Autoglym is a world renown brand and part of the Altro family of companies. Based in Letchworth and having been delivering glistening vehicles since 1965, we thought we'd chat to their team to find out more about the product and what makes the brand so popular.
- Car enthusiasts the world over will know Autoglym, but for those who don’t know, can you tell us about Autoglym and what you do?
At Autoglym we design, develop, manufacture, label pack and ship car care products. If you have a bit of a vehicle you want to clean, polish, wax or protect, the chances are we have a suitable product. Our products help customers make dull things shiny and dirty things clean. Almost all of our products are manufactured right here in Letchworth and from here go all over the world from America to Australia and everywhere in between.
We manufacture over 100 products for the home enthusiast, ‘Sunday Morning Man’, car detailers, valeters, the motor trade, bus and truck fleets and even marine users. With everything we do we want to give our customers the best products to achieve a truly stunning finish that they can be proud of.
- What’s the history behind Autoglym?
Autoglym was founded in 1965 with 8 products at a time when polishing your car took some serious muscle. We developed a product that was simple to apply and buff off, gave a stunning gloss and made pre-owned vehicles appear new again. The range was initially only available to garages and valeters, but in the 80’s we launched a retail range for the home enthusiast, and the rest is history.
- You’ve got two Royal Warrants, what did you get these for and what do they mean?
We are immensely proud of our Royal Warrants. They were awarded by HM The Queen and HRH The Prince Of Wales to Autoglym in relation to the supply of car care products. The Royal Warrant signifies there is a satisfactory trade relation in place between the Royal household and the company in question. It takes at least five years of supplying goods or services to the member of the Royal Family before a company is eligible to have its application considered for recommendation. They cannot be bought or otherwise obtained, so it is a great source of pride for us that the Royal households are actually using our products on their spectacular collection of motor vehicles.
- How long has Autoglym been based in Letchworth?
Originally we were based in Welwyn Garden City, but in moved to Letchworth to a site next door to Altro, our parent company in the 90’s. We have redeveloped the site several times to ensure we operate in the most efficient way, as our output has grown significantly over the years.
- How many people do you employ in Letchworth?
There are around 150 staff some field based, but the majority on site here.
- Autoglym seems to have quite a cult following online, what do you put that success down to?
I think it is for a range of reasons. Initially it was because the products were truly revolutionary, people had never used anything like them before. That helped build awareness, and it definitely helped that it originated as a “trade only” product. As time went on fathers and mothers taught their sons and daughters to polish cars and invariably they used Autoglym. Many of our customers are second (or third!) generation Autoglym users and has helped make Autoglym the UK’s favourite car polish. For others they see our product videos online, or meet us at a show and we always encourage them to join with us online. All Autoglym products bring about a change to a surface, all vehicles look better after an Autoglym session, this means you can show off your hard work on Instagram.
- What’s the strangest help request you’ve heard of when it comes to car cleaning?
Well, there have been quite a few but we have been asked to polish monster trucks, a Concorde, Lifeboat tractors and the Thrust SSC world land speed record car before its record attempt (it still holds the record!). We are asked for advice on cleaning and protecting all sorts of strange things, from sculptures and guitars to high end audio speakers - all sorts!
- What’s Autoglym’s relationship with the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC)?
Autoglym have been an active supplier to many teams participating in the British Touring Car Championship over the years. Our products are used to clean the racing cars which will race three times a day on a race weekend. They have to look clean and presentable as the races are televised and sponsors do not want their logos hidden behind dirt! There is also a safety aspect too, as crystal clean glass is essential for safe racing too. The product are also put to good use on the transporter trucks too – truckers tend to be rather proud of a clean waggon. Our products are also used on motorhomes where drivers rest between races and even on the pit bikes and quads that are used to get the mechanics around the paddock. I even have a photo of our products being used to polish the winner’s trophy!