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Company evolution

Wipac’s origins can be traced back well over 100 years to the start of the automotive industry:

The Witherbee Igniter company (Wico) originally manufactured electrical components for agricultural machinery in Massachusetts as far back as 1892; they later became the Wico Electric Company, developing and manufacturing igniters in New York for the booming automotive industry in the early 1900s.

In 1926 the Wico electric company started a servicing depot in London, which developed into a magneto manufacturing factory and in 1941 this division was purchased from the American owners by the Ministry of Aircraft production.

In the late 1940s Wico was merged with the British spark plug manufacturer Pacy to become the Wico-Pacy sales corporation (based in Bletchley) and the Wipac brand was born.

Over the subsequent years Wipac enjoyed great success in the design and manufacture of a huge range of mechanical and electrical products, the brand became especially well known throughout the UK for high quality car and motorbike accessories.

By the 1990s the decline of the British automotive industry and increasing complexity of servicing modern cars had drastically reduced Wipac’s market and the Company needed a new business direction:

In 1998 Wipac was purchased by Carclo and a programme of significant change and investment started with the clear objective to develop Wipac as a world-class Tier 1 automotive supplier, specialising in the high technology market of prestige vehicle lighting.

Product evolution

From their first lamps in 1948 Wipac quickly established themselves as a major supplier for all types of lighting to the UK automotive industry.

Wipac's first LED lighting product was a 48 LED high mounted stop lamp for the Cadillac Catera, manufactured in 1995 and from there the development of this new technology moved fast with Wipac producing one of the world’s first multifunction LED tail lamps for the Porsche Carrera GT in 2001.

Today Wipac have around 50 automotive lighting systems in production for many of the world's finest car makers including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Jaguar, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce.

History timeline

Please use the gallery below to view an entertaining history of Wipac adverts and company photos.