SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 14, April 5, 2012

What Has SEMA Done For You Lately?

  • semasan

    So far this year, thousands of new legislative initiatives have been introduced across the U.S. and Canada, hundreds of which are being closely tracked and analyzed by SEMA and its SEMA Action Network (SAN). We’ve already had several successes, most prominently in Maryland (historic vehicles), Virginia (backyard restoration), Utah (vintage trailers), Washington State (restoration and customizing) and Nebraska (special interest vehicles), with many more to come. Because of you, the SAN remains the premier hobbyist network of its kind.

    Now that we are three months into the new legislative season, we have compiled an updated list of new bills that may be of interest to vehicle enthusiasts and the industry. The most pressing of these bills will continue to be the subject of Action Alerts that are e-mailed to SEMA/SAN members and highlighted in our monthly publication, Driving Force. The compilation is available on the SAN website. Along the website's top menu bar you will find "Legislation." Select "State" and then choose the state of interest to view a list of pending legislation. 


Some of the bills listed on the site will not advance past introduction; others will go on to become the laws of tomorrow. As bills progress through the legislature, the SAN aims to inform our contacts and continue to encourage their participation in the legislative process through e-mails and phone calls to state representatives. Such correspondence has a proven and direct impact on the decisions of legislators.



    We encourage you to visit www.semasan.com. The information on this site will provide you with the tools you need to help affect real change, protect the industry and hobby from detrimental state laws and proactively support favorable ones. If you are not yet a member of the SEMA Action Network, we encourage you to join and remain active with our efforts. Joining the SAN is a simple process. Most importantly, it’s free and carries no obligations.



    Please contact Greg Dooley at gregd@sema.org if you have any questions. He would be happy to provide you with any bill’s full text, current status and committee information.

Breaking News

  •   35 under 35
      Now's your chance to nominate the best young talent in the automotive aftermarket industry for recognition in SEMA News and on www.sema.org.

    SEMA News is searching for the best young talent in the automotive aftermarket industry and we need your input.

    We're asking for help finding young leaders who are less than 35 years old. They might be working anywhere in the automotive aftermarket business, including manufacturing and design, retail, events and media or distribution.

    They could be budding superstars at an established company, entrepreneurs building their own brands, or innovators who have launched companies that are sure to become big names in the future. What they all will have in common are fresh ideas, enthusiasm, charisma and the drive to succeed. Nominate now.

    Winners will be chosen based on their business success, contribution to their organization, industry knowledge and community involvement. We'll honor the winners in the September issue of SEMA News and on www.sema.org.

    Nominate now. Nominations are due May 1, 2012.

  • mazda cx-5
    ’13 CX-5 is equipped with a 2.0L engine producing 155 hp and, due to Skyactiv Technology, matches that performance with competitive fuel economy.
    mazda cx-5
    The ’13 Mazda CX-5 comes prewired, making navigation system upgrades easy.
    mazda cx-5
    The team from Scosche Industries showed up to measure the ’13 CX-5 for audio system upgrades.
    Several manufacturers got their hands on Mazda's all-new ’13 CX-5 during last week's SEMA Measuring Session at Mazda's headquarters in Irvine, California. With four CX-5 models available, manufacturers were eager to obtain the specs needed to prepare parts for a vehicle that is projected to be a hit with enthusiasts.

    “The SEMA members who attended had the benefit of obtaining their own particular measurements for their products,” said Bill Wolf, SEMA senior director of OEM relations. “In addition, they had the opportunity to discuss the more technical aspects of their product with the Mazda product, engineering and accessory development management. Introducing a member to a Mazda executive is likely to result in the member becoming a supplier—exactly what our member programs hope to accomplish. All-in-all, a win-win for both the OEM and our members.”

    The ’13 CX-5 is available in three models—Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, each offered in either front- or all-wheel drive. The five-passenger CUV is equipped with a 2.0L engine producing 155 hp and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The CX-5 features Skyactiv Technology, which is designed to deliver greater power and torque while also achieving hybrid-like fuel economy at 26/35 mpg, according to James Kilbourne, Mazda analyst, accessory product planning and strategy.

    From an aftermarket standpoint, what makes the CX-5 special is that it comes prewired so that features, such as the 5.8-in. touchscreen navigation system, fog lights and rear parking sensors, can easily be upgraded in 20–30 minutes.

