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History of Knockdown Kits | PowerMark

Complete Breakdown of Knock-down Kits

CKDs and SKDs are excellent ways to keep costs low without settling for lower quality parts at export. We’ve discussed the benefits of both complete and semi knock-down kits before, but the history of the concept is equally as interesting and beneficial to know, learn more about the interesting origins of knock-down kits here at PowerMark, the UK’s best site and supplier for genuine Diesel generator parts.

What are Knock-down kits

A knock-down kit is almost like a newly-opened jigsaw. A whole picture broken down into unique parts, ready to be rebuilt. A complete knock-down kit could be considered a jigsaw with many separate pieces, and a semi-knock-down kit could be considered a sliding puzzle. The main parts are already together in an SKD, you just need to put them together in the right order. As aforementioned, we have a more detailed and technical guide in another article, but that’s the easiest way to understand a Knock-down kit. A collection of parts ready to be rebuilt when it reaches you.

History of Knock-down kits

Knock-down kits became popular in the early 20th century, when many railcars would come in knock-down kits to be built closer to the rail site.

The earliest reference to knock-down kits pertaining to engines of any kind we could find in our research was in Henry Ford’s 1922 memoir “My Life and Work”. In this book, Ford reveals that he would ship parts made in the famous Michigan Plant across the globe to be assembled in other factories.

WWII saw the vast majority of major defence vehicle suppliers capitalising on the speed of transport and ease of assembly of knock-down kits, including Ford of course. Parts would be manufactured and then shipped to Allied countries. Then local and typically female-led workforces would assemble these parts, alongside any missing parts that would be manufactured locally such as the cab.

Throughout the 50s and 60s manufacturers such as Lexus and Mini continued to use the Knockdown system for their global exports, bolstering its popularity that has continued through to the modern era.

Nowadays knock-down kits are used to avoid the import tariffs applied to many foreign vehicles, generators and engines across the globe. one major example that will likely become more prudent for us in the UK is the 10% tariff when transporting vehicles to the EU, which one can avoid via knock-down kits.

Knock-down kits are used in a variety of fields in the 21st to reduce export costs and make shipping easier for all parties, including in the Diesel power solution industry.


Our experts here at PowerMark hope this guide has helped you to better understand the history of complete and semi knock-down kits. On our site, we sell genuine parts from trusted brands you love, alongside both complete and semi knock-down kits. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

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