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Hot Rods Edlebrock Problems? _ Auto parts maker Edelbrock, with 270 employees, closing Torrance facility

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GordonC, Jan 29, 2021.

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  1. I would give you a hundred likes if possible!
    Deuces, 427 sleeper and mad mikey like this.
  2. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,136


    Exactly. Time has taken its toll on Edelbrock. Twenty years ago producing inexpensive speed parts for belly button engines was profitable, and there was little Competition. Vic Jr saw that there was no interest among his heirs in continuing to run a business in a declining market, so he cashed out so they could become trust fund babies.

    The new owners saw the writing on the wall and were confronted with a choice: expand and change or do nothing and die.

    They made a number of acquisitions of related businesses and are now consolidating management and manufacturing to reduce costs. I don’t necessarily like it, as I am fundamentally resistant to change at this point in life, but I fully understand it.
    Buggy whip manufacturing went through the same industry changes, I am sure.
    pitman, vintage6t, Deuces and 4 others like this.
  3. Onemansjunk
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 276

    from Modesto,CA

    It won’t be long all the push rods are melted down and the H.A.M.B. will look like this .[​IMG]

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  4. Good thing that used parts are traditional :D
  5. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,067

    from Colorado

    The first time an MBA took some time to go to an early Las Vegas SEMA Show, major corporations have looked at the automotive aftermarket as a cash cow. The theory was that these guys with no formal training and/or management skills were making good money selling in a niche market, so if we put some MBA's in charge, think how much money we can make! Whittiker Corp, WR Grace and a host of others bought a bunch of major hot rod equipment manufacturers and ended up selling them back to the original owners for pennies on the dollar. The difference between then and now, is that the leveraged buyouts drain a company of assets and there's nothing left. On the other hand, the corporate buyers in the seventies just wanted to get them off the books at any cost.

    The success of performance equipment manufacturers today is still tied to the passions of the owners.
    pitman, Deuces and Fordors like this.
  6. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 4,036


    So did you take a hat????
    bighemifan, Deuces and chopped like this.
  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,235

    from Berry, AL

    Times and markets are continually changing. Look at Offy for example, they still make most of what they always have, only it's in small quantities when they actually have sales for it. Gone is the days of large warehouses holding products until buyers come along, it has been learned it's more efficient cost wise to have a smaller inventory and produce on demand. There is no use in tying up monies that can be used elsewhere. The big automakers learned this in the 80's when they went to what is called just in time delivery. They have parts made up as they need them, and delivered in a time window to keep the factory moving. The truck is the warehouse for that short period of time. Most times it works, but sometimes it doesn't, and the line has to shut down due to lack of parts. I've heard of cars being made and certain parts left off of them, they are are parked in a different area until those parts arrive and then they are installed.

    Just like Offy, I'm sure Edelbrock has many parts that it only sells a few of in a year, like aluminum heads for flatheads. So, instead of having a warehouse full of parts that are low turnover, it makes more sense to produce small runs when there is a demand for them, even if the end consumer has to wait a bit for them. I think we should be happy that they are still making some of these parts for engines that have been out of production over 25 years.

    I don't like it when factories are shuttered and people lose their jobs, but as times and conditions change, they have to do what they think best to survive if they have the companies interest at heart. But there are too many corporate raiders out there that only see the profits and not the customers. Any time a company merges or is bought out by another, part of it dies. I've been through two "mergers" with the company I'm leased to in the last 20 years, each time the company lost some of it's identity and soul. We have been lucky, some buyouts and mergers end up with one of the companies ceasing to exist except in our memories. I sure hope Edelbrock isn't one that ends up like that....
  8. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering

    Thank you BM.

    It is easy to blame someone for the change but when it comes down to it,"times are a-changing". Vic Jr. saw the writing on the wall. If the Edelbrock name vanishes from sight, we can hope that someone sees it as an opportunity for their business to fill the need. But the need is not the same as it was 70 years ago.
  9. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,454

    from illinois

    The root cause of all these problems can be summed up in one simple monosyllabic word.

    GREED !
    woodyTom, '28phonebooth and cfmvw like this.
  10. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 11,398

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    Panic panic panic. Some years back listening to Leon Kaplan (KABC AM Radio, Motor Man Show) telling about a conversation he had with Vic Jr. in regards to running a business. Vic Jr. advice was "don't go big". That said, isn't comforting to know that things are going back to it's roots?
    Deuces, egads and Special Ed like this.
  11. Hope they stay away from Memphis or Nashville.
    Those are headed in the direction the place they are leaving is now.
    I guess I’m partially to blame. I’ve never bought a new speed part other than an internal engine part.
    So much used junk out there.
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 122


    Knoxville seems to be the hot bed for hot rods.
    Xtrom and Gnater like this.
  13. ihaterust
    Joined: Nov 21, 2005
    Posts: 167

    from minnesota

    This is typical Private Equity Group bullshit. They get a bunch of overeducated MBA's, buy a good business and then shed what they feel is unprofitable. They don't give a damn about the employees or customers.
  14. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 30,080

    Jalopy Joker

    business is business - not looking for what is fair to the customer but, doing what is necessary to keep the operations going - look at racing - to go super fast need big corporate money to make it happen - be glad that we grew up in a world of innovation and creativity that did not require a computer - our history will always be kept alive because of computer use that preserves it - plus, younger guys and gals will carry on the traditional world that we know and love in one form or another
    fauj and egads like this.
  15. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,042


    I sure hope IOP takes a bunch of those 270 folks along to Tennessee, lots of product and development expertise in that group.

