Warn Industries History



Founded in 1948 by Arthur Warn, Warn Industries began producing locking hubs for surplus World War II Jeeps, converting thousands into useful, on-road vehicles. Originally based in Seattle, Washington, Warn Industries' innovation revolutionized the hub industry. The WARN winch, developed in 1959, was the first recreational winch. With pioneering features such as a rugged drive train, the WARN winch quickly became the leading brand for off-road racers, avid four wheelers, weekend adventurers and hard working ranchers.

Arthur Warn invented the Hub, his son Thurston Warn inherited it, but was also part of the running of the business in the early years. He is deceased and it now belongs to one of his sons - Mike Warn. Mike and Dan Warn, brothers, inherited it, Dan sold out to Mike.

Thurston Warn died in 1982

In 2000, Arthur Warn's grandson, Mike Warn, sold the family owned business. Jon Kreitz, former CEO of WARN, led a management buyout with institutional investors, Endeavour Capital & Norwest Equity Partners.

WARN was acquired by Dover Resources (now Dover Industrial Products) in October, 2003, and is part of Dover Corporation, a multi-billion dollar, global manufacturer of diversified products. Dover is (DOV) on the New York Stock Exchange. (www.dovercorporation.com)


1948 Arthur Warn invents the Locking Hub in Seattle, Washington

1954 WARN locking hubs are offered as optional factory equipment by major domestic automotive manufacturers

1956 WARN invents locking hub with both free and lock selections

1959 WARN diversifies product with the introduction of the first WARN electric winch, as well as an automatic hublock.

1960 WARN sells first OEM products to International Harvester, Willys, and Kaiser-Jeep

1961 Jeep & IH Overdrive Transmission Produced

1961 The M4 locking hub is sold to Ford

1969 First WARN winch sold to International Harvester

1973 WARN introduces Positrac Differential

1978 WARN begins major relationship with Ford on F150 and Bronco

1981 Ford announces that its Ranger truck series 4x4 models will be equipped with WARN M250 manual locking hubs

1985 WARN Industries introduces Statistical Process Control (SPC) into its production process

1985 WARN begins delivery of M291 locking hubs to Chrysler

1988 WARN introduces the industry's first ATV winch