    “We worked with our Japanese team to push the business case for installing prewiring,” said Kilbourne. “We’ve also made more factory provisions to help support the accessory side of the business. For the trailer hitch, we added weld nuts inside the frame to help with the installation of an aftermarket hitch. For the rear parking sensors, two of the four holes are premarked.”

    Measuring Sessions have also been a valuable part of SEMA’s Tech Transfer program, which grants SEMA manufacturing members access to vehicle CAD files provided directly from participating OEMs. The intent of the program is to help streamline production by minimizing or completely eliminating the necessity for reverse engineering. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Scion are currently participating in the program. SEMA Measuring Sessions and Tech Transfer Program are functions of SEMA's OEM department.

    In addition to access to upcoming vehicles, SEMA Measuring Session participants can also ask questions of the participating OEM staff to learn more about the vehicles, the automaker's marketing plans, the intended audience and more.

    The next SEMA Measuring Session features the ’13 Audi allroad Quattro.

    For additional information on Measuring Sessions, Tech Transfer and additional programs available through SEMA's OEM Relations department, visit www.sema.org/oem.

    ’13 Mazda CX-5 Measuring Session Participants:

Market Snapshot

  •   market trend study
      The SEMA 2012 Annual Market Study will be released the week of April 9.
    The SEMA 2012 Annual Market Study will be released the week of April 9. This annual report will help SEMA-member companies to better understand the overall specialty-equipment market and its components.

    Join the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) and Gavin Knapp, senior manager of SEMA’s Market Research Department, Thursday, April 12, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT) for a webinar that will highlight the results of this recent study.

    During this session, you will learn:
    • The overall size of the specialty-equipment market
    • Sales within specialty-equipment product segments and niches
    • Industry and product trends
    • Vehicle sales trends

    This webinar will explain changes in this year’s data to better track the compact performance and street performance segments.

    Join Knapp Thursday, April 12, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT) to hear the results of this highly anticipated study and understand its potential impact on your business.

    Participate live or download the webinar when it’s convenient.

    And remember, SEMA webinars are free to SEMA members and only $29 for non-members:

  • SEMA News—April 2012

    INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT
    By John Stewart

    A Fresh Coat

    How Waterborne Paint Is Changing The Automotive Industry

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    In California, where regulation of volatile organic compounds has been in place for years, use of waterborne paint in body shops and custom shops is already commonplace.
       
    Paint has long been a necessary product in the automotive world. Customizers and aftermarket manufacturers are among those who require paint products to conduct business. Perhaps the most prolific painters in the automotive sector, other than OEMs, would be shops operating in the repair and refinish segment. These are auto-body shops that make a living on being able to paint fast, match colors perfectly and be economical in the process.

    Because volatile organic compounds (VOC) in paint have been recognized as bad for the environment, there is change afoot that will eventually affect practically everyone who paints. A number of states around the country have enacted regulations that are gradually forcing shops to reduce VOC emissions. These regulations, in a nutshell, mean that American paint shops will need to use waterborne paints in order to comply.

    The move to less toxic, water-based finishes is already well under way elsewhere. Waterborne paints are currently in extensive use in Europe and Canada, and many OEMs now use water-based paints on their newest products. Paint manufacturers are also moving quickly to develop low-VOC primers and clear-coat products in addition to the color coats available now.

    In high-smog states like California, regulations requiring low-VOC technologies have been in place for years, and now other states are following suit. To find out what these requirements will mean as low-VOC requirements spread across the country, SEMA News contacted a variety of stakeholders in the paint industry. We specifically sought information about the newest technology as it stands today and what it will mean to companies that paint.

    The consensus among the people we talked to is that the transition to waterborne finish products may not be as difficult or as costly as some first supposed. In fact, the changeover may bring with it a number of advantages.

    Paint Formula Advancements

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    An entirely new paint booth, such as this one on display at the SEMA Show, would not likely be required to make the transition to waterborne paint. However, an ample supply of clean air is an upgrade most production body shops choose to make in order to shorten drying time.
       
    One of the biggest areas of activity is at the paint manufacturer level, where the transition to waterborne paint has prompted paint companies to develop new products from scratch. Some are now releasing second- and third-generation water-based paints.

