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The OG Black Roof
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recieve many emails and phone calls from fanatics with questions regaurding the difference between RD Sport and Racing Dynamics a.k.a. RD Brands L.L.C. vs. Electrodyne (a sponsor of this site :rolleyes: )

I did some digging and found an old post here made by Federico, the owner RD Sport.

It is long...So cliff notes... In North America if you are buying Racing Dynamics through the site www.racdyn-usa.com you are buying 'knock off' stuff.

In N.A. the company is now known as RD Sport, and the real website is either www.rdsport.com or www.racdyn.com

RD Sport is located in San Clemente, CA


Hope this helps some of you with questions.

I do realize that this is a very old issue, however it is still confusing to many people I guess.

:thumbup:

_Justin







Racing Dynamics (Italy) vs. Electrodyne

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OK, I will give you the jist of the story, and I apologize if it sounds trite and redundant, but I need to give you all the details for the sake of clarity.

I started Racing Dynamics while studying at Babson College, and it was always my hobby, more than a real job. I started by tinkering on my own 320i and importing parts from Europe while going to school. I also sold turbos for BMWs to European contacts. I was buying BAE turbos and sending them to a friend in Milan. Those turbos were rebadged Turbodyne, as I thought that Turbodyne was a good name, but only as a product name, not for a company. I wanted Turbodyne to be a product of a company called (something) Dynamics, and eventually I settled for Racing Dynamics.

One evening I decided to paint the pointers on my instruments fluorescent red, and while I had the whole thing apart, I went to Harvard Square to an arts supply store to buy some white transfer letters. There were hundreds of styles in black, but at the time the only letters Letraset had in white, and were in stock in the correct size, where Eurostyle Bold Extended, and this is what I used to make the first RACING DYNAMICS Script logo.
When I was done, I thought it looked too plain, so I took a razor blade and cut the end of the D and the R open. This is how the RACING DYNAMICS logo came to be.

After graduating, I took a job at MOMO SpA, as their man in the US. MOMO was being imported at the time by Electrodyne, and the Italian company was not really happy with the performance of the US operations, so I was supposed to run the sales part and report back to them.

During those few months, I was living in Alexandria, and Racing Dynamics was being sold out of my Georgetown basement. This is when I actually designed the crest logo, as I needed it for a steering wheel. I took the script and wrapped it around a modernized version of my family crest.

In August of 1983, I told MOMO that we needed our own US operation if we were to make any inroads into the market. Gianpiero Moretti sent me a check for $ 5000 and told me to pack up everything in a 45' trailer and move to Miami, which I did.

There we set up shop as MOMO USA and Racing Dynamics followed. I decided to incorporate, and in April of 1984 Racing Dynamics Inc. was officially started. While I was working at MOMO, my younger brother Francesco was running Racing Dynamics Inc. out of a separate warehouse. This is when we started designing our own products. I had just designed the MOMO Star, and Racing Dynamics used that wheel with a personalized cap to begin with.

MOMO was no fun to work at, as I was only 25 and all I did was talk to lawyers and bankers. I am a product person, and I was loosing touch with the fun side of the job. I decided that, if I had to go through the trouble of running a company, it should be mine and not someone elses.

MOMO and I parted ways in 1986, and in April I started to work full time for Racing Dynamics Inc.

After a few months, it became apparent that we needed to establish some form of business in Europe. Germany would have been the logical choice, but I didn't speak German, and I hate the weathere there, so I picked Milano, where I was born and grew up.

We set up shop as Racing Dynamics Srl in April of 1987, and designed the first HSM (Hollow Spoke Magnesium) wheel. At that time, nobody thought of putting a five spoke wheel on a BMW, let alone a rounded one with very thin spokes.

When we presented it on a brand new 7 series at the 1987 IAA Show in Frankfurt, people went ballistic! The designers at BMW all came to see the car and I like to believe that we were the ones to start the current trend of five spoke wheels that are now the norm.

Sales ramped up quite fast, and this required a lot of extra capital. The banks in Milan were helpful, but it wasn't enough. We also had the problem of running the Miami operation while living in Milan, and this was no fun at all.

