NGK - Innovation with tradition

In the 1930s NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. began with the development spark plugs for automobiles in Japan.

The early years

On November 11th 1936 NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. was founded with a start-up capital of one million yen. Just one year later the young company was delivering its first spark plugs.

Initial public offering and ceramic cutting tools

In 1949 the stock exchanges of Nagoya and Tokyo expanded the capital base. The path was clear to begin with the production of technical ceramics for diverse applications. The company introduced a separate brand for this: NTK. In 1958 the company began with the development of ceramic cutting tools - still one of the most important products of NTK today.

Telecommunications and lambda sensors

Starting in 1967 the company began to develop ceramic modules for electrical devices  in telecommunications and information processing. In 1982 - with the begining of the comprehensive introduction of the regulated catalytic converter - NGK additionally incorporated lambda sensors into its portfolio.

Historical spark plugs.
In the 1930s NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. began with the development spark plugs for automobiles in Japan

Worldwide expansion

The corporation's worldwide expansion began early: In 1959 the first overseas expansion took place with a spark plug factory in Brazil; in 1966 NGK was established in the USA. In 1973 Malaysia was added, followed by Thailand in 1974, Indonesia in 1977, Australia in 1980 and Canada in 1982.

The step towards Europe

In 1975 NGK entered Europe and established its first European subsidiary in England. Offices in the most important European countries followed: In 1979 NGK Spark Plug Deutschland GmbH was founded in Ratingen. Ten years later the German subsidiary assumed responsibility for European business under the name NGK Spark Plug Europe GmbH.

The present

Today NGK is the world's largest supplier of spark plugs and lambda sensors. More than 500 million spark plugs are produced each year under the NGK brand. The company is a leader in original equipment of new production vehicles and also plays an important role in the diesel segment.

Ceramics is a core competence:

The know-how of NGK/NTK in technical ceramics remains an important key element for the success of the company to this day. After all, this high-tech material is found in nearly every product the corporate group offers: It is required for insulators and spark plugs as well as glow plugs and lambda sensors, used in computers and mobile phones, industrial tools and prostheses.

This is for a good reason: If abrasion resistance, thermal resistance, durability and good electrical insulation properties are needed, there is no better alternative to ceramics. That is because the material is extremely hard, wear-resistant, inherently stable and insulating. In addition, it is distinguished by its relatively low weight.

Related topics

Company history in detail