    I have a buddy in Northern Idaho and he told me this exact thing is happening there. Not so much that businesses are moving, but rather an influx of people with the mentality that ruined the place they came from, yet for some reason want to change the "moved to" place to be more like the "moved from" place.
  16. Guy Patterson
    Joined: Nov 27, 2020
    Posts: 372

    Guy Patterson

    yup saw it happening in Texas. My wife works for a large tech company an we moved to Colorado and see the same thing that happened to Texas happening here in the Denver area . Makes us quite sad as my family is from here and I came here as a kid an to see the changes makes me worry for my son
    e1956v likes this.
  17. weeniewawa
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 54


    I think they are trying to compete with Holley with offering up a huge assortment of parts to keep them relevant in the aftermarket market. Comp Cams is probably the biggest cam seller in the game. Watch any of the car builder shows and you never see any Edelbrock stuff installed but you always see Comp Cams used. I am always happy to see money leaving this horrible state.
  18. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,307

    from Napa

    I live 10 miles from the now infamous French Laundry, and 15 miles from Aunt Nancy's palatial vineyard estate on Zinfandel Lane- in addition to the "old" estate in SF. Most Californians outside of San Francisco, Sacramento, and L.A. know what the problem of doing business in Kaleeforneea is
    woodyTom likes this.
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,454

    from illinois

    Every vacation area that was once cabins & a general store is being overrun by condos & wal mart.....
  20. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 3,463


    I worked for a medium sized ( 1500 line haul trucks and 3000 local delivery trucks ) family owned regional truck line that operated at 114% when most of the larger carriers were operating at 86 to 97%. This means that for every hundred dollars that our company spent, they were getting $114 back. The other companies were spending $100 and only getting back $86 to $97. In other words, they were losing money constantly.

    During the 22 and a half years I was there, we went through 6 different major management changes with every company who bought us telling us we were going to continue operating just exactly like the original company. The problem was that every company who bought us couldn't come close to our operating ratio. First thing they did was to replace all of the original management with their own people with their own ideas about how to run a truck line. Then they sold all the free and clear company owned terminals to pay the interest on their own loans and leased the same terminals back from the new owners. They sold our trucks which had been replaced every five years by the original owners and leased trucks which cost more.

    Once a company passes out of the hands of the original owners, it never again is as good as when it was started.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  21. Wonder if they will get into electric performance stuff
    alanp561 likes this.
  22. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 450


    I kind of wondered about this as well.
    Electric vehicles are going to get crammed down our throats whether we like it or not.
    The thing is though, will EV's actually need performance parts? Bigger batteries or electric motors? Tesla's seem to be pretty fast already. Maybe suspension stuff to handle better?
    EV's are certainly not traditional and other than their speed, don't have much interest to me. I'll be lucky if I'm still driving (or even alive) in 20 years but we may have to convert our hot rods to electric if we want to be able to drive them. :(

    As far as Edlebrock is concerned, I figure it will slowly die as the equity company sucks off all it can from it. Then maybe the name will get sold and someone might resurrect it and go back to making manifolds, valve covers and stuff.
  23. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,149


    Like to imagine we'll still have at least Avgas going forward.
    Have yet to see an AC plane take off.
  24. Even electric motors can be modified.
    Suspension and brakes is a given. That’s already being done.
    The bulk of the performance will probably be in the programming.
    The number of vintage cars being converted is growing. I would love to build one.
    Change is constant. Embrace and learn with it.
    I have access to a pre 64 electric motor, would that be HAMB friendly?
    King ford and fauj like this.
  25. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 959


    Been down that road a few times. Worked for a place that was fairly diversified and profitable, then we were bought out by a big company who promptly sold or shuttered our sister divisions and proclaimed that they wanted a 20% profit no matter what it takes. They proceeded to pull us out of most of the markets we served and sold product to and focused solely on the semiconductor market. We did well when it went up, but every time it went down they would have a layoff to make up the difference, even going so far as to outsource our manufacturing because some consulting firm claimed they would save $2 million a year. Instead, they found that they were losing $4 million a year. So they brought manufacturing back in-house (and bought us the cheapest equipment they could find to replace the really nice equipment they sold off), and we turned it around. But no matter what we did, it was never enough even though we were their top performer. They ended up closing the facility entirely and moving it all down south because it was cheaper, and they have had nothing but problems ever since. Corporate greed is a wasting disease.
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