Vehicle lighting manufacturer Grote Industries is continuing its legacy as a family business by passing the baton from the third generation to the fourth. Along with the company’s change in leadership, the new CEO and President indicated that the company was also looking to diversify its products from lighting and move into the digital age.
Dominic, John, and Mike Grote now own 100% of Grote Industries, with Dominic Grote remaining as the company’s CEO and president and Mike Grote retaining his position as the general manager of Grote’s Asian division. Meanwhile, John Grote, brother to Dominic and cousin to Mike, is now Grote Industries chief operating officer. He’ll lead global business operations for North America, Europe, and Asia, brining his experience in sales, marketing, and management from his work with L’Oreal and Philips electronics to the family business. In the meantime, the new generation won’t be entirely without advice from the old: Bill Grote will remain as chairman of the board, and Buzz Grote will keep his seat on the board of directors as well.
“As we talk about the transition in the business and being a fourth-generation family business, the statistics aren't typically in the favor of businesses going from generation to generation,” Dominic Grote said. “But we've taken many steps over the last couple of generations to do the right things for the business to make sure we're able to continue as a family business, offering our employees, customers and communities continued continuity.”
In terms of product continuity, the Grote’s indicated that they’re looking to diversify the company’s offerings.
"We are investing for the future,” Mike Grote explained. “We see an ever-expanding opportunity globally in areas such as telematics, electric vehicles, and autonomous driving where our key capabilities and technologies can be leveraged and pay off for our customers.”
Moving into the market for digital technology and electric vehicles would be a significant departure from Grote Industries’ current suite of products. The company already develops products for asset lighting, including mirrors, wiring, fuses, and various LED lights and systems. Grote Industries has previously emphasized that the 12% of violations due to vehicle lighting (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) are often caused by road hazards, including shock, vibration, corrosive chemicals, moisture, and extreme temperatures.
The Grotes described how expanding beyond physical safety elements on the road and into digital vehicle safety will require the right talent and team, a team that they are certain they are creating with the latest power transition.
This article originally appeared in FleetMaintenance.com.