    “We’ve been doing waterborne for quite a long time; CroMax Pro is our third-generation waterborne product,” said Harry Christman, brand manager for DuPont Refinish. “This is a product that has a brand-new technology.”

    The newest waterborne paint from DuPont is a good example of the kinds of paints the industry will need to come up with to help shops achieve low-VOC requirements. It’s formulated with 88% less solvent but 25% more pigment. The result is a product that offers advantages but also requires re-educating painters.

    “Most other waterborne products went in the direction of trying to create a waterborne paint that was like solvent-based paint,” Christman explained. “Solvent is the old technology, and painters tend to dislike change. So many paint companies, when they created their waterborne paint, said ‘we’re going to make them like solvent.’ We went a different direction.

    “It’s a higher solids product, so it’s got more of the stuff that gets left behind when the water evaporates off. It’s a one-and-a-half coat, wet-on-wet process. Rather than having to lay down a coat of paint, let it flash, then lay down another one, let it flash—and, depending on what you’re working with, lay down four, five, six coats—with Cromax Pro, you cover in one and a half coats. And anything that doesn’t cover in one and a half coats covers in two coats. So you go in, put on the first coat, go right back and put on your mist coat, your ‘effect’ coat, which is half a coat. Then you’re done. You can put the gun away; leave the booth. It will dry, and then you can clear coat it.”

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    Next-generation waterborne paints such as the DuPont product shown here are now becoming available to the industry. Formulated with much less solvent but more pigment, this third-generation paint is designed to cover completely in one to two coats using a fast, wet-on-wet application process.
       
    The newest DuPont paint costs a little more per gallon but offers the advantages of speed and better coverage, making it less costly to use. According to Christman, painters can reap benefits once they understand the process.

    “It’s much faster, which high-volume direct repair program shops love, and you use less material,” said Christman. “So it’s great not only for reducing the cost, but because it speeds cars through the shop, it increases the capacity of the body shop. They can sell more jobs and create more revenue.”

    Conversion Equipment Requirements

    In California, most shops have already converted to waterborne paint. In other states, many paint shops have put off the transition, in part because of cost concerns.

    “It’s a myth that you’ve got to buy all kinds of new equipment and put in new spray booths to convert,” Christman noted. “The truth is, they’re going to need a new gun—a stainless-steel gun, because you don’t want rust in your spray gun.”

    In addition to a new paint gun, waterborne paint does like to have large volumes of clean air to enhance drying.

    “For water, the key to drying is air flow—getting air to move across the surface of the car to make it dry,” Christman said. “However, the car will also dry without great air flow; it just will take longer. So if you’re a production shop that’s trying to move cars through, you’re going to want to put in blowers to get a lot of air movement to get the cars to dry super-fast. But if you’re a custom shop or a smaller shop that doesn’t have cars stacked up outside and you want to put in a small box fan to get a little air movement, that’s all it takes. The difference will be, maybe, instead of drying in 10 minutes, you’ll dry in 30 minutes. For a production shop, that’s a big deal. For a custom shop, probably not to them.”

    To add another voice to the conversion, we talked to Douglas Albin of Bodyworks Collision Center in Murietta, California. His shop, which grosses about $250,000 a month, has been using waterborne paint for about five years.

    “I converted before it was mandatory,” he said. “I wanted to be ahead of the curve.”

    After a period of experimentation, Albin has adjusted his process to make the most of waterborne technology, and he noted some differences.

    “With water-based versus solvent, it’s a lot more forgiving,” he said. “Your blending techniques are a little bit easier. It’s not as susceptible to contamination, dirt. We also had to fine-tune our prepping—we had to have a cleaner job, a tighter wrap.”

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    Even though waterborne paint is less toxic and offers easier disposal and cleanup, painters will still want to use a fresh-air system, gloves and a spray suit, because paint is still a chemical.
       
    Initially, Albin was using a waterborne paint from his long-time supplier. And he stuck to a process that required multiple coats.

    “When water-based paint came and we made the change, I was only getting through two to three cars a day with a $100,000 full-downdraft, 30-foot booth with mixing room,” he explained. “Then I noticed a big difference in the actual manufacturers of the paint. When I first made the transition, I was literally putting on five and six coats and waiting 20 minutes between coats for it to completely flash. Now I paint 12 cars a day, without a $15,000 retrofitted jet dry system. So we mastered it really quick,” said Albin, who now uses DuPont Cromax Pro. “The major expense was training.”

