Guardian began in 1932 as the Guardian Glass Company, an automotive industry window manufacturer. Today, Guardian Industries Corp. is a diversified global manufacturing company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.A., with leading positions in float glass, fabricated glass products, fiberglass insulation and other building materials for commercial, residential and automotive markets.
In 1970, we opened our first glass plant in Carleton, Michigan, and began manufacturing float glass, a product achieved by floating molten glass on a bath of liquid tin. At the time, we were the first company to enter the U.S. primary glass industry in nearly 50 years. Today, we have 28 float glass lines and 13 glass fabrication plants around the world.
While we were expanding our glass business globally, we also began to diversify. Beginning in 1980, Guardian opened several fiberglass insulation plants. In 1998, we acquired Builder Marts of America (BMA), and in 2000, we purchased Cameron Ashley Building Products (now Guardian Building Products Distribution). These developments gave Guardian a strong and growing presence in the building materials distribution business throughout North America.
The 1990s also saw the expansion of our automotive capabilities. With the acquisition of Automotive Moulding Company of Warren, Michigan, and Lab.Radio of Valencia, Spain—both automotive trim manufacturers—we became the first and only company to manufacture and fabricate both glass and trim products for the automotive industry. We added automotive fabrication plants in the U.S. and Europe, expanding our offerings and geographic reach.
At the turn of the 21st century we entered a period of rapid innovation in the realm of value-added products. In 2000, we opened our Science & Technology Center in Carleton, Michigan. Propelled by the innovations achieved there, we expanded and enhanced our product offerings in the commercial, residential, interiors, solar, electronics and automotive segments. In 2008, we acquired Siegel-Robert Automotive, which eventually led to the formation of SRG Global, one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced, high-value coatings for plastics.
Today Guardian products and systems add performance and value to vehicles, homes and construction projects all over the world. With hundreds of new patents, scores of fresh products and several new facilities around the world, Guardian is poised to meet the challenges of coming decades. It’s an exciting time to partner with Guardian!