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|Product type||Automobile batteries|
|Owner||KCD IP, LLC|
DieHard is a premium brand of automotive battery marketed by Sears Holdings retailers, including Sears and Kmart. The brand is owned by KCD IP, LLC, a special purpose entity created by Sears Holdings for securitization purposes.
The brand dates to 1967. In its earliest years, the brand was guaranteed to last "forever", that is, as long as the original owner still owned the car in which it was originally installed, far more generous than traditional pro rata battery warranties. When drivers began to keep automobiles for longer periods than had been traditional previously (due to both their rising cost and hence longer financing contracts, and their improved durability), the cost of this policy became prohibitive and it was discontinued. However, the brand line was kept and expanded; it now includes medium-priced, medium-duty batteries as well as the premium-priced, heavy-duty line with which it was begun, and in recent years has been expanded to include other non-automotive batteries as well. It is used on batteries for motorcycles, boats, golf carts, garden tractors, and snowmobiles.
Some of the batteries themselves are manufactured by Johnson Controls, which also manufacture Duralast, Varta, AC Delco, as well as 20 other brands. For a time, DieHard batteries were also manufactured by Exide. In March 2001, Exide pled guilty to fraud conspiracy charges and agreed to pay a fine of $27.5 million to end a federal criminal investigation into auto battery sales to customers of Sears, Roebuck & Company. The case arose from investigations and accusations that Exide conspired with Sears to sell used batteries as new to Sears customers and that Exide officials had paid bribes to conceal the fraud. Manufacture has since switched back to Johnson Controls. The DieHard Platinum line is made by EnerSys, which also makes its own line of premium Odyssey batteries manufactured in the United States.
The DieHard brand is also used on battery chargers, booster cables, power inverters, alkaline batteries, tires, work boots, and more recently the batteries for Craftsman power tools.
In 2017, Sears launched a pilot location in San Antonio for a DieHard-branded auto service franchise, DieHard Auto Center driven by Sears Auto. The brand is intended to operate as a standalone version of the Sears Auto Center locations attached to Sears department stores; the location was chosen because it was in proximity to a Sears location that had closed.
- Berner, Robert (2007-04-16). "The New Alchemy At Sears". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "Exide Will Pay $27 Million in Fraud Case". Bloomberg News. March 24, 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- Costello, Larry. "EnerSys Signs Multi-Year Contract to Provide Sears Holdings With Long-Life DieHard(R) Platinum Batteries". Sears Holdings.
- McGavin, Stephanie Hernandez (February 21, 2017). "Sears launches free-standing pilot DieHard Auto Center". Automotive News. Retrieved 22 February 2017.