“Proud of the past…committed to the future” is a slogan which accurately reflects Pioneer’s heritage and its future.
Pioneer, Inc. was founded in 1946 by the late Herman A. Shields, who owned a successful automotive parts manufacturer’s representative firm in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. He formed the company to service the needs of his clutch re-manufacturer customers. His goal was simple: supply the needed, hard-to-find parts for these businesses. Little did he know that the company he founded would become a leading supplier of high-quality components to the automotive aftermarket. For over 30 years under the guidance of the Shields family, Pioneer growth was based upon the twin cornerstones of customer service and reputation of the ''Source for hard-to-find parts.'' In 1979, Pioneer was purchased by The Barnes Group (Bristol, Connecticut) and the company became known as Pioneer/Barnes. During the Barnes Group’s ownership, Pioneer purchased a 10-acre parcel in the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery Industrial Park and built an 86,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and distribution center on the site.
The product line expanded dramatically during the Barnes years, adding operating cables, flywheels, ring gears, shop supplies, and performance parts to the company’s mix, while further expanding the clutch, engine parts, and water pump lines. Additionally, Pioneer has made major commitments to its total quality assurance programs. The distribution facilities have also undergone modernization. In 1995, the Meridian facility’s distribution center was expanded, bringing the warehousing space to over 220,000 sq. ft. In June of 2003, Pioneer was purchased by UCI, Inc. (a private investment company based in Evansville, IN). As a member of the UCI family, Pioneer grew its focus on product line expansion and making major investments in product tooling.
In August of 2010, Pioneer was purchased by Lodi Group (a private investment company based in Monterrey, MX). Lodi Group is made up of eight automotive manufacturing and distribution companies servicing OEM and Aftermarket customers worldwide. With Pioneer’s state-of-the-art distribution network and vertical integration through base manufacturing on key product lines gives Pioneer a strong and competitive package of Powertrain-related products.
For 68 years, the Pioneer story has been unique. Pioneer’s growth has been based upon the philosophy of Herman Shields that success must be based upon customer service and satisfaction.