Yes, you did read that correctly. August 31, 2017 Wheel Pros acquired American Force Wheels as a part of their massive wheel empire. Wheel Pros is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and claim to be the leading designer, marketer, and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels.
The company was founded in 1995 and has had massive growth ever since they started with only two distribution centers. Now in 2017, they have grown to twenty-nine national distribution centers and two international distribution centers.
It is pretty easy to see how American Force Wheels would grab the attention of this wheel empire. As of now Wheel Pros own:
- American Force Wheels
- American Racing
- Asanti Black Label
- Asanti Offroad
- ATX Series
- Fairway Alloys
- MSA Offroad
- Motegi Racing
- Moto Metal
- OE Creations
- XD Series
There is no way this is real… Well it is.
According to Quarton International‘s own website, “Birmingham, Michigan, August 31, 2017 – Quarton International is pleased to announce that American Force Wheels has been acquired by Wheel Pros. Quarton International acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor to American Force Wheels in connection with the transaction.”
Quarton International’s advisor, MATTHEW P. SCHLOOP, (Photo Right) helped to guide American Force Wheels and Wheel Pros through this business transaction. Schloop has over sixteen years of investment banking and private equity experience across a variety of industries. His main focus being on industrial manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses.
So what will happen to American Force Wheels?
The company was loved not only for their wheels, but for their employees. If you had ever been around some of the people that work at the events then you know what we are talking about.
Nick Chin, director of marketing (at the time) for American Force quoted,
“…Our business was built around talking with and getting to know our customers. It’s about establishing genuine relationships, not just about the numbers, and I think that is what has truly set us apart and allowed for and helped create the American Force culture.” Source: aftermarketnews
This was not just a mission statement hanging on a wall at the American Force warehouse, it was truly lived out. Many customers were upset to see their favorite people just recently leave American Force Wheels after being bought out by Wheel Pros.
Rick Jimenez expressed his feelings though an Instagram post as he left American Force Wheels on September 19th, 2017:
Rick Jimenez stated, “…Today marks my last day as an employee for @americanforcewheels. There’s a lot of things I want to say but I’ll keep it as short as possible. Mainly I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me out along the way, supported me, and supported my team. I will forever cherish the memories and good times I had while working for AFW… I will forever love this company. My favorite part about my team is that we didn’t show up everyday for a pay check, we showed up to make a difference… Regardless of everything going on with the company I will always love my team and all the people there and support them… I wish the new owners of @americanforcewheels the best of luck.“
But what about the other employees?
Most of the staff at American Force Wheels has already left the company and it does not look like they will be coming back. If you did not notice already Rick has changed his instagram name from @afw_rick to @forged_rick. He was not the only one to do this, many of the other employees changes their names from “awf_name” to “forged_name” as well.
Don’t get depressed just yet…
Rick Jimenez posted this video on his Instagram account just yesterday (November 2nd, 2017) using the hashtags: #CheersToNewBeginnings #WeJustGettingStarted #StartedFromTheBottomNowWeHere #DreamTeam #WaitForIt
The video also includes a few familiar faces from American Force Wheels.