    “Painters are going to have to be completely retrained. A lot of them struggled with it. So we really had to go in and retrain them, but once they’re trained, they will never want to go back to the old paint system.”

    The Don Ayres Honda Collision Center, located in the area of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is another top-tier production body shop that recently switched to waterborne and does about $2 million a year in total sales. Manager Kevin Cox agreed that painters will need to get used to the new paint technology.

    “Painters need to learn a little different technique,” he said. “Both my painters spent two and a half days at a DuPont training center. And then Dupont was in here for one full week after with both of them. But the transitions that the industry went through in the days of lacquer, then to acrylic enamels, then to base coat/clear coat—this transition from solvent to water is a baby step compared to the days of spraying lacquer.”

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    Waterborne paint requires a spray gun with stainless-steel parts, which means most shops will want a new gun for each painter. Suitable spray guns are widely available; companies such as Optima, Eastwood and Iwata all had newly designed stainless-steel guns on display at the SEMA Show in 2011. This gun, introduced at the Show by SATA Spray Equipment, is a special-edition SATAjet 4000 B.
       
    Cox decided to make the jump to waterborne paint just recently as VOC requirements began to get tighter.

    “Everybody’s kind of wigged out over water,” he said. “I was one of those guys—why fix something that’s not broken? But we have some compliance issues with regard to the state of Indiana for VOC compliance and overspray containment. And we thought, well, if we’re going to do this, let’s go ahead and make our transition to water-base paint, so when they walk in the door, they see we’re proactive.

    “In all reality, we’re probably four to five years away in this part of the country from any sort of mandate. But I would say embrace it. The time factor and the coverage of the base coat is so much better than solvent, and there is so much waterborne product being applied at the OEM level, it gives you a lot better chance to hit color matches, because you’re putting water against water.”

    Cox doesn’t think there is a huge amount of risk in making the conversion to a waterborne paint system.

    “I would think any jobber in a given market who is representing any of the Big Three, if they’re transitioning a shop to water, they’re not going to set that shop up for failure,” he said. “And the manufacturers—be it BASF, DuPont, whoever it is—they’re walking on top of each other to get the business. They’re not going to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to support.

    “Cost, for most shops, will depend on what they go with. We went with a blower system with a stainless-steel fan about 12 inches in diameter and about 8 inches deep. We spent maybe $5,500. It’s air driven, so we did have to run some air lines to it, but it wasn’t any big engineering feat.

    “You do have to get a new gun; there’s a couple out there to choose from. Actually, through our jobber, it was all part of a kit—they give you the choice of the gun. It changes your cleaning process a little. It’s also going to lower some of your waste issues.”

    Albin, with his shop in California, confirmed a reduction in waste-disposal costs.

    “We put anything solvent-based in a 55-gallon drum,” he said. “We have thinners to clean that, so we’ve got our thinner cost—about $300 bucks. It’s gone down because of water-based, so we’re only buying one of those a month, versus two.”

    When Speed Is Less Important

      Auto Body Repair, Automotive Industry Research, Auto Collision, Auto Body Business
    Collision and repair industry manufacturers have already geared up with disposable products suitable for use with waterborne paint, such as masking tape that resists waterborne paint’s tendency to bleed under tape. The tack cloths shown here are marketed as ideal for use with waterborne paint.
       
    Brian Ferre, a long-time professional painter and instructor at LA Trade-Tech, worked in a volume body shop when waterborne paint was first introduced and now is involved in training young painters to move into body-shop jobs. In his arena, speed is not so important, but technique and quality are.

    “My advice would be not to be scared of it,” Ferre said. “If you’re an open-minded professional painter, the transition will be no problem at all. “

    Through his teaching, Ferre has had experience with a lot of different paint formulas.

    “I’ve painted with pretty much all the water bases; teaching wise, I try to shoot pretty much everything I can get my hands on,” he said. “All the waterborne products, across the board, the technique for the painter has to be very even. It’s almost like painting custom paint jobs, where you have to be on your game a little bit more to make it even. The DuPont brand, I would say, is pretty goof-proof, even for a student.”

    Ferre noted that using waterborne paint offers advantages but also requires using different masking materials.

