Grote History

Our History

Today the road is filled with cars and trucks using Grote lighting components and the nation’s highways are safer thanks to Grote safety systems. In fact, Grote pioneered many of the manufacturing processes that we take for granted today in America.

1901 – William Grote founded the company through a lens of original thinking and visionary leadership. Early in the life of the growing young company, William Grote demonstrated his capacity for innovation.

1922 – The nation’s first injection molded plastic products are introduced by William’s son, Walter F. Grote, Sr. and shifted the company’s focus to making products for the automotive market. At that point, Grote embarked on a program of research and development that has led the industry in vehicle safety equipment and carried on the innovative spirit with a number of breakthrough designs and processes.

1929 – First fully automatic plastic injection molding machine introduced, along with the world’s first retro-reflective reflector, the universal basis for today’s reflectors.

1936 – Grote is responsible for the first commercially-available injection molding material.

1965-Grote engineers develop the Turtle-Back Marker Lamp, the industry’s first all non-metallic lamp, as well as the first no-splice wiring system.

1976-Grote expands into Canada.

1977-Introduction of the industry’s first repairable, long-life lamp.

1983-Grote brings the world’s first modular trailer wiring system, Ultra Blue Seal, to the market.

1989-Introduction of the first LED marker light.

1992-Grote Electronics is founded in Waterloo Ontario with an emphasis on high technology, long service life and increased efficiency for Grote’s LED products and sophisticated tractor-to-trailer communications systems, meeting the needs of the dynamic heavy truck industry.

1993 – Grote expands into Mexico

1998 – First refrigerated trailer fluorescent lamp

2001 – First HID/HIR headlamp for the heavy truck industry

2002 – First solid state, electronic turn signal switch

2002 – First LED license plate lamp with active reflector optics

2003 – First manufacturer in the industry to receive TS16949 Certification

2003 – First LED Side Turn Compliant in all 50 States

2004 – First LED Forward Lighting on the road

2005 – First all LED Military signal lighting

2006 – First all LED Military interior tactical lighting

2007 – First all LED High Powered Driving light (Exceeds HID)

2007 – Introduction of the next generation J 560 Ultra-Box Receptacle

2008 – Introduction of LED WhiteLight™ exterior work lamps and interior dome lamp

2008 – First all LED tactical interior lighting offerings

2008 – Introduction of Infrared Motion-Activated LED Interior Dome Lamps

2009 – Introduction of LightForm™ Technology

2010 – Introduction of the Trilliant® 36 LED WhiteLight™ Conversion Bulb, which converts Par 36 Incandescent Lamps to LED

2010 – Grote starts manufacturing their own coil cords

2011 – Introduction of MicroNova® DOT marker lamp

2011 – Introduction of Trilliant® Cube LED WhiteLight™ work lamp

2011 – Grote expands to Europe

Today-In this day of mega-mergers and absentee ownership, Grote customers can still call the main office and talk to Mr. Grote. In fact, there are quite a few Grotes working in all aspects of the business. The tradition of strong customer service has been passed on directly from one generation to the next — and to all Grote employees — helping to deliver complete customer satisfaction. In a very real sense, the history of Grote Industries is still being written every day.


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