Echo, Inc. was founded in Northbrook, Ill., in 1972 as Kioritz Corporation of America, and was officially established under its present name in 1978. Echo was originally an importer of high-performance 2-cycle engines and 2-stroke, engine-powered hand-held products for Kioritz Corporation of Japan, but its foray into the engineering and manufacturing of products would be an important first step for the company. In 1979, Echo began initial production and assembly operations in a Wheeling, Ill., facility, and produced its first lawn care product in the USA, the GT-200 Grass Trimmer. Soon after, Echo broadened its product offerings to include chain saws, straight shaft trimmers and brushcutters, backpack and hand-held blowers, grass trimmers and hedge clippers. In 1984, Echo Power Equipment Canada was created as a branch of Echo, Inc., and in 1985, Echo established its present-day U.S. corporate headquarters in Lake Zurich, Ill. In addition to its headquarters, Echo's Lake Zurich location also houses a manufacturing facility, which was expanded by 60,000 square feet in 1988 to meet increasing consumer demand.