LAS VEGASHRE Performance Wheels targets the high-end automotive enthusiast with its customized wheels, but at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas the San Diego-based wheel maker introduced a lower cost wheel line it hopes will sell well through independent tire dealerships.
HRE unveiled its FlowForm line of wheels made of a high-tech, low-pressure cast flow-forming process providing a level of precision, strength and attention to detail, according to the company. The wheels will carry TUV certification for sale in Europe and JWL/VIA certification for sale in Japan.
The FlowForm line is something we wanted to create for HRE-brand enthusiasts who have aspired to own a set of HRE wheels, for those who have wanted to experience being a part of the HRE family, but simply couldn't afford it, said HRE President Alan Peltier.
The FlowForm series is available in 19- and 20-inch rim diameter options for popular European, Asian and American vehicles and come in gloss silver and satin black, with custom finishes available upon request.
HRE designs wheels for racing, performance and luxury cars and SUVs in its San Diego-based TÜV-approved facility. The company provides built-to-order wheel sets with a customized choice of offsets, widths and finishes and sold through high-end car dealerships, specialty retailers and performance companies worldwide.
About 40 percent of the company's American-made wheels are exported to Japan, China, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Peltier told Tire Business.
He said HRE, founded in 1978, sets itself apart from the competition with its customer service, product quality and lifetime structural warranty, noting, We strive to create the finest wheel possible.
With a set of HRE wheels averaging $8,000 to $10,000, the company definitely caters to an affluent customer base. During the recession, however, customers pulled back from purchasing high-end wheels due to economic uncertainty and not wanting to show off their wealth, he said. But now we're back to pre-recession levels. We expect to be up 30 percent this year (in sales).
Mr. Peltier declined to divulge revenues, but said HRE sells about 10,000 wheels per year and thinks this year might be the company's best sales year yet.
As for future developments, he said that OEMs are requiring bigger wheels and focusing on more refined styling.
OEs are paying more attention to wheel design, so we have to raise our game, he said.
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