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|Industry||Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Products|
|Founded||1910 in Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Headquarters||Bolton, Connecticut, U.S.|
Simoniz USA, Inc. is an American manufacturer of automobile and janitorial cleaning products. The original Simoniz Company was founded in 1910, making it the oldest car care brand in the United States.
Simoniz USA was formed as a result of a purchase by Syndet Products, Inc. of the Simoniz brand name in 1997 from First Brands Corp. Syndet, at the time, was a 25-year-old manufacturer of hard surface detergents, cleaners and waxes, serving the automotive, institutional and industrial marketplaces. Simoniz was already a part of consumer product and advertising history and lore.
The Simoniz Company came into being in 1910. The company was created by George Simons, who developed a cleaner and a carnauba wax product for car finishes. Along with Elmer Rich of the Great Northern Railway, the two organized the Simons Manufacturing Company. In 1912, Mr. Rich and his brother, R.J. Rich, acquired full ownership. They changed the name of the firm to Simoniz Company and located the first office and backroom factory at 2121 Michigan Avenue in Chicago which was at the time was known as "Automobile Row". Elmer Rich used the prominence of radio to promote his product with the slogan "Motorists Wise, Simoniz".
It was during 1957 that Vista One-Step Cleaner/Wax entered the market. Combining a cleaner and wax in one product, Vista made it possible for car owners to get the unequaled benefits of both Simoniz Kleener and Simoniz Wax in a single step. Virtually overnight, Vista exploded to the top among all care-care products. An Institutional Division was officially organized in 1954. This division offered a complete line of floor waxes, finishes, polishes, cleaners and sponges that were formulated and packaged expressly for business and public large-volume users.
In 1965, Morton International purchased the controlling interest in Simoniz Company, adding Master Wax-Detergent Proof and Smooth-Pre Softened products to the line. In 1976, Simoniz was acquired by Union Carbide. Union Carbide introduced numerous products into the marketplace, including Shines Like the Sun, Super Poly, Body Guard, Double Wax, Simoniz II, Shine Booster and Super Blue.
In 1986, as a part of the divestiture of Union Carbide, a management lead LBO called First Brands Corp. was formed and Simoniz was among the brands purchased. In 1988, First Brands entered into a license agreement with Syndet Products, Inc. to manufacture and distribute on-line Simoniz brand products nationally to the car wash industry, which eventually expanded to include detail shop and janitorial/sanitation (JanSan) cleaning products.
In 1997, Syndet Products purchased the Simoniz brand from First Brands Corp., and renamed the company Simoniz USA, Inc. The Simoniz brand is now one of the most advertised brands in the automotive care appearance industry. In 2000 and 2001, spurred by the successful launch of the Simoniz Detailer's Brushless Carwash, Simoniz produced over one billion consumer impressions and reestablished the brand as an innovative market leader.
In popular culture
The term "Simoniz" or "Simonizing" has entered the public lexicon as a means to wax one's car.
In Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman published in 1949, the terms Simonize and Simonizing are used on several occasions, e.g. "...Remember those days? The way Biff used to simonize that car? The dealer refused to believe there was eighty thousand miles on it."
A 1960s Simoniz television advertisement featured The Three Stooges. The advertisement featured one of Joe DeRita's first on-screen appearances as the third stooge; as DeRita had recently joined the group at the time the commercial was made, his role was not yet well-defined, and he had a small role compared to the other two stooges.
In the 1981 film Arthur, Dudley Moore's character negotiates with a prostitute over her services, including that she "Simoniz my car".
A can of Simoniz wax is also featured in the 1983 film A Christmas Story as a Christmas gift.