    “In the beginning, when doing multiple colors and taping up, the paint manufacturers had to come up with different tape where it wouldn’t bleed underneath,” he said. “Water has a tendency to bleed a little bit underneath the tape. So they came out with different plastic tapes.”

    Water-based paint also offers certain advantages to a custom shop, where speed is not the primary consideration.

    “Another advantage,” Ferre said, “is your clear has better adhesion. So you can leave the base coat open longer than you can a solvent-based paint. There’s a certain window that you have to hit to clear coat solvent-based paints, and that window is open longer with water-base. You can leave it open and come back on top of it later, and you won’t have any adhesion problems later on.” According to sources at DuPont, painters can wait up to 72 hours before applying clear.

    Ferre also noted that water-based paint is now often used on race cars. Although the paint itself is not lighter, the thinner waterborne paint film adds less weight. “Racers are very conscious about adding weight,” he said. “So racers like it.”

Business Tools

  •  

      vizard, K&N
      David Vizard

    David Vizard and K&N will offer both seasoned and amateur engine builders the opportunity to learn new, unique skills to take their engines to the next performance level. From April 20–22, 2012, Vizard will present his lecture series “How to Build Horsepower” at Universal Technical Institute in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

    Vizard has more than 50 years of experience in engine design and development, with one goal in mind—finding the right combination of parts that deliver peak power and performance. Engines are complex, intricate pieces of machinery that contain hundreds of individual parts. In order for an engine to make good power and performance, you need to select the right combination of parts that will work well together. In fact, it can take an engine builder many years (and usually thousands of dollars) to gain knowledge and experience to identify which combinations work and which ones do not.

    This weekend-long, 16-hour lecture focuses on finding additional power output from an engine in areas that may have gone overlooked or were misunderstood by the engine builder. Follow along in Vizard’s 144-page book as he explains the technical side of camshaft specs, the valve event, compression ratios and more.

    Guest speakers will include:

    • David Woodruff of Design Dreams LLC
    • Roger ‘Dr. Air’ Helgesen and Bryce Mulvey of Dr. J’s
    • Bob Verbranic from The Carb Shop
    • Rick Sperling and Tony Mamo from Air Flow Research
    • Mike McClelland from Professional Products
    • Bob Scheid of McLeod Clutches

    The David Vizard “How to Build Horsepower” seminar will be held at Universal Technical Institute, 9494 Haven Ave., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. The weekend will begin Friday evening at K&N, with a social event planned for conference attendees. K&N is located at 1455 Citrus St., Riverside, CA 92507.

    To register for this seminar, or to receive more information, visit davidvizardseminars.com.

  • Are you hunting for a new job? The “Positions Available” section in the SEMA Member Classifieds lists more than 50 job openings around the country. Here are some of the latest classifieds posted to the website.

    • Hemmings Motor News, located in Bennington, Vermont, is hiring an account executive responsible for prospecting, cold calling, generating new business and servicing an existing base of business. Sales experience and strong closing skills are a must.
    • Superior Onsite Service, Inc., located in San Marcos, California, is hiring an automotive service and warranty administrator. The ideal candidate will work well under pressure and be able to multi task. The candidate should be comfortable in an automotive environment, technically inclined, detail oriented, comfortable working with part numbers, well organized and genuinely compassionate to others' needs while hungry for a sale.
    • advanced FLOW engineering Inc., located in Corona, California, is hiring a production artist responsible for page layout for instruction sheets and process sheets, product photography, product illustrations and some mild Photoshop work. The ideal candidate must have experience using In Design, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

    More automotive job listings.

  • SEMA News—April 2012

    VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY
    By Steve Campbell

    Technology Disruption and Future-Proofing Your Business

    A Few Words With John Waraniak

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    Technology constantly creates changes to automobiles and automotive businesses. In response, SEMA’s vehicle technology programs and displays help members understand the disruptive nature of technology and how to protect their businesses in the face of technological changes.
       
    As a kid, John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology, never gave much thought to a college education. He did, however, enjoy building fast toys—plundering the neighbors’ throwaways on garbage day and reconfiguring found treasures such as washing-machine pulleys, lawn-mower engines, old wagons and bikes into saleable contraptions. That was the sort of vision and imagination that led him to two master’s degrees as well as engineering soapbox racers, B-2 stealth bombers and Chevrolet motorsports programs.

