Lucas Electrical.


Joseph Lucas began as a dealer in paraffin oil in the 1860’s. Lucas established his business in Birmingham, in1872. In 1875 the business had 5 employees and a small workshop in Little King Street. Their product range included ships’ lamps and “The King of the Road” bicycle lamp for use on Penny Farthings in 1878.

In 1882 Joseph Lucas formed Lucas & Son with his son Harry. A new factory was built which developed into the Great King Street premises. By 1897, as a market leader the company were in the perfect position to move into the emerging automotive parts and accessories market.

In 1902 Joseph Lucas Ltd, as it was now known, started making automotive electrical parts. Joseph Lucas died in 1902 and his son Harry continued to develop the business as its Chairman. The range was extended to include car, cycle and motorcycle accessories such as oil, acetylene and electrical lamps.

In 1910 Lucas acquired Thomson-Bennett Ltd and products such as magnetos, horns, lighting, alternators, wiring and starter motors could be produced from 1912 onwards. From 1914 Lucas had a contract to supply Morris Motors Ltd with electrical equipment. Lucas made shells, fuses and electrical equipment for military vehicles.

After the First World War the firm expanded and branched out into a variety of products. By 1926 Lucas had acquired several companies, such as C.A Vandervell and Co Ltd (CAV) and Rotax, and because of this Lucas became the largest supplier of electrical equipment to British vehicles and the largest manufacturer of accessories. These acquisitions meant that Lucas could supply commercial and heavy-duty electrical vehicle equipment, fuel injection pumps for diesel engines (with BOSCH), hydraulic actuators and electronic engine control systems for aerospace industry/aviation and braking and diesel systems for the automotive industry.

During World War Two Lucas made the burners for the Whittle jet engine project and worked on the combustion and fuel systems. Lucas continued to acquire businesses and added hydraulic braking to their portfolio (Girling brake business).

In the 1950’s the company was renamed Joseph Lucas (Industries Limited and they had 12 distribution companies operating overseas and 8 manufacturing groups in the UK. The company had some major product milestones at this time such as the first disc brake fitted to a production car and the introduction of the DPA rotary fuel injection pump.

By the 1960’s, Joseph Lucas (Industries Limited) had expanded into Europe including brake manufacturing brakes in France and Germany and diesel partnerships in France and Spain.

The company had another change of name in 1974 and was now Lucas Industries which led to the loss of the brands Lucas (lion), CAV and Girling. The decline of the UK car manufacturing base in the 1980s led to restructuring and a refocus on the overseas market. By the end of the 1980’s Lucas Automotive were producing high technology engine management and braking systems for world-wide customers.

TRW Automotive acquired Lucas in 1999. In 2003, TRW made the decision to license the Lucas brand to specialist licensees to develop and invest in the Lucas programs. In 2004, Elta Lighting acquired the UK license for the Lucas brand from TWR Automotive.


The Green Spark Plug Company and Lucas.

You can buy Lucas products through our website or we are available for telephone enquiries and orders.

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