This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham
If you are an automotive enthusiast, chances are you know the brand Matco Tools. The company is based in Stow, Ohio, and currently offers 13,000 different tools. At Matco, customers can find everything from toolboxes to wrenches, all made in the USA. Founded in 1946, Matco began selling directly to mechanics in 1979. The Matco name dates back to the company’s association to the Mac Allied Tool Company. That partnership ended in 1979, but the Matco name remained.
Most of Matco’s tools are manufactured in Jamestown, New York. That location is home to Matco’s high-quality toolbox. Matco also sells a line of air and diagnostic tools, which it manufactures through a company in China.
Matco tools follow a similar distribution model to Snap-On and Cornwell. They are sold by individuals who essentially own a franchise business. A typical sales transaction involves Matco representatives driving a tool truck out to a job site to advertise on the job. If a buyer is interested, the sales representative is able to offer financing to close the deal.
Matco prides itself on branding. It has sponsored 16-time winner NHRA driver Antron Brown, and Jack Beckman. Its trucks are easily recognizable, with distinct white panels that include the red and blue logo. Matco also offers its entire line of tools through the Internet, either through its own store or in partnership with another vendor.
Matco Tools is also a member of the Fortune 500 list of companies, and plays a key support role in the budding environmentally friendly industry.
About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Facebook page.