History

  • 1904 – 1909

    1904
    • Clarence Spicer starts his company on April 1, based on his patented invention of the encased universal joint, in Plainfield, New Jersey.

    • The first C.W. Spicer "u-joints" are shipped to Corbin Motor Company in Connecticut.

    1906
    • Customer roster grows to include Buick Motor Co., Olds Motor Works, Mack Bros. Motor Co. (later Mack Trucks), Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Co., and American Motors.

    1909
    • Clarence Spicer's business changes its name to Spicer Manufacturing Company.

  • 1910 – 1919

    1914
    • Attorney Charles Dana purchases a controlling interest in Spicer Manufacturing Company. Decades later, in 1955, he says, "I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't gone into the Spicer company. Mr. Spicer had a joint that was really wanted by car and truck manufacturers. If it had gone off the market, I sometimes wonder what would have happened to the automotive industry."

    1916
    • Charles Dana becomes president and treasurer.

    1919
    • With an eye on growth beyond universal joints and propeller shafts, Charles Dana completes three big acquisitions of frame, transmission, and axle manufacturers. One of these companies, Salisbury Axle, later becomes the Spicer Axle Division of Dana.

  • 1920 – 1929

    1922
    • Spicer is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

    1923
    • Profits rise considerably due to increased production of automobiles priced under $1,000 and truck demand by the U.S. government.

    1925
    • Spicer begins international operations in England.

    1928
    • Spicer relocates its headquarters and most operations to Toledo, Ohio, closer to Detroit, the center of the automotive world.

  • 1930 – 1939

    1931
    • The Great Depression and lower vehicle production volumes hit Spicer's sales and earnings. The company returns to profitability in 1933.

    1938
    • Clarence Spicer's last of 40 U.S. and French patents is issued Dec. 20, less than a year before he dies.

    • Sales of cars, trucks, and buses hit their lowest point in the Depression era, but Spicer remains profitable.

  • 1940 – 1949

    1940
    • As the U.S. begins war mobilization, the company retools for production of military vehicles and other war materials throughout WWII.

    1946
    • Spicer Manufacturing Corporation is renamed Dana Corporation in recognition of Charles Dana's 32 years of leadership. Spicer becomes the brand name for the company's driveline products.

  • 1950 – 1959

    1953
    • At its 50th anniversary, Dana employs 3,500 people.

    1954
    • Dana expands international operations to South America.

    1956
    • New York Times declares Dana's Powr-Lok® differential to be "among the more significant engineering improvements" in automotive history.

    1957
    • Company introduces the first cruise control on 1958 Chrysler models.

    • Expands business to the heavy truck, off-highway, and farm equipment markets.

  • 1960 – 1969

    1961
    • Global operations are now located in Argentina, Mexico, Japan, Sweden, South Africa, and Spain.

    1962
    • "Spicer Search" contest seeks the company's oldest transmission still in operation. A 1919 Model 50 Brown-Lipe transmission, still in service on a truck, takes the grand prize.

    1966
    • Dana acquires the Victor Gasket Manufacturing Company.

    • Charles Dana retires as Chairman and CEO after 53 years of continuous service.

    1967
    • Dana conducts experiments of driveline concepts for electrical vehicles, decades before the production of hybrid and electric cars.

  • 1970 – 1979

    1971
    • Dana exports products to 123 countries.

    1974
    • Dana breaks the $1 billion sales barrier.

    1978
    • Charles Dana is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

    • Dana exceeds $2 billion in annual sales.

    1979
    • Dana celebrates its 75th anniversary.

  • 1980 – 1989

    1980
    • Dana rapidly grows in the fields of electronic, mechanical, and fluid power.

    1982
    • Spicer Driveshaft Division develops the industry's first all-aluminum driveshaft.

    1985
    • Dana exceeds $3 billion in annual sales.

    1987
    • Dana exceeds $4 billion in annual sales.

  • 1990 – 1999

    1993
    • Dana acquires the Reinz Company and forms the new Victor Reinz brand for its gaskets, sealing products, and heat shields.

    1995
    • Clarence Spicer is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

    • Dana has 3,500 employees in Asia; business with Japanese manufacturers alone grows to $240 million.

    1996
    • Dana acquires Plumley Rubber Company in Paris, Tennessee, to bolster its sealing products portfolio.

    1997
    • Dana makes its largest acquisition in company history, buying Clark-Hurth Components from Ingersoll-Rand to create the Off-Highway Components Group.

    1998
    • Dana acquires Long Manufacturing (established in 1903), adding extensive thermal-management capabilities.

  • 2000 – 2009

    2000
    • Spicer Driveshaft Division wins the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

    2001
    • Dana receives the Ford Motor Company Citizenship Award in recognition of its minority-development efforts, community support, and environmental initiatives.

    2002
    • Ford honors Dana with a World Excellence Award as one of the company's top suppliers for 2002.

    • Volvo honors Dana with the Award of Excellence.

    • GM honors Dana as a 2002 Supplier of the Year for its fuel cell technology.

    2003
    • Dana celebrates its 100th anniversary.

    • A 180,000-square-foot engineering center opens in Toledo, Ohio.

  • 2010 – Present

    2010
    • Dana extends its leadership position in the commercial vehicle driveline market with a 50-percent stake in Dongfeng Dana Axle Co., Ltd., its joint venture in China.

    • Completes strategic agreement with SIFCO S.A., making Dana the leading supplier of complete drivelines in South America.

    2011
    • Dana introduces Spicer® Pro-40 tandem drive axles with reduced weight (100 pounds) and improved power density for heavy trucks.

    • Partners with Bosch Rexroth AG to develop a hydromechanical variable transmission to reduce fuel consumption in off-highway vehicles by as much as 20 percent.

    • Honored with Frost & Sullivan Best Practice Award for Technology Innovation for the proprietary process behind Spicer Diamond Series driveshafts.

    2012
    • Dana and its largest customer, Ford, are honored with the Automotive News PACE Innovative Partnership Award for bringing the marketplace a thermal technology that improves fuel efficiency by up to 4 percent.

In 1904, an engineering student named Clarence Spicer left Cornell University to launch a new business in the vacant corner of a New Jersey factory.

While still a student, Spicer had earned a patent for his groundbreaking design of the first practical universal joint to power an automobile. Spicer’s innovation would quite literally unchain the automobile, which had previously relied on chain-and-sprocket drives to transmit power. But at its outset, his new venture was a decidedly bold step.

A talented engineer and inventor, Spicer had neither business nor manufacturing experience. And although the automobile was destined to become a global institution, its future was still far from certain at the turn of the 20th century.

It was from these uncertain beginnings that Dana Holding Corporation emerged as one of the world’s most influential automotive suppliers. Founded on Spicer’s designs, and fueled by the business acumen of attorney, politician, and financier Charles Dana, the company proceeded to expand its product array, technological expertise, and geographic scope throughout the century. Along the way, Dana Holding Corporation also fostered a progressive, people-oriented culture that has added a unique dimension to the products and services the company provides.

Building on these strengths, Dana Holding Corporation products have helped to drive history’s greatest vehicles – from the Model T and the World War II-era Jeep®, to London taxicabs, 18-wheel rigs, giant earth-moving machines, and every car on the NASCAR® racing circuit.

As Dana Holding Corporation embarks on its second century, it continues to build on this proud heritage. Dana people continue their passionate pursuit of innovation. And the company continues to deliver on its commitment to advancing the science of mobility for the benefit of its global customers.

Quick Facts :
  • Dana Holding Corporation is a world leader in the supply of axles; driveshafts; off-highway transmissions; sealing and thermal-management products; and genuine service parts.