Fram has been making automotive oil filters since 1932 and is a name that the American public recognizes and continues to support. The Fram company recently changed hands again when Trico bought them out.
Trico is a subsidiary of Crowne Group LLC, a multinational giant with several automotive industries. You may well ask yourself, who makes Fram filters now?
Fram filters are made in the now Trico-owned facilities in Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio, although Trico owns manufacturing plants in 5 continents. Trico recently opened their wiper manufacturing plant in China to reduce manufacturing costs, so outsourcing their oil filter manufacture may be on the cards for Fram filters.
Although the Fram site still posits itself as the original Fram company, the business has changed hands twice.
The Fram filters are still the top-selling oil filter in North America, and Trico claims that they will not reduce American manufacture but who makes them now?
Here are some REAL facts to consider.
Table of Contents
Who Makes Fram Oil Filters?
The Trico Group bought Fram and Autolite Brands from the Rank group as a second acquisition for Trico in 2019. They also bought UCI International’s Performance Pumps, made up of Airtex and ASC Industries.
Trico is a multinational concern and employs 2,450 people throughout the United States, Mexico, Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America.
The Trico Group rebranded itself as First Brands Group in 2020 to reflect its position as a global player with a multi-brand portfolio. First Brands group has a suspiciously minimal online presence for the size of their operation.
Heightening the confusion, Kohlberg and Company announced the acquisition of Trico by the Crowne Group LLC as far back as 2014. First Brands Group is also listed as a Crowne LLC subsidiary.
Crowne Group LLC is located in Ohio and specializes in automotive and industrial product manufacturing. Patrick James is the founder of the company, which is headquartered in Cleveland, OH.
Are Fram Oil Filters Still Proudly US Made?
According to Wikipedia, Trico, who owns Fram, has manufacturing plants spread over five continents. They made the news when they opened their first wiper factory in Suzhou, China.
Although they declared they had no intention to close their Brownsville, Texas plant, their drive to utilize low-cost manufacturing does not bode well for a proudly American-made company.
This move came after moving part of the Brownsville plant over to Mexico as part of their restructuring.
Their scant online profiles do not divulge if all of their products are made in the US, but according to B4US, some of their products still bear the made in the USA label.
With a multinational company of Crowne’s size and low visibility, this might change in the future as they embrace emerging markets in a drive to reduce manufacturing costs.
Where are Fram Oil Filters Manufactured?
Fram headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio, and claim to be America’s number one oil filter brand. The Fram team still manufactures a variety of quality oil air and fuel filters as well as several automotive accessories.
The Fram company has a number of research, development, manufacturing, and marketing locations in:
- Rochester Hills, Michigan
- Hebron, Kentucky
- Greenville Ohio.
What Oil Filters Does Fram Produce?
FRAM EXTRA GUARD® OIL FILTER
Fram Extra Guard is suited to everyday drivers who make oil changes according to the original equipment (OE) guide.
The Extra Guard filter uses cellulose and glass blended media to increase vehicle protection on the road.
They also provide a durable silicone anti-drain back valve.
FRAM TOUGH GUARD®OIL FILTER
The Tough Guard filter suits drivers who cover distances daily with the stop and go of traffic. The filter is also engineered for heavy-duty driving, towing, and extreme weather conditions.
This filter also provides a precision coil spring with a glass fiber reinforced nylon poppet. Their synthetic blend media is engineered to protect hard-working vehicles while on the road.
FRAM ULTRA SYNTHETIC™ OIL FILTER
Fram synthetic engine oil is made by Conoco-Phillips.
The Fram Ultra Synthetic filter offers enhanced protection for older vehicles that use synthetic oil when running. This filter protects up to 20,000 miles.
The filter also provides a precision relief valve and cellulose and glass media to protect vehicles with extra mileage on the clock.
FRAM RACING® OIL FILTER
The Racing oil filter has a heavy gauge tapping plate, and extra-thick steel can stand up to extreme driving activity, The spiral center tube resists collapse, and the tough steel caps make the filter extra long-lasting.
The screen over filter bypass offers enhances protection from contaminants.
FRAM DRIVETM OIL FILTER
Using all the Fram technology, this filter suits those who do everyday commutes and driving and uses conventional or synthetic oil.
The filter offers protection for up to 7,500 miles.
FRAM FORCETM OIL FILTER
The Force filter suits drivers who test the limits of their car and haul, stop and go and drive, and extreme weather.
The filter is engineered for all oil types and delivers advanced protection for up to 15,000 miles.
The media is specifically designed with extra planets and enhanced dirt-trapping capacity for protection in extreme conditions.
FRAM TITANIUMTM OIL FILTER
The titanium oil Filter offers extended protection for high-flow synthetic oil for up to 20,000 miles.
The synthetic blend media has great dirt trapping ability for those who need longer between oil changes;
The plate inlet holes are high flow threaded to control oil flow to clean the filter media surface.
Are Fram Filters Good Quality?
The top-rated Automotive site, The Drive, gives the frame oil filters an honorable mention in their 2021 best oil filter lineup, although their review is hardly an overwhelmingly positive one.
Although they testify to the functioning of the Fram oil filter range, they do speculate on what they perceive at the filter’s shoddy cardboard end caps.
Autoguide also lists Fram as their top five picks in oil filters, as an excellent blend of affordability and performance.
Other sites point out that Fram filters:
- Filtering media is too thin
- The drain-back valve is made from cheap metal
- The outer wall media is thinner than competitor brands
- The media seam has no metal clip to prevent potential unrefined oil circulation.
Despite the conflicting opinions, Fram continues to list among the top names in the automotive oil filtration industry.
Despite the negative some hold for Fram filters, they continue to dominate the oil filter industry sales in North America. These high sales are in some measure the reflection that they continue to provide a quality product.
However, since the company changed hands, we will need to wait and see whether outsourcing manufacturing will be a trend Trico continues to follow.
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