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The Truth About Rota Wheels

Fitment Industries Author | | December 14th, 2017 |

  • - Rota!
    - Jesus Christ! They like savage why you gotta ♪ ♪ 12 car garage and you only got ♪ ♪ 15 cars, 'cause we all just wanna be big rockstars ♪ ♪ And living hilltop bosses driving 15 ♪ ♪
    (beeping)
    - Welcome back, stay tuned to the end of the video where we're giving away a bunch of free once again because you guys like free stuff so stay tuned.
    - Hell yeah!
    - But today we are talking about Rota Wheels. This was one of those that you guys have commented on since day one so we're happy to oblige and we apologize for the comment section 'cause it's about to get lit. Shoot me if I ever say lit again in front of a camera.
    - I won't hesitate.

    - Rota Wheels started in 1976 as a joint venture between an Italian company named FPS and a man named Romero Rojas. Now Romero was an entrepreneur from the Philippines and he actually imported and exported automotive stuff like shift knobs and wheels prior to this partnership. So they got into a little cozy bed and decided to make a partnership together, and one year later they already had their first official client which was Chrysler-Mitsubishi. Can't call that one. Now seven years later because of the Asian crisis that happened due to the deflation of the US dollar and the fact that they weren't using that as a way of measuring their value dollar, the Italian wheel maker eventually pulled out, what that resulted in is Romero Rojas taking over the full share of the company, renaming it to PAWI, which was the Pilipino Auto Wheel Industry, and then rebranding the wheels as Rota Wheels. Why were they making wheels in the Philippines in the first place?

    - How's business?
    - Booming.
    - Booming, believe that.

    - The Philippines were booming when it came to the auto market and they had absolutely no way to get wheels on those cars, especially exporting it as well. PAWI was the perfect fit at the perfect time. The 70s were known as where all of these wheel companies kinda came up and out of the woodwork. BBS and a lot of those bigger names have a lot of foundations back in 1970s even including XXR. So something that's super interesting about PAWI is that they've actually had partnerships with other wheel companies like Enkei. So if you're in the comments already making snide remarks, just remember your Enkeis are probably made in the same exact factory as your Rotas. ♪ Gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang ♪

    - As of 2017, Rota Wheels produces wheels for about 17 countries, anywhere between one to 2000 wheels are made per day just in their Philippine headquarter location where they manufacture all of their wheels.

    - Do you like that (beep), baby, that's a lot isn't it?

    - Now Rota Wheels isn't some multilayered company where they produce casts, forge multi-piece single monoblock, all this sort of stuff. Rota Wheels produces one kind of wheel and one kind of wheel only, and that is a low pressure cast wheel, Rota Wheels goes through their own impact testing system.

    No, no not like that.
    No, Mario, why the hell do we even pay you?
    - [Mario] You don't.

    - That's true, that's really true.

    So we're going to get into the design aspect of their wheels which is the number one controversial thing of Rota Wheels, hands-down, by far. So to go into it, Rota designs about four wheels a month and then goes into any sort of specific customized testing almost every single day to try to make something new and fresh, however, what you see is a lot of times Rota Wheels mimicking other designs, and this is where the actual president, Michael Rojas, came on-air on a Top Gear article that stated that they follow what's called the 20% rule where if the wheel has a variance of 20% in overall design, that it's okay.

    So Rota Attacks Gram Light 57 CZ's, Rota G-Force Advan RS's, Rota Grids full time attacks, and Rota Tarmac Prodrive P1's. All right, so in one corner, we have Rays Engineering. We have them as the champions undisputed in the wheel game, and on the other side, we have Rota Wheels, but that's not really fair because it's not even the same comparison, price point, or how they make their wheels. So at the same time, Rota Wheels does play the line between designed influence and we're really just too lazy to make our own designs, but hey, 600 bucks for a set of wheels is 600 bucks for a set of wheels.

    - Yeah, you got that right.

    - And even the best thing about this whole situation is four years ago Rota Wheels actually made a public statement stating that there were fake Chinese knockoffs of Rota Wheels entering the market, stating that they had engravings where they weren't supposed to, that they weren't safety tested, and that you should not buy these fake Rota Wheels. It didn't take long for people to start making fun of Rota Wheels for being replicated as a rep company. And so, it actually blew up the market, it was absolutely hilarious, you can still go on the forums today, you can see it, it's a great time, but at the same time, I'd rather have Rota Wheels because at least they're JWL VIA tested, whereas these Chinese knockoffs are not.

    Michael Rojas stated that we never copy a design as in carbon copy, that they will always improve it to their taste, but if they can't do it that way, meaning if they can't find a better way to do it, they just won't make it. Copyright laws, he states, are pretty extensive but the rule of thumb pretty much is based on the 20% rule. It has to be different by about 20%. Rota Wheels plays that line so closely that that's where they get the stigma in the car community. However, as an actual wheel, they're not bad whatsoever. Lots of people run Rota, even the Drift King himself has personally endorsed Rota Wheels on different drifting cars that he's ran personally in Japan. They're on numerous drift cars in Europe. They're on numerous drift cars in the States. They're in numerous auto cross events. They're at numerous sort of drag events and things like that, so they have no shortage of being.

    Oh!

    So what makes Rota so great? Well obviously the price point and the fact that you are getting a pretty decent wheel as a cast wheel. By no doubts, they are a solid wheel. They ran all across the board, they're extremely popular in the States, they're even more popular internationally, they're endorsed by plenty of teams, plenty of reputable people actually do run Rotas as just being a solid wheel for what they use it for, I ran Rotas when I had my '76 Datsun 280Z with the 355 supercharged V8 and I had absolutely no issues with them whatsoever, and I was mean to those wheels. And that's what makes Rota so interesting because when we delved into the whole entire thing, the one thing that we consistently noticed was that the argument was always toward the designs and not towards the quality.

    So that's up to you to decide if it's worth it for you, if Rotas are a good wheel brand or a bad wheel brand depending on if you think them copying designs is something that is crucial to being a successful company in the wheel game. We'll let you guys decide in the comments. Two weeks ago, we gave away a bunch of stuff. Now we're giving away a bunch more stuff. Another sweatshirt, another hat, a decal, some lanyards, can Koozie, the whole nine yards. All you have to do is tag a friend. I'll even give you bonus points if you tag a friend that owns Rota Wheels so that we can get more engagement down below. Argue with me, talk to me all you want, more than likely we will comment back because we comment on every single post. That's all that we have on the history of Rota Wheels. We hope you enjoyed. Leave a comment below and add your car to our ever growing gallery. We have over 4500 vehicles in this gallery so far. It's absolutely amazing. You can see everything for wheel specs, suspension, all that sort of stuff. So go to www.fitmentinc.com/add, add your car. We will see you later. Alex from Fitment Inc, we'll see you later.