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Alternator Product Numbering in the US - What does it mean?

Part confusion imageWe get asked from time-to-time how we came to have such a creative part numbering system.


OK, in truth it usually comes out more along the lines of 'How on earth could you guys have taken something that should be so simple and turned it into such a mess?'. Well, believe it or not, we actually have a [good reason] [logical explanation] excuse.


Call it what you will, we can explain most of it, and have written a technical bulletin that describes in detail what most of our US alternator product numbering means and from where it came.


The short story is that the current day Prestolite Electric is the sum of many companies that have been merged into one. Globally, these companies and their associated brands include Prestolite, Indiel, Leece-Neville, Motorola, LoadHandler, TrekStar, Butec, CAV, North Power, Lucas, and more than a few others. In addition there have been a myriad of acquisitions, mergers, and sales of various companies and business units during our 100 year history, all of which have left there mark on the current company. No where is this more evident than what can be seen in the numbers that we use to define the products we manufacture and sell.


Few topics within this company are more hotly contested and argued than product numbering. Many people within Prestolite come from the companies mentioned above, and with them come strong opinions about the product numbering schemes that were created by those companies. In addition, our customers have come to recognize many of our products by those numbers, some of these product numbers have become a strong brand themselves (555, or Triple Nickel in the US, for example).


What I can tell you now is that we are working through this process, and at some point will have a logical plan that accomodates the greatest number of customers while creating the least amount of transitional pain. Until that time we have written down the meaning and source of some of the current product numbers that are being used in the US, which may help with a bit of insight as to both the history behind the numbers and in some small part what they mean.

Attachment description:
  • TSB-1133 - Product Numbering Explained - US alternator product lines
TSB_1133_US_Product_numbers_explained.pdf192.82 KB

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