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The Truth About KW Suspension

Fitment Industries Author | | May 31st, 2018 |

  • - What's going on guys? Alex with Fitment industries, and today we're talking about KW coilovers.
    - So, when this video was actually originally recorded. It's like butter, just.
    - [Camera Operator] Right.
    - So you gotta keep it smooth, like fileting a fish with a good knife. Mario completely screwed up the entire audio. I had a really cool intro. I talked about coffee, 'cause coffee's like the best thing in the world, and I talked about it being the morning and then I made fun of him for looking like an intern, and now we can't use any of that because Mario forgot to turn the microphone on. But we are gonna bring it back just a couple years. You know when you take it back to 1992, it was a pretty good year. You know, we had the Vice President of America trying to correct a child for spelling the word potato wrong in a spelling bee. Apparently there was an E.
    - [Quayle] You write it phonetically, but what else? There you go.
    - So we're gonna take it to a more grammatically-correct country. We're gonna take it to Murrhardt, Germany, where KW Tuning, or KW Suspension as we know it, or KW Automotive as we know today, was founded. And in 1992, they weren't actually involved in anything suspension related. They just did generic automotive products and services. They started in a square-foot building, 225 feet. 225 square feet.
    (crickets chirping)
    - 90% of the time, I have no idea what the (bleep) I'm talkin' about.
    - 75 square meters, 225 square foot apartment, which is pretty much a closet space. But it was three employees and they had a dream.
    - Have you ever had a dream that you had him to do you so much you could do anything?
    - And their dream was to create one of the best automotive companies that you could buy aftermarket components for in the world. So, within those three employees, there was one person that really started it all, and that was Klaus Wohlfarth. He's still the lead operations manager for the KW Automotive company, and he still is at every single trade show, usually on the side of the track watching cars rip around and doing everything in between to make sure that the KW brand is still one of the best currently in the market. Klaus and his other two engineers decided that they really wanted to get involved in something specific, so by the time 1995 came around, they introduced a new product created specifically for KW, the KW coilover, and it worked very well. KW coilover was the first of its kind, and considering the market that they were in in Germany, and the fact that there weren't a lot of other companies at the time providing an exact solution to what KW was making. The only thing was, is that Germany couldn't really figure out how to classify this company, and they're like, you cannot do the German name of just tuning if you do not tune cars.
    - What?
    - I can't, I'm not even gonna do the German accent anymore. You get the point. The point was the German TUV Board really didn't want them using the name KW tuning as much as they currently were, because they weren't really gonna get into tuning anymore, so in 1995 and 1996, KW Tuning turned their name over to KW Coilover Suspension System. From there, they continued to just delve into the one thing that they wanted to make, suspension. 1996 came around, and KW Coilovers just began to market what they knew, and it became very apparent that they were really good at making coilover systems for cars, and they spend the next three to four years just capitalizing on that. They were gonna become the coilover gods, and they were going to do it the right way. Their focus was all about how they could make a superior product with no sacrifice to pretty much anything, and that's why KW carries the brand and image that it knows and everybody seems to love today. So, from 1996 to 2000, they just made more applications for the coilover systems that they were creating for the market. At the time, KW just really wanted to get involved in high-end stuff, so they focused on racing, they focused on higher-end vehicles, because that was what they really wanted to tune these products for. And on top of that, from 1996 to 2000, they moved from a very small broom closet to a slightly larger broom closet, about 75 square feet larger. But it really wasn't until the early 2000's that KW Automotive really began to explode. From the 2000's to now, they've never slowed down.

    Oh, and just so you know, they made wheels from 1997 to 1999, but we're not gonna talk about it, because the wheels were... Eh. And on top of that, they entered the United States of America, so you know that they're on the right track when they come to the Lovely Liberty's front door, and they decide they wanna start making products for Americans, and from the beginning of the 2000's to 2018, and they continue, they just began growing their brand, and they realized that they needed to enter into different markets to make sure that they could solidify their portfolios. So, what do they do? Well, in the early 2000's, they acquired Weistec Suspension, and now that is under their umbrella. In the early 2000's, 2004, they launched LSD Doors, which is the Lamborghini doors. They did that, and in 2005, they acquired Belltech and ST Suspensions, and from here on out, they still have other companies that they've brought on. They've never stopped acquiring things that they know they're gonna absolutely destroy. They have a huge stranglehold on the aftermarket automotive community in terms of coilover systems, because they're so frickin' good at it. They got ahold of all the other companies in the early 2000's and mid 2000's because it helped provide products to a consumer that maybe they didn't want KW because of the price point, but they offered a mid-level coilover like ST. Or maybe they just wanted something completely different for their sport truck, so they bought Belltech. At the end of the day, all of those products funneled back to kW, and because KW had such a big umbrella, it just continued to help all the other companies. Now, while they were going into America, you would think that they would diversify, maybe split up the sort of product quality that KW had grown over the past few years, and that's not the case because KW decided over the next few years of acquiring these companies, a lot of them would actually go back to Germany to get their production made, meaning that a lot of ST components are brought back to the same exact warehouse, created in the same exact form and function and credibility as the KW products, because they're made in the same exact warehouse. In 2001, they had developed their own Inox line, which was something that was really unheard of at the time. The Inox line just really made a coilover really hard to rust, and so from there, a lot of people enjoyed it, because if you live up north like me, you wanna run coilovers all year round, good luck trying to raise those things up after a season, because the entire thing would be rusted out. So why does KW carry such a big name and brand behind them? Why are they just the company that people know of when it comes to coilovers? I mean, it has nothing to do with the fact that they trademarked their own color scheme of purple and yellow, I mean. It has nothing to do with the fact that they probably own 1 of 15 7-post unit drives that helps create perfect coilover systems using race applications without actually having to put them in a car, and it's not like KW is probably the reason that Gran Turismo has all the realtime data to make one of the best racing simulating, driving video games in the world.

    I mean, it's not like KW partnered with AMG Black Series vehicles or the GT3 RS to be the coin suspension for nearly every single applicable series of race car for that class. It's not like KW is just the best. It's just what they're bred for. There's absolutely no sacrifice in what they're trying to make. What they're trying to make is an amazing product. We could go into all the stuff that KW does from a technical standpoint. I'd be sitting here for like 60 minutes explaining to you why they do what they do, but we do not have time for that. But what I can tell you, is that the V1 through the V3 gets more sophisticated as you go up, and with that goes the price, which is probably one of the biggest complaints you can have with KW, is that they're expensive. And some of their components have a tendency to wear over time, but that is everything with coilovers. What makes it so cool is that as you go up in price, as you go up in the versions of KW coilovers, you get so much capability that you really wouldn't get anywhere else. You can adjust rebound and dampening. You can go into electronic versions of their coilover systems. You can dial it into an absolute T. It's crazy how well KW has managed to manifest such a good coilover. Now, no, we're not getting paid to talk about how good KW is, but the fact that this company has an umbrella of so many different products and services that allow it to be so hugely successful, is something that needs to be brought up, because KW is a very good company, and they continue to just destroy the market in creating coilovers that are bomb. All of what they do is just to grow and to meet the market, and because they're still an under 250 employee size, it allows them to adjust to the needs of the automotive community. And I think that's why KW's gonna continue to provide super high-end stuff, while they still allow the other companies that they are partnered with, like ST, Belltech, and everything in between, to make the products for just other markets entirely. That is the truth about KW Suspension. We hope you guys enjoyed. Be sure to drop a comment. I know I haven't brought it up yet, and you were expecting it, but if you haven't, be sure to subscribe. We're trying to hit 50,000, and if you're interested in wheels, tire