Made In America – Air Lift Company

As told to Rob Mullner, Chief Enthusiast – JC Whitney
Photos by Air Lift

The Midwest has always been a symbol of self-reliance, discipline, and never-ending loyalty through good and bad. Air Lift Company, settled in Lansing, Michigan since 1949, has taken those traits and made them part of who they are.


Everything began when GE engineer and serial entrepreneur Claude Pemberton managed to talk Oldsmobile engineer Don Perkins into joining him in the business venture that would become Air Lift Company. The idea was to create an airbag that could be inserted up and into the coil spring of vehicles and then inflated to add extra support when carrying heavy loads.


When the company was new, Pemberton and Perkins were working out of a garage. Their children were the only members of the staff, packaging product after school. But the size of the company didn’t stop the plan from quickly becoming a huge success, adopted by anyone and everyone from moonshiners to construction workers to NASCAR drivers.


In the late 90s, after years of industry-leading engineering of load support systems, Air Lift debuted a division for performance enthusiasts. Air Lift Performance creates air suspensions specifically designed to lower high-performance vehicles while also allowing for adjustability during daily driving duties.


Along with their suspension systems, Air Lift engineers their own line of compressor systems for both load support and performance applications, allowing for automatic, wired, and wireless control of air springs.


Now, more than 65 years after the first air-helper bags, the company has expanded to over 140 employees, over 120,000 square feet of factory space, and a worldwide reputation of excellence, all while remaining in Lansing.


In the building, behind the scenes, a specialized, in-house engineering team puts in countless hours of design work and validation testing to create the most innovative and high-quality product.



When it comes to product production, the factory itself is a work of art. Sticking to their strong Michigan roots, the production area features a design centered around Michigan pride, with zones featuring all of Michigan’s prominent collegiate and professional sports teams. Each section has a specialized purpose and team for maximum efficiency. The power of the production team combined with the efforts of award-winning shipping and quality teams makes the Air Lift team quick to get air suspension solutions and control systems that are built to last to customers across the globe as safely and as quickly as possible.




Air Lift Company takes a lot of pride in what they do, who they employ and where they come from. But they are also constantly looking forward, ready for the success that the next 65 years are sure to bring them.


To see the full range of Air Lift product available on JC Whitney please visit their exclusive Brandstore at:

Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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