AUTOCRAT RADIO LTD
Autocrat Radio Ltd was formed in 1946 and closed in around 2000.
Autocrat were probably best known for their car radios, for many years having a clear and uncontested dominance of that section of the radio industry in New Zealand.
Autocrat made their start in 1946 as Benson and Wills, then Benson Wills & Walker (in new larger premises) with the addition of a third partner in 1947. Within two more years they had moved again and largely expanded their manufacturing output, and at this time they renamed themselves Autocrat Radio Ltd. In 1957 they moved to Carr Rd in Mt Roskill.
For the first couple of years they were virtually alone in the market, with the notable exception of Radio Corporation of NZ's ill-fated MC7 - but other companies started to fill the void and by the early 50's there were several different manufacturers producing automobile-specific radio brands including Ariel, Avalon, Companion, Grover, Motorola, Wayfarer and Westco. Even with all the competition, they still remained the major player.
By 1955 they were producing dual-use radios that ran on mains or 12V, and could be swapped between the car and the house, and in later years they started to produce small house radios as well as car models.
In 1976 they partnered with Sanyo in Japan and became Sanyo Autocrat Holdings, but by 2000 the company was no more.