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04/05/2017
ALL-ROUND SERVICE

Mak wheels

 

Alloy wheels, of course, but not only; Mak represents much more in the automotive market 

Duilio Damiani

Looking ahead to future trends as well as the needs of the market, Mak is an important player in the HP wheels sector. From small beginnings in Carpenedolo, near lake Garda, back in 1990, to international fame, with a prestigious catalog that keeps receiving flattering expressions of esteem from Europe to Japan and adds luster to the “Made in Italy” logo.

Mak wheels keep receiving a broad consensus, especially in the midsized and large sedan classes as well as GTs, increasingly concerned with adopting a set of custom made alloy wheels, whether to customize their vehicles or obtain a double set of tires for seasonal replacements.

A growing user base brought Mak S.p.A. to double its turnover from 2013 onwards, with a sales volume estimated at approximately 500,000 units/year. A trend that looks to the future with growing optimism, driven by a growing awareness on the importance of seasonal tire replacements as well as the impulse provided by new car registration figures, with a +15.8% at national level recorded in 2016 compared to the previous year, and a + 6.5% in Europe.

In addition to the Italian market, where Mak holds a leading position, Mak wheels are becoming increasingly popular throughout the Continent, and have successfully entered the Japanese market as well, the second largest one for the Brescia factory, meeting with the appreciation of motorists from the land of the rising sun, tickled by product excellence with technology and design Made in Italy.

The search for replacements is also favoring the aftermarket sector, where Mak enjoys profitable partnerships with several European automotive subsidiaries, for the exclusive supply of custom-made wheels to be included in their own-brand accessory catalogs and not least, vans and caravans, together with some of the most important European manufacturers.

 

A TIMELY PRESENCE

 

Mak’s catalog is constantly evolving, thanks to the speed with which new wheels are stylistically harmonized and unveiled along new car models. A proactive strategy that translated, for example, in the new 2017 product lines, already available as replacements for passenger cars like BMW, with the Fahr range (17 to 20 inches), Mercedes, with Spitze (19 and 20 inches), the all-round Panorama, designed for SUVs and midrange crossovers (17 to 19 inches) and the breakthrough Icon range, large market-penetration model thanks to its ten split-spokes gritty design and three levels of finish - Silver, Matt Titan and Black Mirror – perfect for a wide range of applications, from 15 to 18 inches with four or five holes, able to equip your average little city car as well as large family sedans.

Mak’s testing and approval department, in compliance with the “Decreto Ruote”, a L.D. 20 dated March 10, 2013 and fully operational since October 1, 2015, subjects all new products  to inspections and trials to obtain the NAD approval, essential for travelling on national roads with approved non-standard wheels, making it possible for the average motorist to approach, without worries,  any MOT center to upgrade the vehicle’s registration certificate even in case wheel sizes should be different from the original standard equipment, as long as it complies with the area of application declared by the supplier, with a 5% tolerance on the rolling diameter of the whole wheel unit, making it finally possible, also for Italian motorists, to equip their cars with larger wheels, especially the much desired 19 inch wheels, on vehicles belonging to segments B or C. Having the entire range approved meant a substantial investment for the company, with an annual cost estimated at around 800,000 Euro, for the most part absorbed by German TUV and KBA approvals. Several models also boast the European UN-ECE 124 type approval.

At the end of the day, it is hard not to find a wheel that will tickle your fancy  looking at the over 50 models in the catalog, designed in partnership with two renowned Italian design studios, and constantly updated and enlarged with about 5 or 6 new items every year.

 

TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN

The main factor driving the choice of an aftermarket wheel is mainly its style. Yet, as this component plays a fundamental role in a vehicle’s performance, looks must be supported by quality and substance. Well-established procedures, such as gravity or low pressure casting, are flanked by new technologies, such as Flow Forming Technology, which involves stretching and compressing the aluminum, the final product is lighter, stronger and has much greater shock resistance despite the reduced weight, up to 3 kg less on a similar 19-inch wheel. A weight reduction that translates into higher energy efficiency, lower emissions and lower stress for all the mechanical parts, brakes, steering and transmission included.

The company’s technological evolution is always accompanied by growing production volumes at the Mak factory, responsible for the production of two-thirds of the whole product range, and recently upgraded with a new 3 million Euro fully automated casting plant. The remaining third of the production flows from a partnership with two other Asian factories, in charge of carrying out low pressure casting operations mainly on alloy wheels of smaller diameters.

 

A COMPLETE SERVICE

The recipe behind this success? As already stated, cutting-edge products, but also a 360° marketing network and B2B service. Mak does not neglect to support the installer's job with a complete and wide catalog, from alloy and steel wheel to components, such as bolts, tool-making and all accessories connected to proper mounting procedures, where a great deal of emphasis is also placed on TPMS systems, including diagnostic and initialization tools. Reaching the customer promptly through just-in-time fast delivery services within 24/48 h throughout the country, and 72 h for the rest of Europe, means having a well-stocked central warehouse, with about 100,000 items in rotation and more than 3,000 items of varying applications and sizes immediately available.

An all-round service projected into the future, able to facilitate any specialist’s work, able to find suitable solutions to a number of issues ranging from programmed to occasional replacements from a single source.

Driven by the quality of both product and service, 3,500 Italian installation centers have chosen Mak Wheels, including 70 loyal stores with large areas dedicated to Mak, which are expected to double within a year.

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