Turbo: What are your thoughts on all these knockoff companies looking to cheat their way into making a buck or two off the AMS name? For example that $400 turbo kit on the Internet we were looking at earlier?
Martin: (Laughing) Junk? That's ridiculous. When we first started manufacturing products we found a company called XS Power using a photo of our actual intercooler and couplers. They used pictures of our actual product, but sold the consumers some crappy knockoff. It's disgusting because you put a lot of time and effort into designing a product that's proven to work. What pisses me off is that when a company and their products finally establishes themselves as reputable to the public, some knockoff company magically comes along and takes that same idea and builds on that cheaply. The quality suffers and the name becomes tarnished because consumers seemingly associate the knockoff product that's complete garbage to your company's name. The sad thing is that a lot of consumers in this market shop on price alone and purchase this crap.
Turbo: They basically buy into it.
Martin: Not only do they buy into it, but the sad part is it's more expensive because they end up buying the product twice because it doesn't perform as well and/or it breaks or falls apart.
Turbo: The hardheaded consumers will argue that the intercoolers are built exactly the same. Can you prove them wrong?
Arne: We took that fake one and tested it out on the dyno against our own AMS intercooler setup. We found Internet people complaining how we charge too much for an intercooler when the knockoff is nearly half the cost. They look the same, but on the dyno the knockoffs make no more power than a factory unit.
Martin: I think the knockoff stuff is still a big problem. We could try to sue them but overseas patent laws and variations to the products make them less applicable to lawsuits, preventing us from doing anything. If I can come face-to-face with these people I'd like to ask them, "Do you have a soul? How do you sleep at night?" We love doing what we're best at and that's building quality products. Fake blow-off valves and fake wastegates can leak and kill performance on cars like Evos, which use a MAF setup causing them to run erratic. My theory is: Buy what you need to get the job done but don't go cheap and skimp on quality. Our production costs are high because the quality is good. Good welders, good equipment-it comes down to only the best products we make and offer to our customers.
Turbo: Any future products we can look forward to from AMS Performance?
Arne: The Evo X products are a few of our projects in development with a few already on the market. I can't reveal too much at the moment, but we're in development of our 850R turbo that we've been working with Precision Turbo to release. It's another big thing our customers can look forward to. Camshafts for the 4G63 Evo VIII being released also offer some promising numbers. We plan to expand with a few more engineers and a racing division. We want to build a professional race program to build and race cars for our company as well as clients. It's automatically assumed that we have this unlimited funding going through all our cars, but the reality is the car was funded almost entirely by ourselves. We used our time attack Evo as our testbed to prototype and test products for endurance and durability. We did manage to surprise quite a few people at the racetracks. Some of our competition drives to a race with a Toterhome and Stacker trailer, while us AMS guys show up and bunk for the night sleeping in a cargo van on a bean ag with a 28-foot enclosed trailer. We are hoping that in the future our race program can actually catch up with the caliber of our race cars. (Laughing)