Wheel Pros has acquired the assets of Borbet Manufacturing Facility in Auburn, Alabama.
Wheel Pros, a Colorado-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of branded automotive aftermarket wheels, performance tires and accessories, is the only branded automotive aftermarket wheel supplier with cast wheel manufacturing capabilities in the United States, with an existing manufacturing operation in York, South Carolina.
“This investment secures our position as a leader in our industry and provides us with full control of the entire manufacturing process, ensuring that our customers receive nothing but the best quality products,” said Randy White, CEO and co-founder of Wheel Pros. “We know our customers want the option to purchase products made in America, and with our facilities in South Carolina and Alabama, we can provide them with the highest quality wheels with our leading designs.”
Borbet’s Auburn facility previously produced wheels for OEM customers but will be converted to an aftermarket wheel manufacturing facility under Wheel Pros’ ownership. Wheel Pros expects to begin production within a few months and reach a run-rate production of approximately 1.5 million wheels annually across its manufacturing footprint.
Wheel Pros acquired its York facility in 2018 and currently has more than 150 full-time employees with plans to grow to more than 250. The Auburn facility is much larger than the York facility. In Auburn, Wheel Pros expects to create 300 full-time jobs and hopes to bring back many of the skilled individuals who lost jobs when Borbet closed the plant earlier this year.
Borbet Alabama, which had been in operation since 2008, closed its Auburn facility in late April, eliminating 250 jobs. Borbet officials said at the time that the market did not develop as anticipated so it had to close the facility.
Wheel Pros was founded in 1995 and serves more than 10,000 retailers with a growing network of distribution centers spanning North America and Australia. It has a portfolio of proprietary brands with more than 300 custom wheel styles.
Clearlake, a private investment firm founded in 2006, has partnered with Wheel Pros to provide long-term capital to the company. Wheel Pros will use Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S., to deploy best practices and execute quickly on initiatives to benefit customers and its communities.