|© 2017, Fowler Distributors. All rights reserved.|
Fowler Electric (which is still our corporate name) was founded around 1900. At that time, we serviced windmill generators with "fruit jar" batteries and gasoline engines with magnetos. The 20's were dominated by automotive electric repair. In the 40's, Fowler was a United Motors Service Center and also repaired starters, generators, alternators, and ignitions. In 1954 Fowler took on small gas engines like Briggs&Stratton, Tecumseh, and Kohler. In 1965, Jim Hillger and Dick Betzold bought the company and eventually cut the unprofitable divisions such as the auto repair, auto parts distribution, and jet igniter lead production. In 1968, Fowler became a distributor for 2 cycle engines such as JLO, Sachs, Kohler, and Hirth. We supplied dealers and repair shops with engine repair parts for the 168 different brands of snowmachines. In 1970, we added aftermarket snowmobile parts and moved South from Minneapolis (29th and Nicollet) to Richfield. Aftermarket lawn mower parts were added in the 70's and the buisness was moved 5 more times. Fowler adopted computer inventory and accounts control early in the 80's and printed our first snowmobile dealer catalog in 1987. From 1990 to 1996 we saw the snowmobile business peak. Since 1998, ATV parts have been added steadily as ATV popularity increased and snow seasons have been short. Ownership has changed also. Eric Hillger bought out Dick's partnership in 1996 and Jim's partnership in 2005.
The business has evolved many times over the past Century in response to changes in technology, changes in distribution models, and changes in consumer demand. In order to remain successful, it is our goal to continue the evolution of Fowler.