The Cartek Group is an automotive service equipment manufacturer and reseller made up of 10 international companies owned by a private venture capital group. We utilize our engineering company, Kodiak Engineering, to design cutting edge automotive wheel alignment machines using the expertise of renowned Swiss and US engineers. All alignment equipment is made in the USA employing our state of the art HAAS-Precision machining center and production facility in Kalamazoo Michigan. All materials machined for our alignment equipment are sourced in the USA through exclusive partnerships with major aluminum extruders and steel distributors.
The founders of BEAR were brother Will and Henry Damman, who went on to build the company that was incorporated in 1917 to design and manufacture auto equipment. The Happy Bear was with them from the earliest days. The accepted version of the little guy is based on a vintage slang expression, “It’s a bear!” Nowadays, of course, that would mean it’s a tough job, but over 100 years ago, it referred to a product that was rugged and top-quality. Will Damman thought it a perfect symbol for his top-quality company.
Since then, the company and the BEAR brand itself, were sold and transferred to multiple owners and entities.
In 1999, The Cartek Group, being the largest BEAR distributor worldwide, acquired the rights to design and manufacture all BEAR products, including all active patents at the time. This license included the rights to sell BEAR products everywhere in the world with the exception of North America.
From 1999 until 2009, The Cartek Group continued manufacturing and distributing automotive service equipment under the BEAR brand in 25 countries (not including the United States).
In late 2017, The Cartek Group was officially granted exclusive ownership of the BEAR Trademark and logo by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Since then The Cartek Group has been manufacturing and selling wheel alignment and other service equipment under its original Bear name and lovable mascot to the US market and around the world.
Cartek is an integrated manufacturer of BEAR products located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our Wheel Alignment machines are designed, machined, assembled and tested in the United States.
BEAR has been a leading brand in the automotive industry supplying quality products for over 100 years.
Below is a timeline of our heritage:
Wheel alignment was born. We created the first mechanical aligner in the world - the "Toe-In Bar Gauge as well as the First Camber - Caster Alignment Gauge.
By the mid-1930s Bear had established a North American branch network of factory shools. Numerous private schools also taught principles of wheel alignment and steering geometry.
Wheel balancing machine
We introduced the Toe System Projector. Shown above is driver Duke Nalon and his “Marks Special” positioned on Bear’s No. 90 wheel, steering, axle and frame alignment service rack.
We Introduced the first Electromechanical aligner (Telaligner)
The telatronic electrical Centerline Aligner is introduced.
We developed and introduced the First Computer Based Aligner - Dimension 4.
We developed and patented the CCD Technology in Wheel alignment.
Introduced a totally new Generation of Wireless Wheel Alignment systems based on Smart Machine Logic Technology : SML
Introduced the i-Mote wrist top alignment assistant.
Introduced the SBA Single Bay Alignment machine – the predecessor to the SML aligner.
Creation of our State-of-the-Art Haas Precision CNC and vertical manufacturing center.
We brought our innovative, unique design, Spider Clamps to the market.
We enhanced our SBA aligner with Heavy Duty Truck and Bus aligning capabilities.
Cartek is awarded the Patent for the MBA Multi-Bay Alignment system.
Introduced our high-end Cartek Robotics Wheel alignment system
Cartek is awarded the prestigious Innovation Award in the tire and wheel category for Cartek Robotics from Professional Tool and Equipment News magazine .