    Waraniak’s resume began in an aerospace off-the-grid hangar where some of the industry’s most brilliant renegades got their start, including Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company. But it also encompasses a range of industries where his innate curiosity and knack for systems thinking and vehicle technology made him one of the most respected executives in the automotive world—and well beyond. Waraniak is equally at home in an aerospace skunkworks in Pico Rivera, California, a boardroom in Mumbai, India, on a motocross track in Buchanan, Michigan, or on the Vehicle Technology Center stage at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

    As part of our annual look at where automotive technology currently stands and where it is heading, SEMA News again engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with Waraniak, delving deeper into the impact of technology on SEMA members’ companies and the four megatrends central to the future of the automotive performance aftermarket: Driving Green, Driving Connected, Driving Safe and Driving Cool.

    SEMA News: Technology constantly creates changes to automobiles and, consequently, to automotive aftermarket businesses. What should SEMA members understand about the disruptive nature of technology and how to protect their businesses in the face of technological changes?

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
               
    John Waraniak: Technology is disruptive by design. A disruptive technology is one that helps create a new market and value chain and eventually displaces an existing or established technology. Disruptive technologies drive innovation, and innovation drives growth. Innovation and growth for SEMA members don’t lie in disrupting large, over-served mass markets but in finding ways to provide products and services that meet the wants and unarticulated needs of under-served emerging markets for automotive and performance enthusiasts.

    Disruptive technologies are not necessarily disruptive to customers, and they are often difficult for companies to recognize or acknowledge. Even if a disruptive technology or innovation is recognized, most businesses often ignore it, deny it or discount its impact because it threatens their existing technological expertise and understanding. Disruptive technologies are integral to both the relevance and the future of SEMA and the performance aftermarket. To ignore their impact is a fundamental mistake.

    Disruptive technologies are not a new phenomenon. They have been around since the beginning of the industry. Cadillac introduced the first starter in 1912; Oldsmobile introduced the first automatic transmission in 1939; Chrysler offered the first production power steering system in 1951 and antilock brakes in 1970. Each of those disrupted what had been in place previously, and the list goes on with fuel injection and many other body, chassis, powertrain, interior and electrical system technologies.

    Today, we have voice-activated infotainment, electronic stability control, drive-by-wire, Internet radio and cars that tweet. Just last year, Google introduced a fleet of autonomous vehicles, one of which drove itself from Carson, Nevada, to the SEMA Show and parked itself in the Vehicle Technology Center! And Neil Young is integrating many of the latest self-driving technologies into his ‘59 Lincvolt, which was introduced at the 2010 SEMA Show.

    Disruptive technologies don’t totally eliminate existing technologies, but they do often eliminate businesses and companies. Television did not eliminate radio; automobiles and planes did not eliminate trains; the Internet has not eliminated print media. But many companies that failed to acknowledge the impact of these disruptive technologies on their businesses no longer exist. Kodak is a contemporary example of a company whose core competency was chemical photography. It ignored and failed to future-proof its business by understanding the impact of digital-photography technology on its future.

      Disruptive technologies don’t totally eliminate existing technologies, but they do often eliminate businesses and companies.
       
    “Future-proofing” is the process of anticipating emerging and future technology developments in order to mitigate potential negative consequences and leverage new opportunities for your business. Creating a technology roadmap is one of the best tools SEMA companies can use to help them future-proof their businesses.

    Many companies, organizations and associations create strategic business plans; however, relatively few create technology roadmaps to assess the impact of technology on their future. In today’s hyper-competitive performance aftermarket, you need both a strategic business plan and a technology roadmap. A technology roadmap is a plan that aligns your short-term and long-term business objectives with specific technology developments, innovations, applications and solutions to help you achieve your strategic, tactical and operational goals.

    Developing a technology roadmap for your business has two major benefits: It helps you develop a common understanding about a set of goals and the technologies impacting those goals, and it provides a framework to help you link those
    technologies to your products and markets and create your preferred future.

    Brian Smith, vice president of marketing at Lexus, participated on our panel entitled “The Future of Performance and Customization” at the 2011 SEMA Show and introduced an excellent series of videos that sum up technology disruption and how Lexus is future-proofing its business. SEMA News readers can view the videos at http://www.lexus.com/Engineering_Amazing/?A-Future-Proof-Approach.

