The Kovatch Organization is truly an American success story. In 1946 after returning from Army service in the Pacific, the Organization’s founder John “Sonny” Kovatch opened a small auto repair business in his hometown of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. In the following few years, he acquired a number of automobile franchises and the Organization began to grow.
The company entered the specialty vehicle manufacturing business in the 1970’s and the first contracts for both rebuilding and new manufacturing came from military clients. Kovatch soon garnered a reputation for on time deliveries and product innovations. To enlarge the company’s contract capabilities, Kovatch began a series of acquisitions of compatible companies. The company soon was serving customers with a much wider range of customized specialty products.
“Through the power of our sheer will and determination, we challenged even our biggest competitors over the years. Today, we are a US leader in fire truck manufacturing and have increasingly shipped products around the world,” said Sonny Kovatch.
|John J. Kovatch IV, John “Sonny” Kovatch Jr., |
John J. Kovatch III
Today, John J. Kovatch III is the CEO and President of the Organization and has continued his father’s philosophy of steady growth through quality and innovation in a wide range of specialty markets.
KME Fire Apparatus is the flagship brand of the Organization and is a leader in the manufacturing of custom fire apparatus for military, industrial, airport and municipal fire departments. The company has a nationwide dealer network and factory locations in California, New York and Virginia. Recently KME has added new staff and products to dramatically grow its presence in the wildland firefighting sector.
The Kovatch name is also a well known for petroleum transport vehicles and the Organization is the leading manufacturer of aircraft refuelers for the US Air Force. KME Fuel Trucks also offers both heating oil and propane delivery trucks.
John also continued to reinvest in the Organization and has further grown the company by entering new markets. His son, John Kovatch IV is heading a division dedicated to new growth markets for the company. These include law enforcement vehicles for police and security departments, EMS vehicles like ambulances and transport vans, and a wide range of fleet vehicles and commercial trucks.
| One of multiple new digital conference rooms |
Despite a challenging economy, KME has continued to reinvest in infrastructure for future growth. Recent additions at its world headquarters in Nesquehoning include a new 166,000 square foot central warehouse and distribution center, multiple meeting and conference rooms with digital technology, an apparatus final inspection center, and capital improvements to manufacturing equipment.
| Final inspection and delivery area |
KME continues to deliver not only dependable apparatus, but stability and longevity in an industry that has seen a great deal of upheaval in recent years. As a privately held company, KME makes decisions based on the long-term goals of its business, which also benefit its customers, as well as its employees, not the short-term goals of stock holders. John J. Kovatch III, CEO and President states that “Reinvestment into the Company has been and will continue to be one of the keys to successful relationships with our clients worldwide. Our strategy always involves looking forward and trying to stay ahead of the curve, rather than simply reacting to changes. These new projects are the result of this kind of foresight, which we think helps to set KME apart from the rest of the field in our markets.”