In 1987 we were approached by Chester Vincentz of Electrodyne, and he said that he was putting a BMW program together. Rather that spending the money twice, he offered to pay for 50% of the tooling and sell our parts in the US under the Electrodyne brand. We agreed, and produced a set of E32 AoroKits under the Electrodyne name.

Soon thereafter, as Racing Dynamics was really becoming popular, we entered negotiations for Electrodyne to purchase the operations of Racing Dynamics Inc. in Miami and move them to Virginia. There was no sense in having two people importing our parts in the US, and we needed to divest from the mental anguish of running a company across the Atlantic.

Electrodyne made an offer to buy all assets of Racing Dynamics Inc. including the Trademark. I was opposed to that and refused. Then, Chet Vincentz explained that he was going to invest a lot of money in the brand, and wanted protection from graymarket importers. Being one of them himself, he knew well that he needed to have the ownership of the Trademark in order to file it with US Customs. If you do so, US Customs will actually monitor the inflow of branded goods for you (upon request, of course) and you can legally confiscate any branded product that enters the US without your permission.

Since this scenario was not what we had in mind as far as the Trademark went, we were finally offered a supplemental contract that stated: "Electrodyne and Racing Dynamics Inc. will not manufacture nor offer for sale any product under the Racing Dynamics Brand name, unless agreed to in writing by Racing Dynamics Srl."

It seemed acceptable to us, and therefore (foolishly, in retrospect) closed the deal. At that time, the Racing Dynamics Trademark in the US was only a Service Mark registered in Massachusetts, so Electrodyne set out to register the Trademark with the US Patent Office. Our tardemark attorney in Milan advised us that Electrodyne was attempting to do so, and in good faith we told them not to file for opposition, as it was part of an agreement we had signed.

At that time Electrodyne also funded the development of the Racing Dynamics products, and loaned us $ 200,000.00. The terms of the loan called for Electrodyne to give us $ 200,000.00 (minus the amount they had paid for 50% of the E32 AeroKit) molds in 8 $25,000 installments. Racing Dynamics was to sell to Racing Dynamics Inc. product at cost, untill the lost profit totalled $ 400,000.00. This was a very good deal for Electrodyne, as they ended up doubling their money in just 2 years.

Unfortunately, after a few months, Electrodyne purchased the assets of Kamei, and with those also came the capability to manufacture aerodynamics parts. In one of my early visits to Virginia (I still had an apertment there), I saw a copy of our E36 Coupé wing in their production area. When I confronted them, their lame expalanation was that they had just bought the machine from Kamei, wanted to test the manufacturing process, and since they didn't have a wing design in mind they used ours as a model!

From that point on things went downhill. Electrodyne started farming out chips to Autothority, started making copies of all our wings, strut braces and so on. We would constantly get calls from our European Technical partners as they were being approached by Electrodyne with the same line, over and over again: "We are Electrodyne, we own the Racing Dynamics Trademark for North America, we know that you supply Racing Dynamics of Italy with parts, will you sell them to us directly?"

Furthermore, we started getting a lot of complaints from US customers about product failures on products that were performing flawlessly all over the world. The guys at Bavarian Auto used to come to Milano every year and tip us off as to what was happening.

The jist of thingswas that Electrodyne was renigging on the agreement, and was getting cocky about it. In June of 1994, I had started flying back and forth between Italy and California. Spending a lot more time in the US made me aware of the magnitude of the problem. In June of 1996, while visiting a long time supplier, I was advised that they had been called by Electrodyne and were told that they could not sell us any parts with the Racing Dynamics logo without their consent. I went home and fired off a cancellation letter to Electrodyne, called our office in Mialno and cut them off as a distributor.

to be continued...
 

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The OG Black Roof
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Discussion Starter #2
Racing Dynamics vs. Electrodyne - Part II

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In 1996 we had opened a US office to sell our brand of wheels called RADIUS. When Electrodyne was cut off, we started planning for a way to get the genuine product in the US. Early consultations with our patent attorneys had revealed the problem as it stood: since the limiting clause on the Trademark was not in the same contract as the sale itself, it was going to be up to us to prove, as an Italian company fighting in a Virginia court, that the sale of the Trademark and the Distributorship Contract, although signed on different dates, were to be considered as one. We were advised that this could take for years, would cost a fortune, and as all legal matters go, the results ould be unpredictable.

