Key Dates in The Unipart Story


When many people think of Unipart, they recall a company that revolutionised the automotive aftermarket in the 1970s.


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A lot has changed since then; Unipart is now a highly diversified company bringing a wide range of benefits to clients in the rail, technology, retail, automotive, financial and public sectors.

Each of our client relationships is unique, but what is common to most is how Unipart enables significant cost reductions, improvements in capacity and customer service, and a level of engagement with employees that delivers real commercial benefits.

Our operations today span three major areas: logistics, manufacturing and consultancy. But across all three, there is a single approach that enables us to deliver more than our clients expect. We call that The Unipart Way.

To understand some of the major events that have helped to shape our Group, please click on the relevant tab below. For more details on many of the events, please click here.

To download our corporate brochure click here.

Join the Unipart way

21/01/1987

1987 – Private company

1987 – Private company

Unipart becomes a private company through management buyout with half the company owned by employees and managers

19/12/1988

1988 – Mark in Action

1988 – Mark in Action

Launch of Mark in Action programme recognising outstanding personal customer service by employees

20/01/1989

1989 – Ten(d) to Zero programme

1989 – Ten(d) to Zero programme

Launch of the Ten(d) to Zero programme enabling Unipart and its suppliers to work in partnership to eliminate waste from the supply chain

20/02/1989

1989 – Best Factories Award

1989 – Best Factories Award

Unipart Industries site in Oxford wins Best Factories Award from Management Today

21/01/1990

1990 – Launch of Our Contribution Counts Circles

Launch of Our Contribution Counts Circles, which enables all employees to solve problems at their own level

20/01/1992

1992 – The Lean Machine opens

Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon. John Patten MP, opens Unipart employee health and fitness centre, The Lean Machine

21/01/1993

1993 – Unipart U

1993 – Unipart U

Unipart is first company to set up its own corporate university, the Unipart U.

20/03/1993

1993 – Best Factory in Britain award

Unipart’s Coventry manufacturing site wins Best Factory in Britain award by Management Today/Cranfield University.

20/01/1994

1994 – Unipart’s silver jubilee

Unipart celebrates the silver jubilee of the Unipart Brand

20/01/1994

1994 – John M Neill made Commander of the Order of the British Empire

1994 – John M Neill made Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Group Chief Executive John M Neill made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his 20 years of outstanding service to and leadership in the automotive industry.

20/01/1995

1995 – Duke of Edinburgh visits Unipart House

1995 – Duke of Edinburgh visits Unipart House

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Unipart House to see how the recommendations of the Tomorrow’s Company report are being brought to life

20/01/1996

1996 – New Chairman of Unipart Group

Lord Sheppard of Didgemere named as Chairman of Unipart Group

20/01/1997

1997 – Faculty on the Floor launch

The first ‘Faculty on the Floor’ learning centre is launched at Unipart’s site in Kent

20/02/1997

1997 – Unipart opens four new joint venture

Unipart opens four new joint venture factories including Kautex Unipart Ltd and Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems

20/03/1997

1997 – 49% share in National Railway Supplies

1997 – 49% share in National Railway Supplies

Unipart acquires Railpart and a 49% share in National Railway Supplies

21/03/1997

1997 – The Unipart Way

1997 – The Unipart Way

The Unipart Way is launched

20/01/1998

1998 – Unipart supports the Government’s New Deal

Unipart is among the first businesses to support the Government’s New Deal initiative

20/01/1999

1999 – Unipart acquires Partco Group

Unipart acquires Partco Group making it the largest supplier of aftermarket parts in Britain

20/02/1999

1999 – Vodafone

1999 – Vodafone

Unipart wins Vodafone as a new customer.

20/01/2004

2004 – Unipart new clients

2004 – Unipart new clients

Unipart new clients include BskyB, Homebase and Jessops