EUGENE, OR (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima Wheel Systems will begin producing alloy rims domestically at its facility in Eugene, Ore., in the next few months as the high-end wheel brand transitions much of its rim production away from Asian manufacturers.
The move is aimed at streamlining the company’s supply chain for rims, said president Brian Roddy, as well as gaining tighter control over specification of rim profiles.
“As a smaller wheel company, we have issues with our vendors where we’re not necessarily first in line. So some of it is that,” Roddy said. “Also, we just have some ideas of what we want to do but our vendors haven’t been able to or would not do it.”
Rolf Prima will source alloy extrusions from domestic suppliers and will handle all rim production from rolling the raw material onward. The company has already done some pilot production, Roddy noted.
Rim production will be phased in gradually, starting with higher-volume models in the Rolf Prima line. Rolf may continue to source rims for lower-volume models, Roddy said, but he expects to have most of the company’s rim production in house within 18 months.
“What we’re getting right now is good,” he said of current overseas rim suppliers. “We don’t have to do it right away.”
And though on-shoring rim production will initially raise manufacturing costs, Roddy expects to recoup the expense over time and keep dealer and retail pricing stable. “It’ll cost us more to start, but when we figure everything in—all the hidden costs—I think it’s going to even out pretty quickly.”
Rolf Prima hand builds all its wheels in Eugene.