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09/29/2006 - American Racing Equipment, Inc. Acquires Weld Wheels Industries, Inc.

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ (September 29, 2006) – American Racing Equipment, Inc., a Platinum Equity company, announced today that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Weld Wheel Industries, Inc., a market leader in forged wheel technologies. Weld's operations will be integrated with American Racing, which will continue manufacturing wheels under the Weld brand at facilities in Kansas City and elsewhere. The acquisition will increase American Racing's market share in the automotive aftermarket wheels industry, and add important capabilities in the manufacture and distribution of high-performance forged wheels.

"Weld Wheels are among the most well known brands in the aftermarket and race wheel industries, and Weld Wheel Industries and the Weld Racing brand are vital additions to the American Racing family of products," said Bob Swelgin, President and CEO of American Racing Equipment. "We are committed to ensuring the financial and operational stability of Weld, and providing customers with the highest level of service and quality products."

Weld Wheels Inc. is well known not only for its stylish performance-oriented designs, but also for its forged wheel manufacturing process, which produces high-performance, premium wheels that are significantly lighter and stronger than cast wheels, while being able to hold the same weight. "Weld Wheel Industries Inc. are specialists in forged wheels," said Frost & Sullivan, an independent market consulting firm, in a recent 2006 analysis of the North American Wheels Aftermarket. "They are high-end wheel makers, and their main focus is on technology and quality."

The same Frost & Sullivan report identified American Racing as the largest wheel provider of performance aftermarket wheels in North America, noting that for the past 50 years, the company has "…maintained a strict adherence to quality, which is the cornerstone of the organization's strategic positioning." Mr. Swelgin said, "The combination of American Racing and Weld Wheels creates a powerful market leader with a fundamental commitment to providing the highest quality products and service to customers. The integration of American Racing and Weld will strengthen both businesses, expand our offerings to customers, and solidify our position as a leading provider of forged wheels to the automotive aftermarket and racing industries."

Mr. Swelgin confirmed that American Racing is committed to continuing operations in Kansas City, and working closely with Weld's employees, suppliers and companies to stabilize the business and integrate it seamlessly with American Racing. "We are making a significant investment in Weld because we believe in the company's products and its brand," Mr. Swelgin said. "We will take immediate steps to ensure the stability of Weld's operations, and then integrate the company seamlessly into the American Racing family. We're confident that customers and suppliers of both companies will benefit from this integration."

About American Racing Equipment, Inc.
American Racing Equipment, Inc. is a global consumer products firm specializing in stylish high performance vehicle wheels and accessories for enthusiasts and racing industries. Since 1956, American Racing Equipment has been a driving force in the aftermarket wheel industry. In 2006, American Racing celebrates 50 years of market leadership, with a diverse range of wheels and brands for most of the current motor vehicle wheel market segments.

About Platinum Equity
Platinum Equity is a global M&A&O(r) firm specialized in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of business markets, including information technology, software, telecommunications, logistics, manufacturing, health care products, and entertainment distribution. Since its founding in 1995 by entrepreneur Tom Gores, Platinum Equity has acquired more than 90 businesses with more than $15.5 billion in annual aggregate revenue at the time of acquisition. In 2005, Platinum was named the 18th largest private company in the United Stated by Forbes magazine.

About Weld Racing
Weld Racing, a market leader in forged wheel technology, was started by Greg Weld, a successful Sprint Car racer. As President and CEO of Weld Wheel Industries, Greg Weld's vision was to build stronger, lighter and truer wheels for both on and off the race track. Greg's racing philosophy - Be the Best, There is No Alternative - was the inspiration guiding the Weld Wheel organization, a group committed to producing cutting-edge forged alloy wheels of the highest quality to enhance the performance and appearance of race cars, off-road trucks, luxury pickups, SUV's, premium motor cars, customs, hot rods, and motorcycles.

http://www.americanracing.com/news/press.asp?section=press&cmd=view&articleid=103