Janesville parts supplier adds to inventory, holdings

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Friday, February 12, 2010
— Certified Parts Corp., the Janesville supplier of new and old replacement parts for recreational vehicles, has purchased part of an Indiana company and moved the inventory to Edgerton.

Certified’s owner, Jim Grafft, bought the intellectual property, dies, fixtures and tooling and the existing parts inventory of Hoffco/Comet at a December auction.

About 38 truckloads of materials arrived from Richmond, Ind., at the former Dorsey Trailer plant that Grafft owns in Edgerton

Hoffco produced lawn and garden equipment, such as tillers, while the Comet brand produced clutches, torque converters and other items for industrial and commercial applications.

Grafft said Comet was a major supplier to Honda, Toro, Ariens and John Deere until it went out of business in October.

About a year ago, Grafft bought the assets of the engine division of TecumsehPower Co. and moved the operation to Janesville. Before it ended engine production, TecumsehPower made gas engines for snow blowers, generators and other lawn and garden, industrial and agricultural applications.

Certified Parts now will market TecumsehPower and Hoffco/Comet parts. Grafft said it’s likely the addition of Hoffco/Comet will increase his local workforce.

Grafft founded Certified Parts in 1976 to meet the growing demand for obsolete replacement parts for recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles, personal watercraft, go-karts, mini cycles and more.

In 1982, Grafft bought Arctic Cat, essentially cornering the market on parts for the snowmobile line.

Grafft also made a move in December that has nothing to do with parts for motorized recreational vehicles: He bought the Wisconsin Wagon Co., the iconic Janesville manufacturer of handmade wagons, wheelbarrows, sleds and rocking horses.

“They were a tenant of mine, and I like their product,” Grafft said. “I think there’s room for growth with the company.”

Last updated: 12:56 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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