The line between Genuine OEM Car Wheels vs Replica (Knockoff) Car Wheels has become rather fuzzy over the last decade. I'd like to get into the key differences, similarities, and warnings for you to consider when shopping for Replacement Car Wheels for your Car, Truck, or SUV. (Note: OEM refers to Original Equipment Manufacturer - Genuine original part.)
FLW specializes and sells Genuine Original Car Rims. Put simply, the rims we sell were originally installed on a brand new car when that car was originally manufactured, often referred to as "OEM Rims". Say you buy a single replacement wheel from FLW because your wheel is bent or all scratched up... you are buying the Genuine Wheel/Rim Part made exactly for your Make, Model, Year. It was originally manufactured to very strict and precise engineering specifications and are solely designed for your car. OEM Rims are great because they are originally made to fit your car perfect. You never have to make any exceptions to make the rims fit or have an issue with them matching your OEM Rims. Also, Factory Original Rims are made by only one manufacturer hand-picked by the car manufacturer and the materials (alloy or steel) are completely consistent structurally. Put simply, if you want the Best Replacement rim for your car, truck, or SUV, nothing will fit and perform better than the Genuine Factory Rim. For the vast majority of people I think this is just common sense. I'm not saying Replicas can't be an option for you, some are quite good. You do have options out there for Replacement Car Rims, but you probably see where I'm coming from. Also, we sell them. 😊😊
Replica Car Rims are basically Knockoffs of the Original OEM Rim. Other names or words to refer to "Replica" are: Knockoff, Replication, Reproduction, Clone, Copy, Imposter, Repop, and a few more. Nearly all Replica Car Rims are manufactured in China and are distributed to a handful of very large replica rim distributors. Knockoff Car Rims are just what the name implies, they are made to look very similar to the Genuine OEM Rims which were originally installed on your car. The Manufactures over in China produce a Clone or Reproduction of the Factory Original Part. Often Replica Wheels will not be 100% exact to the OEM. and will require a different size Center Cap (the Plastic Cap in the Center of your Rim) causing the OEM Caps not to fit the wheel. Also, we have seen some Knockoff Rims not have the exact same Offset or the Size is not 100% the same. This is not always the case but we have seen them.
Be extremely careful to read the Descriptions of listings for Factory Replacement Rims. If you do not see something like "Genuine OEM Rim", they are likely selling you a Knockoff. Listings for Reproduction Wheels will often say things like "made for your car" or "new wheel replaces" or "wheel replicates". These Websites or eBay Listings make it very tough to know if you are buying Genuine Original Rims or Replicas. I'm not saying don't buy replicas, but I think it's important for people to be informed and make the best decision for themselves.
Not all Knockoff Wheels are bad...but they are NOT Genuine OEM Rims. For some people, maybe it makes sense to go with a Knockoff. With such huge inflation worldwide causing higher costs for aluminum and steel raw materials, there is very little cost savings, sometimes they cost more. Our Reconditioned Genuine OEM Rims are the exact factory part for your car and are the perfect solution for your Replacement Car needs!!
Keep an eye on our blog as we will be adding more articles regarding the OEM Wheel industry to help you make the best buying decision possible. Thank you for choosing Finish Line Wheels.