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Old 05-26-2015, 02:34 PM   #1
Former Vendor
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Default Post your questions for HKS USA

Brief introduction: my name is Scott Cole and I’ve been the Brand Manager for HKS USA since 2012. I’ve been interested in fast cars ever since I can remember and I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the performance/racing industry for the last 15 years and counting. Prior to working for HKS USA, I did custom racing fuel and induction systems for everything from IRL to ALMS to Formula Nippon to drag cars, street cars, nitro. John Deere riding lawnmowers and just about anything else you can think of that someone might want to race. Calculating what an engine will do and what it will take to support it, before it’s built, is my forte’. And I still enjoy it. But today I’d like to talk a little about HKS.

Soon after starting to work with HKS USA I was sent to HKS’ headquarters in Fujinomiya Japan for my initial introduction to the company. The first few days of my 2 week trip were mostly sit-down meetings, getting to know contacts, personnel, policies, product lines, production, etc. After that, the rest of my time was spent in the factories where I learned a lot about HKS products and watched most of them go from raw material to finished goods. They also took me to Fuji Speedway where I test drove several HKS equipped cars and had a Super GT driver take me for a 190+ mph ride in a HKS equipped R35 GT-R. So I can honestly say that I’ve witnessed design, witnessed production, and experienced what HKS products are capable of first-hand.

HKS prohibits any & all photography inside their factories (with the exception of the museum) so I’ll do my best to paint an accurate mental picture. HKS’ headquarters or main campus is located in Fujinomiya which is in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. As you snake through the winding mountain roads towards HKS HQ, you start to notice blue HKS signs on the highway and start thinking to yourself, “wow, HKS is big enough to have their own highway road signs?” As you turn onto HKS’ road you can’t miss a much larger HKS road sign indicating that HQ is just another .5km along this twisty mountain road. When you make the final right turn off the mountain road, the trees clear enough and your perspective is high enough to see the multiple HKS building stepped down the side of the foothill you’re on and my first thought was, “wow, this is A LOT bigger than I expected.”

As you pull into the “driveway” you notice parking lots for ~75-100 cars on each side with corresponding buildings or factories immediately past the asphalt. I haven’t measured but I would guess the driveway has a descending grade of ~8-10% - pretty steep. And after you get past the first set of parking lots and buildings, you’re able to count the remaining pairs of parking lots and buildings stepped down the side of the foothill. Each building/factory has it’s own purpose, for example the “top left” building is the warehouse/shipping/receiving facility. The next facility down is the engineering/sales offices. Across from engineering & sales is the engine development facility which houses the clean rooms for engine building, engine dynos, bays and lifts for cars – fun stuff.

Every facility on the main campus has a different product related purpose, and in addition to the main campus, HKS has several “satellite” facilities all within ~30 minutes of the main campus. One of them being their own carbon fiber manufacturing facility. Across the street from the carbon fiber facility is the exhaust “campus” composed of 3 separate buildings. One of the three buildings resembles a mini-self storage place with nothing but bay doors next to each other. Behind each one of the bay doors is an acoustically treated dyno cell where HKS has sound engineers running tests to ensure each exhaust design hits the precise note and db level desired during acceleration, decel, and steady-state cruising. With the dozen or so mics set up all over, acoustic treatment on the walls and ceiling, soundboard, engineer with earmuffs, it looks just like a recording studio - with a car on a dyno.

As all these things start to sink in, you realize HKS isn’t just some run-of-the-mill aftermarket parts company, they’re a very substantial OE supplier in Japan with a passion for race cars and go-fast parts. Many OE “upgrade” exhausts are actually manufactured by HKS (fun fact: each and every HKS exhaust is pressure tested after welding to ensure there are no leaks!). HKS suspension is used for structural earthquake dampers in various buildings throughout Japan. And those dampers are built and assembled in the same facility by the same hands that assemble the Hipermax suspension for our cars. HKS manufactures (from scratch) and supplies two different light aircraft engines, one N/A, one turbo, in Japan and the USA. They are an OE supplier of superchargers for Yamaha jet skis, so HKS covers it all, land, air, and sea.

Since my initial visit, I’ve been back to Fujinomiya 4 times for continuous training and product education and they treat me like family every time I’m there. While I’ll never claim to know it all, I have learned a lot about HKS products, and the company in general so with my ever increasing HKS knowledge base, I thought I’d introduce myself and open myself up to any HKS-related questions anyone here might have. From “will this part fit my car” to “what do you drive” I’m happy to share what I know so thanks for reading and fire away!
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:32 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
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Member#: 472953
Join Date: Aug 2017
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Panama City, Panama
2017 WRX '17


do you think HKS will eventually make Dody dampers? Like the COX YAMAHA PERFORMANCE DAMPERS. I am very interested in reducing vibrations in my sti. On top of that I saw them on the TC380, so I will assume it reduces vibrations and increases body rigidity at the same time.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: OC/LA
2016 WRX


hey Scott, thanks for the intro and info about HKS! How does HKS decide if they will support a vehicle model and what parts to develop?
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