Today, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic DieHard brand, which truly has lived up to its name. Over the years, engineers at the Sears and DieHard labs have put DieHard automotive batteries through extreme tests to ensure their toughness, durability and performance.
Nine years of intense research went into the development of the original DieHard battery. Sears designed the DieHard to produce 35 percent more usable starting power than other similar batteries. The first innovative DieHard battery was introduced in 1967, with a design that included a thin-walled plastic case that was 50 percent thinner than conventional black rubber battery enclosures. The extra room allowed for larger plates and more starting power. After being tested in temperatures ranging from sub-zero to more than 100 degrees – performing 26,000 starts without a failure, the name “DieHard” was coined.
DieHard batteries also have survived:
- Being shot with .458 elephant rifle and still starting a car
- Being frozen in a block of ice, then starting six cars
- Being baked in an oven at 176 degrees, then starting a car
And in one of its historic ads, a DieHard battery started five cars at one time.
Perhaps the most memorable ad was the “Frozen Lake” TV commercial. In the spot, a lone auto sits on a lake in International Falls, Minn. through January, February and March. Then, in April, it started – thanks to a DieHard.
DieHard continues to be THE most sought-after vehicle battery brand, significantly ahead of any competitive brand.
- DieHard is America’s most trusted, reliable and preferred vehicle battery brand
- Of all brands in the U.S. – in any product category, not just auto batteries – DieHard is among the top one percent of most reliable brands
However, the success of the DieHard brand is not limited to automotive batteries.
- The brand expanded successfully into footwear, battery related categories such as battery chargers, jump starters and booster cables and portable power products such as akaline batteries and lights.
- DieHard brand’s recent innovations include an industry first WiFi-based smart battery charger and maintainer in 2016, and a compact lithium jump starter plus smart phone charger in 2016.
- Also in 2016, we successfully launched DieHard tires, the first major category expansion for DieHard in over 25 years.
- And earlier this year, we opened a DieHard Auto Center in San Antiono, Texas.
“The DieHard brand is a trusted American legacy brand, woven into the fabric of our American home lifestyle,” said Tom Park, president of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands. “You can power your car with a DieHard battery and also can ride on DieHard tires on your drive to work. Here’s an example of how strong the DieHard brand is,” Park said. “When we were considering expanding into the tire category, we conducted research in the U.S. to understand consumers’ purchase consideration for their next tire. The research showed that the DieHard brand was in the top six tire brands – and DieHard tires didn’t even exist at that point! That’s when I told our team it was time to launch DieHard tires. This truly is a remarkable brand.”
“DieHard tires have been extremely successful at Sears Auto Centers,” said Jon Otterberg, president of Sears Auto. “They’re our most profitable tire line. And the launch of the first DieHard Auto Center in San Antonio earlier this year also was a great success. So I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be opening two more DieHard Auto Centers on July 31st – stay tuned for details.”
DieHard Fun Facts:
- During our 50 years, the number of DieHard batteries sold would circle the Earth about 1.5 times and the moon 5.5 times.
- Lined up end to end, the total number of DieHard batteries manufactured in the past 50 years would stretch 37,000 miles. That would be like traveling from one end of the lower 48 continental United States to the other end 13 times!
- That’s enough batteries to stack as high as the tallest building in America (One World Trade Center) more than 21 times.
So, where does DieHard go from here? There are plenty of exciting expansions ahead for the brand, including: DieHard’s planned expansion into tires for light trucks and Ultra High Performance tires; automotive accessories, and a DieHard lifestyle launch and expansion – with toys, apparel/workwear and footwear. We are also exploring new strategic opportunities and partnerships that will accelerate the growth of DieHard and Sears. We will provide more details in the coming months.
Please help us celebrate the DieHard brand’s 50th – and be sure to encourage your family and friends to buy some of these great new DieHard products in 2017. For more on the history of the DieHard brand, check out our timeline.
On behalf of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard (KCD) team, we want to thank all our associates, members, Business Unit partners and our vendor partners for your passion and dedication in making DieHard a major American iconic brand.