
- In the mid-1990's, the world continued to become a smaller place, and the worldwide demand for transmission parts became greater. In 1998, we strategically located our Latin American headquarters to Miami, the gateway to South and Central America.
- Diamond Cut Technologies was acquired in 1999. A new building was constructed on our main campus in Alabama and the business was converted from an independent Tool and Die Shop to an in house facility dedicated to the building of Alto Tools and Dies.
- We incorporated in Mexico in 2000. The NAFTA agreement along with the strong automotive market makes our Mexican operations a key ingredient in our future growth.
- A Technical Center was built in 2001 to support our growing presence in the Original Equipment market. The Technical Center houses a state of the art Research and Development Center to do advanced application testing as well as design and a build prototype parts. The operation is fully equipped with two SAE #2 Test Machines and a Dynamometer.
- In 2001 the AltoStandard Clutch Division was formed. This new division expanded our product offering into Standard Transmission Clutch Systems and Clutch Kits. This further diversified our product offering into both the Standard and Automatic Transmission applications.
- In 2002 we expanded our stamping facility in Connecticut. The square footage of this plant was doubled. This allowed our operation to expand the manufacturing of our line of brake bands.
- The acquisition of TICUSA was competed in 2002. This acquisition expanded our product line in the manufacturing of Gears and Shafts. This also added an international manufacturing plant located in Spain to our list of facilities.
- In 2004 we created our "Gear Cell" in our main facility in Alabama. We moved our manufacturing of this product line from Spain back to the USA.
- The China market began to explode at the turn of the new millennia. Late in 2004 we opened our first office in China. Our small office continued to grow in 2005 with the addition of administrative support and sales personnel.
- In 2005 we expanded our Corporate Headquarters in Alabama. Our warehouse was moved to a new 100,000 square foot (9,300 square meter) building adjacent to our existing facility. Our warehouse was expanded to handle our ever-growing product line and our manufacturing plant was expanded and "lean manufacturing" was implemented.
- In 2006 we continued our worldwide expansion with office and or distribution facilities in Dubai, Brazil, Taiwan, and Australia.
Today, our operation is international in scope. Our facilities cover over 350,000 square feet (32,500 square meters) and employ over 300 people. We have formed strategic alliances and/or equity positions with various companies to face future consolidation and globalization of our markets. We have two domestic manufacturing plants, five North American Distributions Centers and offices situated throughout the world.
Our future strategy is to make long-term decisions and commitments to maintain our dominance as global supplier and continue our growth for the next 50 years.