See how we’ve grown into one of the world’s most innovative companies.
The gas-powered engine was changing the world. But the matter of cooling it was still a very new science. Young engineer Arthur B. Modine had a new insight: instead of focusing on the best way to cool the radiator’s water, he looked for the best way to heat the air passing through the device. His observations would forever change the heat transfer market.
Business Heats Up
Ford’s Model T dominated the 1920’s as the “first affordable automobile.” With 15 million vehicles produced by 1927, the Model T was a huge opportunity for manufacturers—an opportunity Modine seized. The 1920’s marked the beginning of a decades-long relationship between the two companies.
The Great Depression saw industrial production levels fall dramatically as automakers and manufacturers shut down. Modine posted a loss of over $150,000 in 1932 but quickly recovered, posting gains for many decades to come. Despite a rough start, a growing partnership with Ford turned the 1930’s into an unexpected time of growth for Modine.
World War II spurred massive amounts of industrial production and new technologies on the home front. Like many manufacturing companies, Modine grew significantly in the 1940’s in terms of output, innovation, and research and development.
Time of Transition
Of all the post-war changes, the shift from copper to aluminum was the biggest for manufacturers. A shortage of copper forced Modine to redesign products and develop new processes for aluminum production while at the same time expanding into new markets. Modine spent the 1950’s dealing with the complications of a new metal and a post-war economy.
By the 1960’s the Baby Boom was an economic game changer, creating new markets and shifting the consumer make-up. Modine embraced the change, aggressively redefining and expanding its business with the boomers at home and the Japanese abroad.
A Shifting Industry
The 1973 oil embargo and resulting energy crisis created a new demand for compact vehicles—including Japanese imports. Evolving alongside the shifting auto market, and entering the auto aftermarket, Modine continued to expand throughout the 1970’s.
Globalization, first sparked by World War II, exploded in the 1980’s. A combination of technological advances and relaxing trade regulations allowed a new global marketplace to emerge. Modine built on its previous forays into international business and embraced this opportunity to become a truly global company.
After the deregulatory policies of the 1980’s, the 1990’s saw a resurgence of the environmentalist movement. Environmental concern wasn’t new to Modine—the first Pollution Control Manager was appointed back in 1972. But with the 90’s came a renewed focus on innovation with less material and more efficiency.
Bigger and Better
Building on the international success of the 1980’s and 90’s, Modine continued to pursue global opportunities in the new millennium. A growing economy in the early 2000’s allowed Modine to make major acquisitions, take important steps in business practices and reach new milestones.
Refocused and Ready
Uncertain economic conditions saw Modine restructuring in the 2010’s. A competitive cost structure and disciplined approach to product development established stability and opened new possibilities, helping Modine to grow stronger than ever moving forward.