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    • The tuning world is unforgiving and rough, HPF closes its doors. R.I.P. Horsepower Freaks

      Sad, sad day indeed for the BMW community. The aftermarket tuning game is not an easy one. Especially when it comes to BMW's these days with ever increasing sophistication of their electronics and BMW doing everything in their power to prevent modification. Thankfully, there are some companies that simply do not give up and do what many say can't be done. For quite a while on the E46 M3 platform, HPF was forging ahead into territory nobody else was willing to tackle.


      The S54 engine in the BMW E46 M3 early on had a reputation of being made out of glass due to bearing failures. People said stock motors could not hold together let alone forced induction examples. This was quickly dispelled as the motor more and more often showed incredible gains with forced induction. HPF themselves pushed the motor to over 700 wheel on stock internals. Recently, people have been doing in the high 6XX wheel range on stock internals as if it no sweat.

      Basically, HPF helped pioneer the turbo market for the E46 M3. There are new options coming just now (over a decade after the car hit the market) which goes to show just how difficult it is to do this. HPF had options to turbo the E46 M3 when nobody else had options to turbo the E46 M3. They were the main game in town and deserve respect for it. But... even the mighty can fall and a single platform can not sustain anyone forever.

      Unfortunately an employee stole from HPF something over $200k (who knows what the real amount truly is and just how much he got away with) and unfortunately Chris made a poor choice with his new insurance company who only covered $25k in theft. The insurance company and HPF went to court and HPF lost. BimmerBoost is somewhat surprised a quarter million can sink a ship of this size but clearly there were other issues at play.

      Whether one wants to put the blame on the owner Chris or not it's hard to say what frivolous spending might have gone on. Chris did reach a high point in the BMW tuning market in the USA and nobody can take that away from him. Numerous magazine spreads, hundreds of turbo kits sold, and a household name on BMW forums. That deserves respect and is a level few can or will reach.

      Sustaining that is another thing entirely though. Busty young women don't come cheap. Dedicated drag cars for forum boasting aren't cheap. There is a reason rockstars tend to burn out fast. Is that what happened here? In retrospect it's easy to say this and that should have been done instead but Chris also did get somewhat of a second chance with a forum member investing cash into the company recently.

      Unfortunately, it seems that amount was not enough and now the doors are closed and people are laid off. What will happen to current orders? Members on this site are waiting for their parts. What will happen to the cars still there? Some have been removed, some remain. What will happen to Chris Bergermann? Is this it? Not going to be easy to climb back up after already being at the top of a platform for quite some time with little capital to work with and he certainly isn't getting younger.

      I for one want to thank HPF for their support. Chris was always kind to me, always supportive, and always wished me well. He always wanted me to succeed and I wasn't even a customer of his. To him I was just some random kid building a forum. I did an interview with Chris back in 2010: http://www.germanboost.com/content.php?426-BimmerBoost-Interview-with-Chris-Bergermann-Owner-of-Horsepower-Freaks

      I suggest any interested party take a look or listen to it (audio is posted). It shows how far HPF came in just 9 years at the time of the interview.

      I wish you well Chris, I wish all your employees well, and I hope you move on positively. It's a rough and cuthroat business. When you are on top, people just want to tear you down. It's easy for people to talk down sitting comfortably behind their monitor without realizing how many peoples lives this affects. Hopefully there is a learning lesson here that makes everyone stronger and hopefully nobody is going to bed hungry at night as a result of this. You'll land on your feet Chris. Good luck and thank you, from BimmerBoost.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: HorsePowerFreaks is apparently closing its doors started by folgrz View original post
      Comments 266 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        We'll know more soon, waiting on Chris. If this is true I probably wouldn't be in the mood to answer e-mails.
      1. Commanderwiggin's Avatar
        Commanderwiggin -
        It's true...no question about it. Sales manager is a friend of mine...everyone let go.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        So that's that? What happens to the building, inventory, cars there, etc.?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Moved to the S54 forum where I feel this will have more relevance.
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Q4P Click here to enlarge
        From a business perspective, am I the only one here that sees some very serious financial management issues? I will withhold judgement as we do not know the whole story but I see a serious obvious problem here.
        No, I see it as well.

        The kits were hot cakes 3-4years ago, probably peaking about 2-3 years ago.. sharp decline over the last year or two as more options came about and less new potential customers were picking up used HPF kits for steals.

        The problem was , and I hate to say it.. but they were a one trick pony.. a good one, beautiful kit.. well engineered.. but none the less.. a one trick pony. They tried on the 335... but if you ask me that car is a nightmare.. I honestly have no idea how anyone but Cobb is making any money on that car..