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    Last year, Google introduced a fleet of autonomous vehicles. This one drove itself from Carson, Nevada, to the SEMA Show and parked itself in the Vehicle Technology Center!
       
    SN: SEMA has been working with the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) on advanced-vehicle technology and a performance aftermarket education program. What are the latest developments in vehicle dynamics and the Clemson partnership with SEMA?

    JW: SEMA’s partnership with CU-ICAR is an excellent example of the association’s innovative approach to vehicle technology and generative thinking. SEMA and CU-ICAR teamed up three years ago to offer SEMA members special access to world-class resources and engineering talent. SEMA held its quarterly Board of Directors meeting last November at Clemson in Greenville, South Carolina, to help communicate the benefits, resources and opportunities available to members. For many, it was a step into the future and a better understanding of the technologies driving the automotive industry. It also included an interactive discussion on how SEMA companies can help future-proof their businesses.

    September 1, 2011, marked the date when the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126, which requires all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less to have an electronic stability control (ESC) system that complies with specific design, performance and diagnostic requirements. Original-equipment manufacturers must now have ESC as standard equipment on all applicable vehicles. Thanks to the efforts of SEMA, the aftermarket was granted a one-year exemption, and the regulation for aftermarket companies goes into effect on September 1, 2012.

    ESC monitors vehicle motion. When loss of driver control is imminent, ESC strategically applies the brakes to help stabilize the vehicle. Similar requirements for the rest of the global automotive community are contained in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 13H regulations. While performance purists may not want ESC on their vehicles, I think they welcome the technology for their families and the distracted drivers on America’s roads.

    SEMA’s Vehicle Dynamics Program and member companies have made great strides in understanding how performance products such as suspension, brakes, wheels, tires and steering as well as engine modifications may interact with ESC systems. As part of our comprehensive effort over the past five years, members were invited to attend the Vehicle Dynamics Forum presentations, demonstrations and solutions regarding FMVSS 126 and the ESC performance of aftermarket-modified vehicles at the SEMA Show. The hardware-in-the-loop technology available to members is the same as that used by all OEMs and major suppliers around the world to develop, test and simulate vehicle dynamics, new chassis system components, engines, powertrains, drivelines, suspensions and vehicle electronic control systems.

    The collaborative approach developed by SEMA has minimized cost while establishing unique capabilities for members that are interested in evaluating the impact of their products on vehicle dynamics and ESC performance. ProComp, Superlift, Hellwig, Tenneco and Eibach as well as Ford Motor Company have participated in this effort, while SEMA technology partners such as dSPACE, Mechanical Simulation, Morse Measurements, Link Engineering and Clemson have provided their expertise and equipment to the program. The SEMA Vehicle Dynamics Program continues to expand with several new members beginning in the spring of 2012.

    SN: Ever-increasing vehicle complexity is obviously a concern to SEMA members, not only as it applies to the development of original-equipment systems within vehicles but also in how the carmakers permit or limit aftermarket participation and innovation with those systems. What should members know about the newest systems?

    JW: Disruptive technologies are driving automakers and aftermarket companies to new levels of collaboration and profitability—particularly in the area of integrating consumer and automotive electronics. Growth and innovation are all about connecting vehicles to consumer’s lifestyles, brands and experiences through vehicle performance, connectivity, dynamics and personalization.

    Technology and open innovation are central to profitable growth. When combined with what I call the Aftermarket X-Factor and collaborative business, revenue and organizational models, they are rapidly democratizing traditional product, service, marketing and branding strategies. Together, these technologies, collaborative practices and megatrends have the power to make, move and reshape markets and are leading the automotive industry to one of the most exciting times in history for both OEM and aftermarket industry players.

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    The Technical Briefing Seminars program provides SEMA members with in-depth information and networking opportunities with leading industry experts. Speakers at the sessions held during the 2011 SEMA Show included Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president for Ford research and innovation.
       
    SN: The Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) was introduced at the 2011 SEMA Show and included seven Technology Briefing Seminars (TBS) with 55 leading industry experts as well as a host of interactive displays, vehicles and exhibits to help attendees understand emerging automotive technologies. What have you got in store for the SEMA Show this year?

