Edelbrock has been one of the biggest names in the automotive industry for decades. Getting their start in 1938 after Kansas-born Vic Edelbrock moved to California in the early 1930s and soon fell in love with hot rod culture. Vic soon found the urge to increase the performance of his 1932 Ford Roadster, which lead him to design a new intake manifold. Friends and fellow drivers soon wanted the increased horsepower and performance that Vic had to offer. Soon after followed the birth of Edelbrock. The company grew substantially through the years with the rise of the muscle car wars during the 1960s and 1970s, offering people more ways to modify their hotrods than ever before, producing all kinds of new parts from carburetors to full valve train setups. Edelbrock soon became one of the best-known names in automotive performance for their success on the street and track, along with their proud heritage and with their focus on quality. Edelbrock continued to grow and expanded into the aftermarket automotive powerhouse we know today and is still at the forefront of the aftermarket automotive scene, with all their manufacturing always being done in America.
But Edelbrock recently released shocking news to the State of California that it would be closing the company’s Torrance headquarters, simultaneously with its research and development, manufacturing, distribution, and Russell Performance Plumbing divisions. Lots of rumors and articles guessing at the cause of the closure began to pop up all over. Reports of financial problems and political issues littered social media, but actually, the answer is a little more straightforward. Edelbrock might be closing up its Torrance headquarters in California, but it is defiantly not shutting its companies doors for good. Edelbrock is relocating its headquarters to Olive Branch, Mississippi, and will be moving in with their sister company Comp Cams. Edelbrock has decided to make the move to Olive Branch for a couple of different reasons, the foremost of which is their inability to expand at their current location. Developing the Torrance facility would prove to be a very costly investment for Edelbrock, simultaneously paired with the fact that the Torrance location is not conducive to development itself. The Torrance location is also being hit with higher and higher labor costs from having to compete with other large companies in the area, like SpaceX and Boeing. They are being forced to compete against the aerospace industry for machinist and skilled laborers to operate their Torrance factory, which is excessively driving up labor demands and making qualified employees hard to come by. Especially with each company expanding and requiring more skilled machinists on a regular basis. This problem is making it difficult for Edelbrock to maintain fair pricing and keep the positions filled. Although Edelbrock's headquarters are leaving California, they are planning on expanding their California-based foundries facilities. Their current facilities are located about a hundred miles away from Torrance, allowing them to find skilled technicians much easier without the local competition from Boeing and especially SpaceX. Edelbrock is also planning to make a multi-million dollar development to expand their foundry facility in the coming future.
Although there have been multiple theories and fake articles circulating the internet about Edelbrock's finances being in dire straits from the Covid-19 pandemic, the company is actually doing quite well. 2020 hit a lot of businesses hard with the on slot of Covid-19; sadly, many of them were forced to shut their doors. Still, Edelbrock and most other aftermarket performance companies seem to be doing quite well financially, with reports of 5 to 15 percent growth occurring in 2020. Finances are playing a role in Edelbrock's relocation to Olive Branch, but it is merely to do with having to compete with other growing businesses for the same experienced workforce and not some unforeseen bankruptcy causing the company to downsize.
Although the company's headquarters haven't fully moved to Olive Branch yet, their intake manifold production has already started at its new 300,000 square foot facility, that Edelbrock will be sharing with Comp Cam, TCI, FAST, and Russel, which are all own by Evanston, Illinois-based private equity group, Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP). IOP will be reclassifying its five "power brands" Edelbrock, Comp Cam, TCI, FAST, and Russel under the Edelbrock group appellation. After closing the company's Torrance headquarters on March 31st, 2021, all administrative roles will be moving to the new headquarters in Olive Branch. Edelbrock will also be moving its research and development team to a new 10,000 square foot facility in Cerritos, California, that is set to open its doors on April 1st, 2021, the day after the Torrance location is set to close. Almost 300 employees will be affected by the closing of the Torrance headquarters facility. Still, a select group of about 50 employees have accepted offers to relocate to one of the six other Edelbrock facilities, even including the new Olive Branch, Mississippi location.
With the rebirth of the muscle car wars in full swing, Edelbrock has been pushing to return to its motorsport origins with an added focus on new late model muscle cars. Their move to Mississippi will also help put them closer to the heart of their new motorsport ventures; the company recently opened its "Edelbrock Race Center" in Mooresville, North Carolina, and also renewed its partnership with Pat Musi Racing.
Although it is sad to see Edelbrock's headquarters closing its doors after 83 years of heritage in California, in an article published by MSN news, Chris Douglas, Chief Commercial Officer at the Edelbrock, said, “LA County is a very difficult place to have a manufacturing business – local competition, the wages are high, it is hard to get help, and expansion property is very expensive. This was something we had to do to remain competitive and manufacture American-made products. It was the right move to keep Edelbrock healthy and moving into the future.” even though Edelbrock is somewhat being forced to leave their historic Torrance facility, they are sticking to their heritage and taking extra steps to keep their jobs in the United States while planning out there finances for years to come.