Bodie-Hoover Pulls the Plug


Lubricant blender Bodie-Hoover Petroleum Corp. is going out of business – the result, say company officials, of a tough economy and an unfavorable lease. The Chicago-area company has sold off inventories and plans to vacate its quarters by the end of this month.

We were actually selling more of our own motor oil this year than we ever have before, said Manager of Plant Operations Dan Lyons. But we lost a couple of large contract blending accounts and werent able to overcome the loss of business. That, combined with the burden of the lease. Were very disappointed, but you take the hand youre dealt and move on.

Founded in 1925, Bodie-Hoover has remained a family-owned business for four generations. Lyons is the great-grandson of co-founder Richard Hoover. Board Chairman Richard L. Hoover is the co-founders grandson. The company produced automotive and industrial lubricants, as well as antifreeze. Lyons said most of its business was in the automotive segment, principally motor oils and transmission fluids. In addition to contract blending, it marketed motor oils and antifreeze under its own Pennstate label.

Long located in Chicago, the company moved to its current quarters in the suburb of Lemont in 1970, leasing a few acres that house a 75,000-square-foot plant plus an outdoor tank farm. The lease came up for renewal two years ago and, according to Lyons, the new terms helped seal Bodie-Hoovers fate.

The landlord made it clear at that time that theyd rather not have us here, he said. We looked into the possibility of moving but we couldnt find a place in Chicago that met the size, logistical and regulatory requirements. So we ended up staying here. But the lease was raised considerably, and it was clear that they were trying to make it too expensive for us.

Bodie-Hoover employed approximately 25 people.

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