Here is the Kleemann e-mail which came out of nowhere and definitely raised suspicions:
You may remember Kleemann and Weistec announced a global agreement for Weistec products to be sold through the Kleemann distribution network. This happened last year in September. The agreement is below:
Now, what you may not be aware of is that Kleemann approached Weistec regarding this. Why? Well, Kleemann has not made any serious performance parts for some time on Mercedes platforms. They were pretty much getting by living off their name and selling products created by others then taking their cut. That's fine and that is why they approached Weistec who had the first supercharger solution for M156 V8 vehicles.
As Kleemann CEO Claus Ankjaer stated, "the Weistec Supercharge system is a perfect addition to our current product line." Unfortunately, it seems Kleemann took this as a perfect opportunity to illicitly piggyback off the work of someone else.
Kleemann had unrestricted access to Weistec software as they were trusted as a distributor who would flash cars with the software necessary to run the M156/M159 supercharger kits. Obviously, hardware is only one part and to make forced induction kits work on modern German vehicles with their complex ECU's and programming quality software is necessary.
It should raise red flags with everyone that out of nowhere Kleemann comes out with their own M156/M159 supercharger kit when already entered into an agreement with a company who produces such a kit. Additionally, that they did not announce or show any development on this platform. Furthermore, that seemingly out of nowhere their orders from Weistec dropped off significantly to now nothing. I ask, what conclusion would you draw?
Well, if one were to speculate this is likely what happened. Kleemann was selling a fair amount of M156/M159 superchargers developed by Weistec. They realized they had access to the software and took what was necessary for the supercharger to work. They realized they could make a lot more money by cutting Weistec out. They contacted Xtra-Power who was supercharging M156/M159 cars in Europe although they did not have anywhere near as good of a tuning solution as Weistec unable to make their supercharger work with the stock DME. Instead, Xtra-Power relied on a piggy-back solution. They did, however, have the hardware. With this it would appear they developed a Magnuson TVS2300 roots based kit that works with the stock DME in record time. All of this and then quietly dropping Weistec from their website and no longer making any orders with Weistec. I ask again, what conclusion would you draw?
It is unlikely Kleemann's system would have been able to come about on the stock DME without taking a peek at Weistec's software. It is unfortunate Weistec can not really do much about this. If one were to compare the software directly with a readout from each that would at least be a step towards proof but even then it would be an uphill legal battle to do something about it. Still, it would at least be a battle easily won in the court of public opinion which no doubt would strongly and negatively affect Kleemann's reputation.
Weistec trusted a distributor and got burned. It happens in this game. You just don't expect it to happen with big names who are in mutually beneficial relationships. Just goes to show you can't trust anyone in the tuning game. And if you make a big breakthrough like what Weistec was able to do, you end up having a huge target on your back.
Kleemann will not be able to cut Weistec out completely but definitely will affect Weistec sales in the European market. Additionally, Kleemann's hardware is inferior using a TVS roots blower. It is a decent blower, just not on par with Weistec's 3.0 liter twin screw. Still, it's a shame this is the tuning game and sadly to be expected. Another reminder that even if you have a mutually beneficial agreement on paper it may only serve to make it easier for someone to take what you worked to achieve.