What’s Really To Blame?

Yes, HKS USA is shutting it’s doors for good. You’ve already heard about it earlier I’m sure. I’ve spent years reading explanations on the forums, from people trying to justify why they buy knockoff parts. There are still people this very moment, given everything that’s happened in the last 5 months, who will fight the “quality” and “functionality” of these brands. It really doesn’t matter what the parts in question are; wheels, exhausts, suspension, it’s all the same shit. It’s about the bigger picture. So maybe you have Rotas on your car and think that because HKS doesn’t make wheels, it’s not your fault. It’s just as much your fault as it is everyone else’s. Companies feed off of trends and many knockoff brands have opened their doors, long after witnessing the popularity and market potential of brands like Rota.

That being said, I would love to put all of the blame on knockoff brands. I think everyone would. But I can’t help but wonder if some (maybe a lot) of it has to do with poor business practices, over many years. Not dealing with financial problems, sweeping them under the rug in hopes they’ll go away on their own. Maybe it’s knowing that help is needed and not seeking it, in order to keep up reputations. Some of you may think I’m calling out our beloved brands like ARC, Zero/Sports and HKS, but I think these questions are justified. I’m a JDM fanatic as much as the next guy and I’m just as disappointed to see these companies going out of business. But it’s important to recognize all of the factors, especially since we may never be able to experience these products again. I don’t have the answers to elaborate any further but something feels off. Why so many big names and why all of a sudden? These things don’t happen overnight and I’m doubtful HKS USA or any of the others, will be the last to go down this year.

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3 comments

  1. Damn!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

    Agreed. Replica parts makers are why we can’t have nice things!!!

  2. totally agree, I’ve been fighting the trend to purchase knock offs and try and support the big names. However its difficult especially being a student and all. Many would agree that you pay for what you get and its a shame to see that people have now looked at quantity over quality as a trend. Look at the Subaru scene, due to the lack of good fitment wheels in 5×100 many people have bought rotas because they are cheap. While some have gone 5×114.3 just purely so they can purchase a genuine product at a good price. Authentic vs knockoffs will always be a conflict of interest in todays material society.

  3. i don’t mind “knockoffs,” reverse engineering has been around since the dawn of man. this is the way the auto industry works on all levels, from f1 to passenger vehicles to aftermarket parts. however, i don’t like the fact that knockoffs only serve the purpose of form, without adequate function. i.e. all the half ass manufactured, cracked rotas.

    even the “quality” names will outsource production, but worse than that, they add a healthy markup for all their distributors, dealers, retailers to share in the profit aka rays wheels and their annual 5% price increase.

    unfortunately it isn’t an industry where being a pioneer pays off. with the introduction of forums, it seems the vanity of individual owners have led to trends and brand name buying habits. but to each his own.

    i just want to build the best car (quick, tough, easy on the eyes) for the least money ;[

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