AutoSocks inspired by a Norwegian grandmother

There is no doubt that design can help build success, but few companies have experienced such great successful results as AutoSock.

Between 2004 and 2006, sales of the Norwegian invention rose from 200,000 to 450,000 units and the company doubled its sales, from NOK 50 million to NOK 100 million, announces the Norwegian Design Council (NDC).

The product is considered to be so innovative that it is represented at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City and has been rewarded NDC’s Award for Design Excellence. The company has also been awarded a Gazelle Prize as one of the fastest growing companies in Norway.

On Sept. 30, 2009 the Colorado Department of Transportation, granted its final approval for AutoSock for Truck as an alternate traction device. Truck drivers in the Rocky mountains now have a quick and easy alternative to metal chains when driving on slippery roads.

Success began with a good idea

Stuck in the snow? Wrap your tires in AutoSocks and you’ll be back on the road in no time. The high-tech fabric’s individual fibers are arranged to increase friction and improve grip on the slipperiest of surfaces. And you don’t have to jack up the car to put these covers on: Just spin your wheels and you’re ready to roll. Invented by a group of Norwegians seeking an alternative to snow chains—chief inventor Bård Løtveit’s grandmother used to wear socks over her shoes to walk on ice. AutoSocks are now available in 14 countries around the world (including the U.S.) for about $100 a pair.

The company AutoSock AS was founded in 1998. The principal owners are the Fred. Olsen-owned companies Invento AS and AS Quatro. Responsible for the idea and for development of the AutoSock product are founder Bård Løtveit, Autosock AS, Hareide Designmill and TÜV.

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