It was 1917. Young Max Gordon was returning to Rochester after serving in World War I. With the financial support ofhis mother, Esther, Max and his brother Isaac started the Pullman Taxicab Company. Soon they acquired a fleet of taxicabs that serviced Rochester and the surrounding communities.
During this period, the front -engine car came to dominate, with closed bodies and standardized controls becoming the norm. Being an owner of a fleet of automobiles in 1917 was frustrating. It was hard to find trained mechanics and it was impossible to find auto parts!
Gordon Motor Parts was created to help the young brothers stock the parts they needed for their taxis, but it also gave them the opportunity to branch out to service car dealerships and repair garages. The operation quickly grew into one ofthe largest in the area. Soon branches were opened in Geneva, Warsaw, Hornell, Jamestown and Bradford, PA.A fullservice machine shop, capable ofrebuilding engines and supplying complete automotive machine service to the trade, was also added.
Due to a strong relationship with aftermarket suppliers, and the need to supply their own stores and others, Monroe Motor Products was created to purchase as a warehouse distributor.The name Monroe came from Monroe County where the company originated.
When World War II erupted, life in the United States was very different. Gordon Motor Parts joined the war effort, becoming a government subcontractor helping to keep Army vehicles in working order. Because ofthe large shortage of replacement parts during the war, Monroe had to shut down its branch locations.
After serving as an Ensign in the Navy during World War II and completing his degree in business from Ohio State University, Max's son Burtjoined the company in 1947. Under Burt's leadership as general manager, sales personnel were added. The emphasis was now placed on growing Monroe Motor Products and servicing independent jobber parts stores throughout NewYork State . The company continued to grow as cars became more complicated and buying a car was an important symbol ofachieving the American Dream.
Burt's son Michael joined the firm in 1973 after college. Burt, now the President and CEO ofthe company, made certain that Michael learned the business from the ground up. He started in the warehouse and then worked his way up to making sales calls to local jobber customers.
Michael purchased his first jobber store in 1978. Getting to understand the needs ofthe jobber firsthand helped lay the groundwork for the many strategic decisions that Burt and Michael would make in the future.
At that time, they could never have known that they were building a company that would not only survive but thrive for three generations. Later Burt's son Jimmy also joined the company. Together, they established a company that was grounded in the desire to offer superior service to their customers,while doing business with the highest ethical standards. They never waivered in that commitment to do business the right way.
The company's tradition of industry leadership continued. In 1977, they were a founding member ofthe Pronto Marketing Group, and later changed to the Bumper-to-Bumperprogram. In 1997, the companyjoined the Parts Plus Program to continue to deliver the best value to its customers and refocus on the importance of programmed distribution.
Looking back, we know that the standards that Max and Burt set for the company are still the same reasons that MonroeMotor Products remains a strong competitor in the industry today. Our company's solid foundation was laid by these bright, energetic and innovative individuals to whom we dedic ate this publication. Without their personal sacrifices, high moral values and vision, none of what we have achieved to date would have been possible.
Thank you, Max and Burt, for your incredible legacy. Today, Monroe Motor Products has remained true to that legacy. We truely value our people clearly our most important resource--our customers and the strong relationships we continue to maintain with am many suppliers. We can not even begin to imagine the chan ges we will see in the automotive industry over the next nine decades. But one thing will never change.Monroe Motor Products will be there with the right part, on time, every time.
Monroe Motor Products’ success over the past 100 years can be attributed to its people. Our people remain our most important resource, along with our customers and the strong relationships we continue to maintain with our many suppliers.