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History

slashesA long history since 1936

Founded in 1936 as a manufacturer of spark plugs, NGK SPARK PLUG has always developed ceramics as its core competence. Over the years, the company has also successfully applied the expertise gained in the field of ceramics to other areas to create new value. Today, NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers in the world.

slashesThe first spark plugs

On November 11, 1936 NGK SPARK PLUG Co., Ltd. was founded in Nagoya, Japan with a start-up capital of one million yen. Only a year later, the young company already began delivering its first spark plugs; the cornerstone for future growth.

slashesExpanding the business to technical ceramics

The company’s initial public offering in 1949 cleared the path for the production of technical ceramics applicable in different areas. In addition, the brand name NTK was created. In 1958, the company then began with the development of ceramic cutting tools and inserts – still one of the most important divisions to this day.

slashesNew developments: Ceramic modules and lambda sensors

In 1967, the company started the development of ceramic modules for electrical devices in telecommunications and information processing. With the area-wide introduction of catalytic converters in the automotive industry, NGK SPARK PLUG also incorporated lambda sensors (so-called oxygen sensors) into its portfolio in 1982.

slashesWorldwide expansion

By building its first spark plug factory outside of Japan, in Brazil in 1959, NGK SPARK PLUG took a major step in the direction of becoming a global corporation. In 1966, the company founded a subsidiary in the USA, followed by Malaysia in 1973 and Indonesia in 1977. Further group companies were built in Australia and Canada in the 1980s, followed by Middle East in 2002 and further far Eastern subsidiaries in the 2000s.

slashesGaining a foothold in Europe

In 1975, NGK SPARK PLUG started operation in Europe by establishing its first European subsidiary in England. Four years later, in 1979, NGK SPARK PLUG Deutschland GmbH was founded in Ratingen. The German subsidiary was renamed NGK SPARK PLUG Europe GmbH in 1989 and took over responsibility for the European business.

slashesAcquisition in Vehicle Electronics

Since May 2015, NGK SPARK PLUG holds all shares relating to Wells Manufacturing, a leading supplier of vehicle electronics components in the automotive business. The U.S.-based company offers more than 37,000 parts – a broad product portfolio of switches, ignition coils and pressure sensors.

slashesThe present

Today, NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers worldwide. The automotive side of the company specializes in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment and Aftermarket customers across the globe. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology, and research & development, the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology.

SlashesA true global player today

NGK SPARK PLUG is now represented on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants, and five technical centers. With more than 14,500 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.1 billion euros worldwide.