Corona Tools - Made In the USA?

Being on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, I'm often asked, Are your tools made in the USA? It's a completely fair question, however difficult to answer, knowing the response people want to hear. So, I decided to put together a post about our tools, where they are made and our manufacturing process.

A Bit of Corona's History

We originated in the orange groves of California in the 1920s and have been designing and marketing agriculture, landscape and garden tools ever since. We've been located in the City of Corona since we first began nearly a century ago. Our first tool, the B9 or orange shear, was developed by a local teacher who wanted to help solve the problem of citrus spoiling during its journey across the country. Poor quality fruit meant growers didn't receive top dollar for their crops. The tool was designed and hand-crafted from forged steel, which helped the California citrus industry flourish and became known as California's 2nd gold rush.

During World War II, the US government took over part of the Corona operation to forge parachute fasteners and buckles for servicemen fighting overseas. The US needed facilities like Corona's to support the war efforts, and our forging plant made it an ideal choice.

More recently, when I first began working at Corona, I had stopped for gas before going into the office. The attendant noticed my Corona shirt and asked if I worked for them. I told him I did, and he went on to tell me that he had worked for Corona years ago at our plant located on 6th Street, where we heated steel and forged a growing line of tools. He also reflected back, mentioning that our company helped build the City of Corona and that whenever someone needed a job, all they needed to do was go to Corona Clipper.

I thought it was important to provide a framework of our history and legacy during the last century before addressing the question at hand. As a company, Corona's roots have played a vital part in making the California citrus industry successful, supporting the efforts of the US military during WWII, and apparently helping to build a California city. Throughout this time, we've never lost sight of our purpose: helping others succeed by providing them with the tools they need to perform season after season.

Are Corona Tools Made in the USA

Back to the question, are our tools made in the US? The short answer is no. We no longer manufacture all our tools in our US facilities. Our facilities in California and Kentucky provide a variety of operations related to product manufacturing, including product assembly, packaging, quality assurance, engineering and distribution. California is also home to all the other traditional functional areas of a regular business, such as customer service, sales, marketing, accounting, purchasing, etc.

After moving from our 6th Street location in the early 2000s, we shut down our forging processes and built our new manufacturing facility in Mexico due to increasing economic pressures. Customers still wanted good quality tools from Corona. However, we saw the trend beginning to shift away from those willing to spend more on a tool made in the US in favor of lower-priced tools. We felt the shift in our business and about 90% of US manufacturing, and we had to look at alternative solutions to maintain our distribution partners and still be competitive in the marketplace. Mexico offered tremendous opportunities to control our product manufacturing processes and brand, while other parts of the world filled in our line for competitive market needs and completeness.

During the changing economy in the early 2000s, Corona merged with our parent company, Bellota, a family-owned business located in Spain with over a century of experience in the tool business. It was an ideal partnership for us as they share the same core values as Corona. With our partnership, we can increase our purchasing power, buy many of the same parts for our tools, and utilize the seven manufacturing facilities across the globe from our parent company. As family-oriented businesses, we source tools from suppliers worldwide, never losing sight of our commitment to quality. We have earned a reputation among overseas suppliers they are too picky on quality as we will not sacrifice the reputation of our brand which has taken a century to build. Any tool that bears the Corona brand must first exceed our expectation of quality and offer the lasting performance that we expect, season after season.

Is Outsourced Manufacturing a Good Solution for Corona?

The simple answer is no. It provides a balance of making quality tools at competitive prices within the global economy that we live in today. Corona has supported the USA in one way or another since we began in the 1920s. This is just another chapter in our history that has changed over time as we continue to support Americans by providing jobs for those in our plants and quality tools that exceed our users' expectations of our brand.


About Corona:

Corona Tools was born in the orange groves of Southern California in 1928. Our roots began with an invention that revolutionized the citrus industry. Since then, we’ve been designing superior garden and landscape tools for hard working professionals and gardeners, who take pride in a job well done. For generations, our customers have relied on Corona’s strength and durability. For over 90 years, Corona has established itself as a leading professional tool brand, primarily within North America. Part of the global Venanpri Tools family of hand tool brands, our tools are carried in retail stores, local garden centers, and landscape, agriculture and arborist suppliers.  

About Venanpri Tools:

Venanpri Tools is a global collective of the finest hand tool brands for agriculturists, horticulturists, gardeners, landscape and construction professionals. The cumulative experience of the BellotaBurgon & Ball and Corona brands represents nearly 500 years of advancement in developing superior hand tools. With a global footprint spanning more than 125 countries across 6 continents, our brands have been the leading choice for generations of professionals who rely on quality and lasting performance.