GRANDVIEW, Mo. – 2015 will mark Peterson Manufacturing Co.’s (PM) 70th year of keeping “Solutions on the Move” in the vehicle safety lighting industry. Since its inception in 1945, the family-owned business has become a “quiet giant” in the industry – a quarter-billion-dollar, multi-faceted corporation now providing thousands of lighting-related products for customers worldwide.
Peterson President and CEO Don Armacost Jr., whose father bought the business in 1956, credits the company’s success to its long history of honest dealings with customers, suppliers and employees. “That tradition has brought us a long way,” he said. “We’re not about to change it.”
Today, Peterson has its headquarters on a 44-acre corporate campus in Grandview, Mo., housing its vertically integrated operations in a 670,000-square-foot facility staffed and equipped for state-of-the-art core manufacturing and marketing. This includes engineering and design, photometric and environmental testing, tool and die production, harness and wire manufacturing, plastic injection molding, final assembly, warehousing, sales and customer service.
“Peterson’s history boasts an ever-growing list of innovative safety lighting solutions,” said Steve Meagher, vice president-sales. “We have the focus, engineering skills and manufacturing capabilities that keep new products moving to the marketplace and bring real solutions to our customers. Since our last catalog release in 2013, we’ve launched more than 300 new products – many unique to the industry.”
According to Meagher, Peterson’s aggressive support of the automotive aftermarket will continue while its focus on the OE and heavy-duty sectors intensifies. “We’re geared to meet specific customer challenges with speed, automated precision and top quality,” he said. “Customers find we can deliver at very attractive prices.”
In building its brand, PM says its strives to keep top-quality, U.S.-made products the company-wide standard. Among the value propositions the company offers are engineering products to exceed federal minimums by 25 percent and delivering those products with a 98 percent fill-rate.
“We were the first North American lighting manufacturer to receive ISO 9001/QS-9000 certification,” Meagher stated. “We were also the first lighting supplier ever to receive Caterpillar’s Supplier Quality Excellence award – an honor we’ve earned for several years running.”
In addition to U.S. markets, Peterson’s growing global footprint serves customers across Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South America, China and the Middle East.
Employees of the company also serve as leadership on councils and task force committees of such organizations as Auto Care Association, MEMA, TSEI, TTMA, TMC, ATA, NTEA and NATM.
Looking back, Armacost said he is proud of Peterson’s rise as one of America’s top three safety lighting manufacturers. “But as my father said, ‘Our goal has never been to be the biggest … just the best.’ I can assure our valued customers that we’ll continue pursuing that goal as we move forward.”