Auto parts maker Edelbrock ditches high-tax CA for low-tax Mississippi (Update)

Aftermarket parts supplier Edelbrock is closing its Torrance, California, headquarters and manufacturing plant and shifting its operations to separate facilities in-state and across the country.

Edelbrock’s administrative offices will be moved to a 300,000-square-foot facility in Olive Branch, Mississippi, while most manufacturing processes will be transferred to its San Jacinto, California, plant, located about 95 miles east of Torrance.

When asked about the move, Edelbrock Group Chief Commercial Officer Chris Douglas cited the company’s merger with COMP Performance Group in early 2020 as a primary factor. “We had seven campuses between us across the country,” he explained, “so it made a lot of business sense to sit down and ask, ‘What skill sets do we have at these various locations, and where can we make our organization stronger and combine efficiency?’

Edelbrock’s San Jacinto, California location

“Unfortunately, the decision-making process did impact Torrance, but it’s part of building a foundation and future expansion for our company,” he continued. “It’s bittersweet. Torrance has been the home for Edelbrock for many, many years, and we fully acknowledge that it may be difficult for the market to understand. But it is critical to fuel future growth.”

With the news, the company announced the expansion of its San Jacinto facility, which currently houses foundry and casting processes for its aluminum products. Douglas also revealed plans to open a new technical center in Cerritos, California, which is set to be fully operational by the time the Torrance facility officially shuts down on March 31. The Edelbrock Southern California Tech Center will house approximately 15 engineering and compliance employees to oversee some development and testing efforts, he said.

“We feel [Cerritos] is a great base of operations,” Douglas added. “When that facility opens, we will be back to seven facilities from coast to coast.”

Meantime, Edelbrock has offered to relocate many of its 270 Torrance-based employees to either Olive Branch, Cerritos, or San Jacinto.

“Those numbers are constantly evolving, as some employees are still weighing their options,” Douglas said. “For many, it’s a great opportunity to get to a different area of the country, or even a different part of California, out of LA and closer to Palm Springs.”

The shift in operations is not expected to affect production or shipping times for most of its core products, Douglas told us, although COVID-19 may still be an issue. “[Production] was a big part of the planning process, which started in fall of 2020. But the ‘unknown’ is the amount of production and raw material delays due to COVID, of course. It has been challenging in the last month in LA County alone, so there might be a shortfall as we get into the peak spring selling season. But we are working in earnest to try to mitigate that and continue delivering products to our loyal Edelbrock customers.”

The shift and expansion align with Edelbrock’s push to return to its racing roots while branching out into additional Late Model performance segments. The company’s recent renewal of its partnership with Pat Musi Racing, plus the opening of the Edelbrock Race Center in Mooresville, North Carolina, are in line with those objectives, Douglas noted.

“One of our goals is to get Edelbrock back to hardcore racing,” he confirmed. “I’ll candidly say that we lost some of our racing focus over the years and have been known as a hot rod company.

“But we’ve got some announcements coming over the next few months that’ll further align us with this goal and get us back to our racing and performance roots, while continuing to serve the passionate hot rod community,” Douglas added. “We want to make sure that Edelbrock remains one of the most respected names in performance for the next generation of enthusiasts.”

January 30, 2021 

Edelbrock Group, a Southern California-based manufacturer and distributor of internal combustion engine aftermarket auto parts, will soon be shuttering its Torrance headquarters which employs 270 workers.

In a recent notice sent to the state Employment Development Department, the company said employee layoffs would begin Jan. 15 and end March 31. The closure will affect 217 hourly workers and 53 salaried employees.

The Torrance facility includes executive offices as well as sales, advertising and marketing departments. The facility also has a state-of-the-art research and development department, testing facilities and manufacturing operations.

Edelbrock’s website lists six company locations, including the headquarters in Torrance, two casting foundries in San Jacinto, a distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., a carburetor factory in Sanford, N.C. and the Edelbrock Race Center in Mooresville, N.C.

With auto manufacturers moving to electric cars, demand for Edelbrock’s products is diminishing.