Motion Industries, formerly the Owen-Richards Company, is an Irondale-based industrial parts supplier, operating as a division of the Atlanta, Georgia-based Genuine Parts Company. Along with its Australian counterpart Inenco, the division sells more than 7.1 million individual parts to more than 200,000 customers.
The Owen-Richards Company was incorporated in 1927 by C. G. Owen and David Richards. It was located at 1829 5th Avenue North in the 1920s, and at 404 23rd Street North in the 1930s. It specialized in machine bearings and welding equipment.
The company was acquired in 1946 by Caldwell Marks and William Spencer III. In 1970 they merged it with Bearings & Transmission Supply and adopted the present name. They sold Motion Industries to the Genuine Parts Company in 1976. A 30,000 square-foot corporate headquarters at 1605 Alton Road, off Crestwood Boulevard, was completed the same year.
Michael Gaffney succeeded Marks as president and CEO in 1984. In 1994 the division was merged with the former Oliver Industrial Supply of Toronto, Ontario, which had also been acquired by Genuine Parts in 1972, and now operates as Motion Canada. William Stevens succeeded Gaffney as CEO in 1997. He was succeeded, in turn, by Timothy Breen in 2014. Randy Breaux took over as president in 2018.
In 2021 the company constructed a new 104,000 square-foot facility in Irondale to consolidate its existing fluid-power shop with its hose and rubber division, which had operated from the Avondale Commerce Park in North Avondale.
- Thornton, William (October 21, 2020) "Motion Industries announces $11.2 million Irondale facility, to hire 15." The Birmingham News
- Motion Industries website