        Then there's the pretty big reputation hit that occurred about a year ago.. we won't go into that..
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        So that's that? What happens to the building, inventory, cars there, etc.?
        An individual borrowed them quite a bit of money near the end to try a last ditch effort to turn things around. It failed.. in return for his lost funds he now owns the rights to the turbo kit.
      1. Blitz535i's Avatar
        Blitz535i -
        Guess now we know why they were selling their iconic HPF M3...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ZooyorQ Click here to enlarge
        Then there's the pretty big reputation hit that occurred about a year ago.. we won't go into that..
        Why not?
      1. Commanderwiggin's Avatar
        Commanderwiggin -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Why not?
        You can only beat a dead horse so much that's why. It's been gone over for nearly a year on every forum known to man including this one. Leave it be.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Commanderwiggin Click here to enlarge
        You can only beat a dead horse so much that's why. It's been gone over for nearly a year on every forum known to man including this one. Leave it be.
        Well having all the details is always nice especially for those new to the topic.
      1. Black Sheep's Avatar
        Black Sheep -
        Click here to enlarge
      1. Commanderwiggin's Avatar
        Commanderwiggin -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Well having all the details is always nice especially for those new to the topic.
        Cole's notes:
        - Marcus (LSB HPF Stage 3) Motor blew
        - Chris never warrantied
        - Big $#@! storm
        - Marcus went ProEFI
        - Annihilated Records, the end.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Commanderwiggin Click here to enlarge
        Cole's notes:
        - Marcus (LSB HPF Stage 3) Motor blew
        - Chris never warrantied
        - Big $#@! storm
        - Marcus went ProEFI
        - Annihilated Records, the end.
        Yes we all remember that but then this whole embezzling fiasco and then... man.
      1. johnnyblaze's Avatar
        johnnyblaze -
        If there is a fire sale on cars. LET ME KNOW.
      1. Forcefed M3's Avatar
        Forcefed M3 -
        I have been working with Chris B. trying to find a solution, but none was found. This is a direct result of more than $200,000 being stolen by a former employee, he was very sneaky in wire andcredit card fraud . HPF's insurance only covered $25,000.00, when the HPF lost it's lawsuit today against the insurance agent and company it spelled the end. Dave received 38 months in jail, but the entire community lost out on this. Remember what it takes to bring in $200,000 net income, thats over $580,000 gross sales on top of your normal sales. Add in a 28% rent increase plus higher insurance rates due to the theft and higher processing fee's due to the theft it add's up. Not to mention $200,000 in charge backs to deal with and penalties and attorneys fees, there was no way to save it and I did not feel it was smart to throw anymore money on a sinking ship. A sad day for the entire community. And there is no surprise for me, paperwork is done. The kit now belongs to me as their highest creditor. I'm working with AEM to revive the kit when the infinity comes out, until then we all just wait. Or I just may sell the rights to the kit with all the tuning files, jigs parts ect. $#@!tty day for sure. I'm selling the drag car, but will be keeping the orange wide body car.

      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed M3 Click here to enlarge
        I have been working with Chris B. trying to find a solution, but none was found. This is a direct result of more than $200,000 being stolen by a former employee, he was very sneaky in wire andcredit card fraud . HPF's insurance only covered $25,000.00, when the HPF lost it's lawsuit today against the insurance agent and company it spelled the end. Dave received 38 months in jail, but the entire community lost out on this. Remember what it takes to bring in $200,000 net income, thats over $580,000 gross sales on top of your normal sales. Add in a 28% rent increase plus higher insurance rates due to the theft and higher processing fee's due to the theft it add's up. Not to mention $200,000 in charge backs to deal with and penalties and attorneys fees, there was no way to save it and I did not feel it was smart to throw anymore money on a sinking ship. A sad day for the entire community. And there is no surprise for me, paperwork is done. The kit now belongs to me as their highest creditor. I'm working with AEM to revive the kit when the infinity comes out, until then we all just wait. Or I just may sell the rights to the kit with all the tuning files, jigs parts ect. $#@!tty day for sure. I'm selling the drag car, but will be keeping the orange wide body car.

        Is this Chris or you? You get to keep the Orange car?

        Trying to make sense of all this.

        So Chris just wanted to ditch the car and trailer for some quick cash knowing all this was going down essentially?
      1. dan avoN7's Avatar
        dan avoN7 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Trying to make sense of all this.
        You aren't going to get an honest/clear answer from either Derek or Chris B.
      1. Forcefed M3's Avatar
        Forcefed M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Is this Chris or you? You get to keep the Orange car?

        Trying to make sense of all this.

        So Chris just wanted to ditch the car and trailer for some quick cash knowing all this was going down essentially?

        No this is Derek, I took possession of the car today. It was collateral and so was the HPF turbo kit rights. To be honest I never thought they would close. I am out so much money it is sickening, hope to make some of it back.
      1. Forcefed M3's Avatar
        Forcefed M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan avoN7 Click here to enlarge
        You aren't going to get an honest/clear answer from either Derek or Chris B.
        More pathetic bullish!t from you, such a pathetic hater aren't ya. Dan AvonN7 has been warned over and over on e46fanatics for lies and bullish!t attacks just like this!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed M3 Click here to enlarge
        No this is Derek, I took possession of the car today. It was collateral and so was the HPF turbo kit rights. To be honest I never thought they would close. I am out so much money it is sickening, hope to make some of it back.
        Why are you out so much money? Were you financing them or something?

        So didn't you see this car go up for sale and think he was trying to get cash for it that then you would not see?