Wix Filters celebrates its 75th anniversary

Wix Filters celebrates its 75th anniversary

Wix Filters celebrated its 75th anniversary with a Founder’s Day event in Gaston, N.C., highlighted by a $7,500 donation to Gaston County Schools and a marketing program focused on customer engagement.

The event, which also included proclamations from federal, state and local officials, a luncheon for Wix’s community partners and employees, and a visit by Richard Petty’s classic 1972 STP Show Car, kicked-off the system’s annual school supply drive.

“This is a momentous day and milestone in Wix’s remarkable history,” said Keith Wilson, president of Wix Filters, and president and chief executive officer of Affinia Group. “For the past 75 years, this business has fostered a tradition of growth, innovation and excellence. Wix’s legacy runs in the blood of families around Gaston County—and beyond. Our rich heritage and powerful spirit will continue to flourish for years to come,” added Wilson.

Wix is also marking its historic year with a specially designed 75th anniversary logo that was featured on many of Wix’s 2014 promotions and sales materials, including an extensive lineup of sales promotions designed to increase customer sales, raise brand awareness and connect customers with experiences involving their love for racing and the Wix brand. The promotions will continue in 2015.

“Our promotions emphasize customer engagement in 2015 and will be supported by point-of-sale materials and other marketing communications elements to drive sales and brand awareness for auto parts stores and distributors,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for Wix Filters.

Wix Filters was founded in a cotton mill in Gastonia in 1939 when Jack Wicks and his business partner, Paul Crawshaw, needed an inexhaustible supply of pure white cotton thread waste for the filtering media of their new company. At the time, Gastonia and Gaston County produced more combed cotton yarn than anywhere else in the world.

Wicks and Crawshaw soon saw a need for filter replacements that would simplify the filter changing process and, within 15 years, they turned the filter market upside down with the invention and patent of a spin-on oil filter design’—known at the time as “twist of the wrist”—that quickly became the industry standard, noted the company.

Bill Anton, a machinist/mechanic who joined WIX in 1961, remembers when the spin-on filter was developed and recalled the event at the company event.

“It was a milestone event for our company and one I still vividly recall,” said Anton, who celebrated 53 years with Wix on July 31. “It is this type of dedication and pride that has kept me part of the Wix family for so long. Wix wouldn’t be what it is today without its incredible culture of kindness and friendship. Wix is truly a good community company, a prosperous organization and a great place to work.”

The Founder’s Day celebration included proclamation presentations and remarks from federal, state and local representatives, including Mike Fenley, Field Representative for U.S. Senator Richard Burr; Travis Manigan, Charlotte Regional Liaison for U.S. Senator Kay Hagan; Uconda Dunn, Economic Developer, North Carolina Department of Commerce; Gastonia Mayor John Bridgeman; Gaston County Commission Chairman Tracy Philbeck; and Gaston Regional Chamber Board Chairman Rick Houser.

“This is quite a legacy for Jack Wicks and Paul Crawshaw, and I am one of the many stewards of this legacy as we celebrate our 75th anniversary,” said Wilson.

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