1972 - 2008: Global Growth & Restructuring



A. O. Smith opens its first European operations in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. Originally a sales office serving Europe and the Middle East, the facility expanded to include assembly and eventually fabrication of water heaters.




A. O. Smith celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The Company introduces its Conservationist line of residential water heaters. 




A. O. Smith produces its 100-millionth passenger car frame.




A. O. Smith opens its first electric motor assembly operations in Ciudad Juárez and Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.




A. O. Smith substantially increases the size and scope of its electric motor business by acquiring Westinghouse’s small motors division.




Arthur and Ray Smith inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the first father and son to earn the honor. 




A. O. Smith enters the China market with three joint ventures: automotive products, fiberglass oilfield pipe and residential water heaters.




 After 98 years, A. O. Smith exits the automotive industry, selling its U.S. business and a Mexican subsidiary to Tower Automotive.

The Company makes the first of a series of strategic acquisitions with the purchase of UPPCO, Inc., followed by General Electric’s domestic compressor business (1998) and MagneTek’s global motor operations (1999).




Two years after creating a water heater joint venture in China, A. O. Smith buys out its partner and opens a new plant in Nanjing. 




 A. O. Smith acquires State Industries, Inc., nearly doubling the size of its water heater business. The acquisition enables the Company to enter the retail market segment for the first time in more than 40 years.

The Company acquires Shenzhen Speeda Industries, Ltd., the first of four strategic electric motor acquisitions in China.




A. O. Smith completes the largest acquisition in company history, purchasing Canadian water heater and building products manufacturer GSW Inc. and American Water Heater Company. The addition of the American, Whirlpool, GSW and John Wood brands make A. O. Smith the industry leader in the North America.




A. O. Smith begins to market residential and commercial water heaters in India as one of the first U.S. companies in the market.