Best to get in quick if you're in the market for a T88 turbo as Teikoku Databankas, Japan's largest credit research company, yesterday announced that Japanese tuning firm Trust has just filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo's District Court.
Known as GReddy in the states, Trust is reportedly USD$60 million in debt and has opted to shut down operations in the face of declining sales and increased costs.
It was not looking good back in February of this year when Trust reported a drop in annual sales of USD$53 million while in the process amassing USD$43 million in loan repayments. Things did not improve and Trust has been forced to call it quits.
Founded in 1976 and employing close to 200 workers, Trust has produced a range of performance components, including exhausts, turbos, cooling systems, and electronics for some of the hottest cars in Japan and America.
Trust's US presence, GReddy, was established in 1994 to avoid trademark issues and made solid contributions to Trust's bottom line with 1998 sales figures topping USD$80 million. Since then, sales have seen continual decline to a point where the burden to continue operations is now too great.
With Apexi, Buddy Club, and Bomex having all experienced similar difficulties in the last year or two, it's evident that increasing pressure from cheaper imitations - and a volatile global economy - are having a substantial effect on sellers of high-end niche products.
If you don't want to see your favourite tuner disappear, pass up on that cheap eBay turbo and get the real deal instead. For Trust/GReddy though, it might be too late.