Our Company History
LKQ Corporation was initially formed in 1998 through the combination of a number of wholesale recycled products businesses located in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. We subsequently expanded through internal development and approximately 270 acquisitions of aftermarket, recycled, refurbished, and remanufactured product suppliers and manufacturers; self service retail businesses; and specialty vehicle aftermarket equipment and accessories suppliers. See below for a detailed snapshot of our key event below.
Donald Flynn's Vision
In 1998 Donald Flynn founded LKQ Corporation with the goal to provide quality auto parts to a fragmented industry.
LKQ is Formed
LKQ Corporation formed with our first 3 acquisitions: Triplett Auto Recyclers, Damron Auto Parts and Star Auto Parts.
LKQ was tapping into a fragmented part of the industry, Ford Motor Company entered the recycled parts business as “GreenLeaf”.
LKQ Goes Public
LKQ officially goes public on the NASDAQ under the symbol LKQX.
LKQ enters the aftermarket parts business with the acquisition of Action Crash Parts. With the addition of aftermarket parts, LKQ was able to launch aftermarket programs in new markets, and the success there ultimately gave LKQ confidence to expand our aftermarket offerings.
The product offering expansion continues in 2004 when LKQ enters the Self Service business in Florida and Central America.
LKQ acquires Transwheel/ Transmetco, giving us the ability to restore aluminium wheels to a like-new condition. In addition, Transmetco runs a small furnace that melts the excess wheels into ingots and sows, which we sell back to manufacturers of OEM wheels.
Keystone Automotive Industries
The biggest company changing event up until 2007 is the acquisition of Keystone Automotive industries. Keystone, at the time, was a public company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, operating 137 warehouses and 13 depots in 39 states as well as in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, in Canada.
LKQ enters the heavy duty truck recycling business with the acquisition of Texas Best Diesel. Many more additional locations follow in the coming years.
In October 2009 LKQ acquires its largest recycled parts competitor, GreenLeaf Auto Recyclers. The GreenLeaf transaction is the 2nd largest acquisition LKQ completes through 2009, adding an additional 17 auto salvage operations.
LKQ gets into the remanufacturing space by acquiring PROFormance, an engine re-builder in Springfield, Missouri.
ATK VEGE Engines & Yamato
LKQ acquires ATK Vege Engines and Yamato, following the acquisition of Proformance in 2010. With these three companies, along with the recycled engine business, LKQ becomes the largest distributor of alternative engines in the United States.
AkzoNobel approaches LKQ to sell their 40 paint distribution locations. With this acquisition, LKQ becomes the number two paint distributor to the collision industry in the US and brings in about 200 new employees, many of them being paint specialists who are critical in the future growth of this business segment.
Entry into the United Kingdom
In 2011 LKQ enters into the United Kingdom with the acquisition of Euro Car Parts, the largest aftermarket hard parts distributor in the UK. Euro Car Parts had close to 90 branches throughout England and had an established national distribution center, when allowed them to re-stock on a daily basis, providing a huge competitive advantage.
Worldwide expansion continues with the acquisition of aftermarket parts distributor Sator Beheer, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Northern France. LKQ also acquires 5 paint distributors in the United Kingdom.
LKQ enters the specialty aftermarket equipment and accessories business with the acquisition of Keystone Automotive Operations.
Continued European Expansion
LKQ acquires the holding company of Rhiag-Inter Auto Parts Italia S.p.A. (“Rhiag”), a leading pan- European business-to-business distributor of aftermarket spare parts for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. LKQ operations expand into Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland and Spain.
In 2016 LKQ acquires Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW), the leading global manufacturer of automotive glass products. With the acquisition of PGW LKQ enters into the automotive glass market, and continue to grow our industryleading position and product offerings to better serve the needs of customers.
Acquisition of Stahlgruber GmbH (“Stahlgruber”), a wholesale distributor of aftermarket spare parts for passenger cars, tools, capital equipment and accessories with operations in Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia with further sales to Switzerland. This acquisition expanded our geographic presence in continental Europe and serves as an additional strategic hub for our European operations.
Acquisition of Elite Electronics, which specializes in various automotive diagnostic and repair services. This acquisition launched LKQ North America into the vehicle services market, converging our industry-leading parts and distribution business with Elite’s services to further facilitate customers’ needs.
The subsequent creation of Elitek, LKQ has expanded upon replacement parts and into the area of automotive diagnostic and repair services.