BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2000) — Progressive Custom Wheel Inc. is closing up shop and going out of business.
The Riverside, Calif.-based company — which manufactured and marketed aluminum and chrome custom wheels and, at one time, its own brand of performance tires — executed a "general assignment" for the benefit of creditors on June 14. This California law, a procedure similar to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, allows the company to sell off its assets and inventory and pay creditors at least some of what they are owed without having to go through the courts. The firm filed for the action with CMA Business Credit Services in Burbank.
A few weeks before that filing, Progressive ended a three-year effort to sell its own Parnelli Jones-brand performance tires, which were manufactured by Goodyear and named after the former Indianapolis 500 winner.
Progressive has ceased production, said Michael Joncich, CMA estates manager. CMA is in the process of selling Progressive´s inventory and assets, he said, and remaining inventory has been consolidated in 10 warehouses and is being sold at a discount.
Progressive was leasing two buildings in Riverside where it had a manufacturing plant and network of warehouses, so its only assets are inventory, equipment and accounts receivable. Debt held by secured creditors is likely to exceed the money received from the liquidation of assets, Mr. Joncich said, although final figures for the value of the company´s assets and amount of debt have not been tabulated.
Three years ago Progressive launched the Parnelli Jones private label — the first time a major wheel company was distributing its own tire line. Industry veterans Bill Eaton and his wife, Bonnie, were handling marketing of the PJs, which were sold through retailers and specialty shops throughout the country.
However, when Progressive recently decided to exit the tire business, the Eatons sought and received licensing rights from Parnelli Jones to continue to use his name. They have since taken over marketing the line through their Akron-based Dirt Gripz Inc.