Rather than commit $500,000 to attorneys, we decided to use that money to create a new brand, and this was how we started RDSport. Soon thereafter we sold the RADIUS brand to Fondmetal of Italy, and concentrated on the business of rebranding the original Racing Dynamics product to RDSport for the US market.

We changed the company name to RDSport, Inc. and set out to advise the US public that the original Racing Dynamics product was now available only under the RDSport brand name.

In the meanwhile Electrodyne tried to survive by upping th ante and knocking off any of our produccts they could get their hands on: aero, pedals, exhausts, but worse of all, they copied parts from Hamann and imported other cheap Taiwanese products and sold them as Racing Dynamics.

They also copied our RGS wheel, but since they weren't sure they could sell enough, they also made them in Audi and VW bolt patterns and advertised them as such. For a period of time you could see an ad in European Car, with a VW Golf with RGS wheels and RD center caps, Freedom Design license plates, and Electrodyne's address. Ugh!

In 1999, I approached Electrodyne again to see if we could come to some agreement. The RDSport brand was starting to make inroads, but there was a lot of confusion in the marketplace, as two separate companies were claiming to be the "real" Racing Dynamics, and the only ones benefitting from it were AC Schnitzer, Dinan, and Hamann. We found a tentative agreement by wich they would slowly divest of all manufacturing if we gave them the original product to sell. We did, but kept the right to distribute directly to all retail customers regardless of location, as well as all wholesale customers in the WA, OR, CA, NV, BC and HI.

My wholesale customers were not happy, as none liked doing business with Electrodyne. Bavarian Autosport eventually dropped the line, and so did all the big players.

Once again they wrere right, as Electrodyne is now mixing genuine products (such as the RD 2 and RS 2 wheels) with their awful version of a CAI, and other really bad looking products they try to sell.

To make a long story short, I am currently negotiating with Electrodyne to purchase the Trademark back from them. It is a lot of money, but we need to get them out of the manufacturing process, as we want all Racing Dynamics product to be the genuine one, no more Porsche, Audi, and VW products, no more Taiwanese products.

Until then, if you want Racing Dynamics product that comes 100% from Racing Dynamics Italy (Srl or SpA are one and the same, just different designations depending on capital and ownership), you have to purchase it from us at RDSport, Inc.

BTW, the racdyn.com and racingdynamics.com sites are ours, racdyn-usa.com is Electrodyne's.

I hope I didn't bore you, but this is the first time I gave such a detailed explanation of events. Feel free to let your peer BMW owners know my story, as it really is the only story to the Racing Dynamics saga, and it is all backed up by facts and documents.

I thank you for your patience.

All the best.

Racing Dynamics Srl
Federico L. Pavoncelli
Managing Director
 

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good story.

Strange how electrodyne doesn't develop their own product, given that they have all the manufacturing capabilites. They're just shooting themselves in the foot by knocking off everything.
 

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The OG Black Roof
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Discussion Starter #6
Wagon Man said:
May be Federico can also shed some light in explaining the standard of "Response time" of RDSport ..

no point for me to go into detail, many of us know what I mean ...

This thread is not intended to bash the customer service of RD Sport... Just to infrom the people that are still confused.

:)
 

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The OG Black Roof
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Discussion Starter #8
I apologize... "Bash" was the wrog word...

But you know how quick these threads can get out of hand...

Especially threads about customer service...
 

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interesting stuff. if i remember correctly there has been much debate/confusion over this issue during the past few years. thanks for the information, i recommend that we sticky this thread.
 

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Well I've been looking for a replacement/spare for my RD2 19 inch wheels but can't to get a hold of anyone there (san Clemente) I have and 01 RD 330i original but I've having trouble finding replacement parts or shops that know what I'm talking about.(I guess they get confused aswell, can blame them) Any help would be appreciated. I live in Northern California. Thanks in advance.
 

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Bimmerfest Co-Founder
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xxcosmicxx said:
I do realize that this is a very old issue, however it is still confusing to many people I guess.
It will continue to be a confusing issue as this is only one side to the story :rolleyes:

Tim
 
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