General Automotive Manufacturing
building, circa 1969

Franklin, WI Production Facility

Previous Northern Gear office, 
located in Franklin, WI

Northern Gear was initially founded as General Automotive Manufacturing Co.
in 1951 by Louis and Ann Glavan. Its principal product at that time was machined brake drums for a prominent Milwaukee, WI, equipment manufacturer.

Today, Northern Gear is a third generation gear manufacturer and precision machined parts supplier to internationally recognized OEMs in the construction, agricultural, diesel engine, and oil field machinery industries – as well as manufacturers of transmissions, small engines, hydraulic systems, outboard and electric motors.

General Automotive grew and expanded continuously since its founding, and by 1999 under its second-generation CEO, was comprised of two plants with 500 employees and 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Franklin, Wisconsin. Production at that time was oriented towards diesel fuel system components, and precision machined parts for engines, transmissions, and hydraulic systems, but most importantly, General Automotive had begun making gears.

As a result of continuing demand for gears – and an opportunity to build, sell and utilize a specialized gear cutting machine – Northern Gear was created as a separate entity in order to focus on manufacturing and selling gears and gear machines to the markets and customers served by General Automotive for 4 decades.

Shortly after its inception in 1999, Northern Gear moved to its own, new facility in Sussex, WI, while General Automotive transferred ownership in 2000.

Now headed by its third-generation CEO, Northern Gear has continued to grow and expand. Currently Northern Gear occupies a 100,000 square foot, ISO-certified gear and precision components manufacturing facility in Muskego, WI – where “generation number four” is currently on the scene from time-to-time, but obligated to a few more years of school before a “full time” commitment to Northern Gear.

At this point – and more than 5 decades after the initial founding of its former parent company – Northern Gear continues to flourish, and fulfill the requirements of its customers with the successful philosophy “If it is possible, we will do it.”  

And do it, they will; from prototypes to production. Please plan to visit the Northern Gear factory to meet us and see Northern Gear’s capabilities in person. You will determine on your own why Northern Gear can meet your needs. Their engineers welcome your challenges with innovative solutions.

Recent Projects

  • Specialty Shafts Photo
  • Oil Pump Body Photo
  • Ring Gears Photo
  • Micro Gears Photo
  • Pump & Motor Shafts Photo
  • Stubshafts & Idler Shafts Photo

View All Photos