Three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal, who is also known for being a director of leading British wheel-maker Rimstock Wheels, is being sponsored by Delphi Product and Service Solutions and The Parts Alliance.
When Tyres & Accessories last spoke with Rimstock Plc a couple of years ago, the effect of MG Rover’s collapse in 2005 was still fresh in everyone’s mind. Rimstock itself lost 10 per cent of its business overnight when the last remaining domestically owned vehicle manufacturer ended production. Two years later the wheel industry here has not completely rebounded, but the well-known West Midlands wheel producer, Britain’s largest, has managed to carve several successful niches for itself.
It would be something of an understatement to say that high raw material costs, the weak dollar and unprecedented competition from the Far East is affecting UK alloy wheel manufacturing. But, in the cases of the selection of companies that Tyres & Accessories spoke to, it is more a question of ingenuity triumphing over adversity. So, in the face of such pressing circumstances, how are UK manufacturers holding firm? Work smarter, not necessarily harder, they say.