Posted by Pete on November 11, 1998 at 14:11:47:
In Reply to: BMW Wheels are (currently) made by MAS of Italy posted by Steve on November 10, 1998 at 21:08:54:
Keep in mind that BMW has multiple suppliers for parts that it outsources, who are not always what people would expect them to be.
One example is sports seats -- which many people assume are Recaros -- but the only one that actually came with actual Recaros is the E21 320is.
Instruments - VDO, Motometer
Lights - Bosch, Hella, ZKW, NAL
and so on...
I can say for certainty that the 16" double spoke wheels that I have are mfg by Hayes Wheels in Italy (now Hayes Lemmerz Int'l), one of the largest wheel suppliers in the world.
In all likelyhood, the cheaper replicas may be exactly the same thing, if the supplier's BMW contract allows them to make and sell the replicas on their own, but one has to be sure that you are getting exactly the same thing. The double-spoke replicas at Autodesigntechics has a 7.5" rim width versus the 7" for the original BMW.
One other thing to keep in mind that in many cases, replica pseudo-OEM parts may be cheaper for a reason, namely inferior quality. If you want a lesson in parts suppliers and parts quality, talk to Steve D'G. at the Ultimate Garage. The things he discovers can enlighten and frighten.