Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Ziebart, Kurt

Kurt Ziebart was the founder of Ziebart International Corporation, an aftermarket automotive service chain. Ziebart was born in Germany on July 27, 1920. He and his wife, Edith, immigrated to the United States in 1953, and settled in Detroit. Ziebart had been a mechanic in Germany, and put his skills to use working on automobiles for Packard. A comment from visiting friends regarding the rusty condition of American cars inspired Ziebart to develop an effective rustproofing procedure. He perfected his sealant, and founded his first shop in Detroit on Harper Avenue. The company was successful, and soon opened multiple locations, growing to international scale in a matter of years while expanding their catalog of products and services. Ziebart sold his company in 1963. Following the sale, he opened a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Acme, Michigan which he ran until 1988. Kurt Ziebart died on September 12, 2011.

In 1994, Ziebart International Corporation was purchased by its employees using an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Today the Troy, Michigan based company maintains 400 outlets in more than 30 countries. More than just rust-proofing, the company also offers auto detailing, hardware installation, window tinting, and many other services.