Welcome to our TUNERbiography series! Just as our AUTObiography series is designed to profile some of the more notable members of the VWvortex readership community, we’re hoping our TUNERbiography series can do the same for some of the tuners, manufacturers, and other companies who cater to these very same VWvortex readers.
This month’s TUNERbiography profile is Electrodyne
Q: Company name?
A: Electrodyne, Inc.
Q: Contact Info?
A: Dave Gula
Q: How did your company get its start?
A: Electrodyne, Inc. was formed in 1968 as a manufacturer of vibration test equipment for the aerospace industry. It produced electronic and electromechanical equipment to simulate the vibrations encountered in aircraft flight, missile flight, and other modes of transportation.
After the successful “Man on the Moon” in 1969, the purchase of equipment for this portion of the economy slowed down and management looked for new endeavors. Most of the engineers and technical people owned sports cars and were car enthusiasts. Since our vibration equipment was sold world wide, personal travels took us to Europe. In 1972 we started buying parts for our sports cars, primarily Porsche, and thus Electrodyne was transformed from a technical manufacturer of aerospace test equipment to an importer of parts and accessories. This transformation was complete in 1975. Electrodyne became the exclusive importer for many major German and Italian companies, including MOMO, Nardi/Personal, Carello, Supersprint, Recaro, FOHA, etc.
Electrodyne formed a professional race team in 1979 and raced Porsches at the highest level on the IMSA circuit from 1979-1990, winning numerous times. This close affinity for high performance cars gave Electrodyne the technical expertise for its return to manufacturing.
In the mid-’80s Electrodyne could see world trade was changing significantly as the US dollar was losing value against many foreign currencies. Electrodyne decided that it must become more dominant in its marketing position and decided to explore manufacturing its own line of products.
Electrodyne discovered a small company manufacturing BMW accessories and thought the concept had merit. The current management of Electrodyne purchased the assets of the original Racing Dynamics and formed a sister company to Electrodyne named Racing Dynamics Inc. in 1987. Over the next 15 years, a very fine line of BMW styling and performance accessories has been produced and marketed in conjunction with Racing Dynamics Italy, covering all models of BMWs from the early ’80s until today.
Electrodyne also had a strong relationship with Kamei GmbH of Germany, and when Kamei management decided to close their North American manufacturing facility in Connecticut, Electrodyne decided to purchase it. The complete factory was moved to the Electrodyne facility in Alexandria, Virginia in 1991. This was the foundation of the “FREEDOM DESIGN” line of products. The Freedom Design program has expanded continually and now covers most European, Asian and domestic car models. Products include aerodynamic styling, rear spoilers, sport exhaust, suspension components, and alloy road wheels.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: 36 years.
Q: Who is your target customer?
A: European car enthusiasts with specific emphasis on Audi/VW, BMW and Porsche.
Q: What is your product range?
A: Suspension, styling and engine tuning.
Q: What services do you provide?
A: We have a complete engineering facility to develop products for our special cars. We then select the proper manufacturing method and arrange for distribution of these products to the car enthusiast. Our experienced sales staff is here to help customers before, during, and after the purchase. Installation is available for the products we offer.
Q: What is your company philosophy?
A: We try to improve the driving experience of the car enthusiast.
Q: What makes your company different/special?
A: Our strengths are experience from our longevity in this business, engineering and personal experience of management in the car sporting events, including racing at the highest level in IMSA, and a commitment to make the best quality car accessory for our customer.
Q: What does the future hold for your company?
A: This market is always changing. The future will be molded by the youth of our management team to find ways to improve their customers’ driving experience.
Q: Where do you think the aftermarket is headed in the next five years?
A: I think the market will become more difficult as the cars become more complicated and the manufacturers squeeze out more power on their own.
Q: What are your biggest challenges?
A: Finding areas of a car that we can still work on and actually improve the styling or performance.
Q: What are your greatest successes?
A: The introduction and acceptance of the Freedom Design tuning brand into the Volkswagen market and the same for Racing Dynamics into the BMW market.
Q: How do you feel about auto manufacturers offering their own tuning products?
A: Firstly, this confirms we as tuners have good ideas. But the reality is the car manufacturers have more money and knowledge about their products than any independent company can ever have. So when they do this it reduces the size of our potential market.
Q: What personal cars do you and your staff drive?
A: Our staff drives a wide variety of automobiles, most of them modified:
VW Golf 1.8T
VW Passat 1.8T
Audi A6 4.2Q
Nissan Sentra SE-R
Chevrolet Corvette C5