Tecumseh Products Company is an American manufacturer of hermetic compressors for air conditioning and refrigeration products. Tecumseh Products Company has subsidiaries that sell externally and internally to Tecumseh. The Tecumseh corporate offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tecumseh Products Company was founded by tool and die maker Raymond Herrick, in 1934. Raymond Herrick applied mass production concepts he had learned from automobile manufacturer Henry Ford to the production of refrigeration compressors.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Tecumseh Products Company was called upon, like many American businesses, to aid in the war effort. This resulted in Tecumseh Products Company using its facilities to manufacture artillery shells for allied forces. Following the end of World War II, Tecumseh Products Company continued its production of refrigeration compressors and expanded into manufacturing compressors for air conditioning units.
In 1956, Tecumseh Products Company purchased the Lauson Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1895 by John Lauson. By the time of the purchase in 1956, Lauson Manufacturing Company had grown into one of the largest manufacturers of small gasoline engines in the United States. Following the purchase, Tecumseh Products Company dismantled most of the Lauson Manufacturing Company and used the assets to create Tecumseh Power Company.
In 2009, Tecumseh Products completed a move from Tecumseh, Michigan to Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan.
In 2007, the company's former gasoline engine and power train product lines were sold to Platinum Equity LLC. In December 2008, the company closed its engine manufacturing division. Later Tecumseh Power sold off its Peerless transmissions business to Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Tecumseh closed its doors on February 2009 when Platinum Equity LLC announced that Tecumseh Power Company had sold certain assets of its engine business to Certified Parts Corporation, including all existing and unfinished engine parts inventory, tools to make finished product and certain intellectual property assets.
The company’s stock (NASDAQ: TECUA) began the year trading at $4.78 per share and rising quickly from mid-January until the end of February has held relatively steady at approximately $8.50 per share since early March.
Pittsfield Township-based Tecumseh Products Co., along with units of Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp., as well as a division of a Danish parts-supplier, agreed in 2013 to a settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit. The settlement cost Tecumseh approximately $7 million, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business. The lawsuit, which was consolidated before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox in 2009, centers on a secret meeting between executives of the companies as well as Panasonic Corp., and an Italy-based components company. According to Crain’s, the group allegedly met at a hotel in 2004 as part of a conspiracy to inflate the price of compressors. Crain’s reported the settlement totaled $41 million and must be approved by Judge Cox before it is implemented. Tecumseh’s portion represents 2.7 percent of the company’s sales between February 2005 and December 2008. Tecumseh Products has had an eventful 2013.
In 2007, the company's former gasoline engine and power train product lines, which is what the company had been most known for, were sold to Platinum Equity LLC, which does business as Tecumseh Power. Tecumseh engine products at one time were sold in over 120 countries. In December 2008, the company closed its engine manufacturing division. TecumsehPower sold off its Peerless transmissions business to McDermott Outdoor Products.
On February 10, 2009, Platinum Equity LLC announced that Tecumseh Power Company had sold certain assets of its engine business to Certified Parts Corporation. This included the sale of existing and unfinished engine parts inventory, tools to make finished product and certain intellectual property assets. Certified Parts Corporation also assumed responsibility for warranty of previous engine sales.
In an interview published by The Janesville Gazette on February 10, 2009, Certified Parts Corporation President Jim Grafft said "that he plans to move the engine operation to Rock County, Wisconsin, where he owns three facilities in Janesville and one in Edgerton, and will initially supply parts for Tecumseh Power engines. Grafft also said that his company could eventually resume engine production, which Tecumseh Power ceased in December 2008".
On September 1, 2010, Certified Parts Corporation (CPC) of Janesville, Wisconsin, announced it had entered into an agreement with LCT, (Liquid Combustion Technology) of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, to jointly manufacture air-cooled engines for the outdoor power equipment market. The agreement provided CPC with engineering, manufacturing, and sales capabilities allowing it to reintroduce the Snow King line of snow thrower engines and other engines formerly manufactured and sold by TecumsehPower. The engines are exclusively represented by LCT, and sold under the Snow King, Lauson, and LCT brands and serviced exclusively by CPC and the existing TecumsehPower dealer/distributor network. Traditionally, the Snow King line of engines had powered more snowthrowers than all other brands combined.
LCT's horizontal 4-stroke gasoline engine product offering was extended by this agreement, and allowed CPC and LCT to provide single cylinder and V-twin vertical engines to outdoor power equipment manufacturers. According to Larry Zeman, VP of Winter Engine Products for LCT, "This establishes LCT as an engine manufacturer of choice as it continues to engineer a new generation of power."