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Developing Superior Performance Products (INTERVIEW)

Mike Schultz, SVP, Turtle Wax, Inc.
Katie Pagnotta
December 9th, 2013
Mike Schultz, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Turtle Wax, Inc, oversees the research & development laboratories with a focus on innovation and formulation. Schultz has been with the astounding company for 30 years and is also a passionate automotive enthusiast. Turtle Wax, Inc specializes in car care products and has a rich history stemming from founder and Chicago entrepreneur Benjamin Hirsch in the 1940's.

3 Questions with Mike

Has there ever been an instance where another industry has influenced an innovation at your company?

Cosmetics influence a lot of the products we do. Some of the technologies used in waterproof make-up can make its way into our products. In many instances, the technology can crossover effectively and vice versa. For example, silicone oils were used in the automotive industry and transferred to hair care/grooming products. As well, home care products have influence on us. Some mild cleaners are used in the products we create for auto care.

What makes an innovative culture? How do you create a culture of innovation?


Turtle Wax is still family owned and Ben's daughter Sondra and her husband Denis Healy are still engaged and very active pillars of the company. The entire team at Turtle Wax is deeply engaged and this encourages us to have the same passion and translates in the work we do. Consumers say we deliver on our products and it is important for us to develop products with superior performance, offer a great value and reflect our passion.

Looking to the future, how is Turtle Wax going to be a leader in innovation?

We are trying to change the mindset of people who may think washing and waxing is a time intensive project. It does not take long to wax a vehicle. It is fast, easy and compliments the vehicle. Consumers are seeing that our products help save time and maintain the appearance and performance of their vehicles. Next year, we are launching a ‘Quick & Easy’ platform of products. An example is our new 'Glass & Dash' item that allows you to clean both the windows/windshield and dash of your vehicle with one product.
References: turtlewax, turtlewax