Miller-Meteor's rich history takes its start back in 1915 when the first Meteor coach was built. At the time, no dealerships existed, but rather the vehicles were sold through mail-order notices and fliers for a whopping price of $1,750. A year later, Meteor introduced its 12-cylinder combination pallbearer's coach and ambulance, which sold more than 200 cars in just the first three months.
In 1917, the A.J. Miller Company of Bellfontaine, Ohio, began to produce their own complete car. Competition grew over the next several years, and the stock market crash of 1929 took its toll on a number of manufacturers. The strength of both the Meteor Motor Company and the A.J. Miller Company allowed both companies to pull through the lean years and continue to thrive in the industry.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought about changes in the industry due to the inability to obtain chassis and materials to build the ambulances and funeral cars. As a result, the A.J. Miller Company obtained government contracts to build hulls for boats, as well as gas tanks, fire walls and other various components which would be used for the war effort.
The 1950s were critical years for both companies as Wayne Works, Inc. (the manufacturer of school buses and delivery trucks) would purchase Meteor Motor Company in 1954 and then A.J. Miller Company two years later. According to Wayne Works, the two companies would benefit and grow by the mutual interchange of technical information and methods. For the remainder of 1956, the last year they would ever do so, the two companies continued to compete against each other.
In 1957, the Miller-Meteor Company was first introduced. The next two decades saw great strides for the Miller-Meteor Company as they would obtain the largest single order for funeral cars in the history of the industry (1958), followed four years later as becoming the largest manufacturer of funeral cars and ambulances built on Cadillac chassis in the world. <
In the early 1970s, Miller-Meteor continued to lead the industry with advancements in quality, styling and function that enabled them to increase their model line offerings to an incredible 34 basic models. However, in the late 70s, Miller-Meteor fell on hard times and in 1979, the facility would close its doors.
A resurrection of Miller-Meteor came in 1984 when Collins Industries began using the name on its production vehicles of funeral coaches and limousines. In 1993, a competitor, CCE, Inc., saw an opportunity to purchase the Miller-Meteor name and combine manufacturing and support activities under one roof in its Norwalk, Ohio, facility. CCE, Inc. would oversee this organization until 1999.
In 1999, Superior Holdings, Inc. (a PNC Company) was seeking growth and efficiencies in their facility in Lima, Ohio. In July of 1999, the acquisition of certain assets of CCE, Inc. took place and manufacturing and support activities were, again, combined in to a common facility.
Today, Miller-Meteor benefits from an organization strong in many areas which benefit both their dealer network and the ultimate customer. Miller-Meteor is a company rich in history and continues to provide their customers with the true value that they have become known for.