    JW: The VTC and the continued expansion of our TBS program are great examples of SEMA’s commitment to member education. The VTC was located in the upper South Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center last year. The purpose of the VTC and the TBS program is to educate SEMA members and to introduce them to the programs, tools, resources, partners, solutions and benefits available to them at affordable costs.

    The association’s vehicle technology programs and initiatives are an investment in SEMA’s collective future. The VTC and its four tech zones focused on vehicle performance, dynamics, connectivity and personalization and were designed to be relevant to today’s enthusiasts as well as to appeal to tomorrow’s next generation of performance and technology enthusiasts by bringing greater focus to current and emerging aftermarket opportunities.

    The TBS program provides members with in-depth information, hands-on and networking opportunities with leading industry experts to help them understand the impact on their businesses today as well as to prepare them with the knowledge and information to leverage tomorrow’s technologies and business opportunities.

    Last year’s speakers included Paul Mascarenas, Jim Campbell and Brian Smith from the OEMs; Beau Boeckmann, Chip Foose, Myles Kovacs, Tony Vanillo, Melanie White and Wilfried Eibach from the SEMA community; nonendemic leaders such as Anthony Levandowski from Google, Justyn Amstutz from NPA, Roland Sands from Roland Sands Designs and Alex Striler from XplayNation. This year’s roster of speakers will be equally impressive and will include an even wider range and depth of speakers representing a who’s who in the performance aftermarket as well as experts in the technologies, trends and opportunities that are driving the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Members can view videos of Paul Mascarenas’ keynote address and the performance branding panel session at the SEMA website’s vehicle technology landing page (www.SEMA.org/vehicletechnology).

    The VTC and TBS program this year will focus on the impact of advanced vehicle technologies on the aftermarket, the future of performance and customization, brand democracy, youth sourcing and marketing to enthusiasts, design and social thinking. We’ll also focus on designing for customization, vehicle dynamics of aftermarket-modified vehicles, connected-vehicle technologies and a new race series, Global RallyCross.

     

    “Future-proofing” is the process of anticipating emerging and future technology developments in order to mitigate potential negative consequences and leverage new opportunities for your business.

       
    The center’s exhibit space will highlight SEMA-developed solutions, SEMA’s technology partners, simulations, demonstrations and workshops throughout the week. This year’s VTC will include one of SEMA’s newest partners, A2Mac1, the worlds’ leader in vehicle benchmarking information, data and services, and members will be encouraged to meet with SEMA’s partners and network with session speakers.

    SEMA is developing a pilot program with A2Mac1 to help support our members with vehicle benchmarking data and information for product development, installation, service, customization and marketing. A2mac1 is the leader in providing benchmarking services to the automotive industry. It is an independent, family-owned company with a team of 100 staff based in France, Detroit and Shanghai.

    A2Mac1 supports nearly every OEM and more than 50 suppliers in their benchmarking needs. The company’s portfolio of services includes auto-show coverage, vehicle teardown, 2D, 3D, body-in-white and special studies. By working jointly with OEMs and suppliers, A2mac1 has the potential to add significant value and benefits to our vehicle technology, Tech Transfer and Measuring Session programs.

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    Hellwig, ProComp, Superlift, Tenneco, Eibach and Ford Motor Company have worked with SEMA in a collaborative approach to establishing the capability for members to evaluate the impact of their products on vehicle dynamics and electronic stability control systems.
       
    SN: Musclecars have made a dramatic resurgence over the past few years. Describe some of the technologies that are going into performance vehicles that also make them environmentally and economically cutting edge while increasing the Driving Cool factor.

    JW: The musclecar and performance vehicle market segments are alive and well. Jim Campbell, General Motors vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, invited me to a special preview where he introduced the new Hot Wheels Camaro and Chevy’s new Central Office Production Order (COPO) crate engines, and he elaborated on the ZL1 and new technologies at the SEMA Show.

    The COPO nameplate pays homage to the iconic high-powered 1969 Camaros created back in the day through a loophole in Chevy’s special-order program. The ZL1 Camaro features a supercharged, intercooled 6.2-liter V8 engine with an estimated 580 horsepower and 556 pounds-feet of torque, a six-speed manual transmission, a dual-plate clutch, active suspension, 20-inch tires with aluminum wheels and 14-inch brakes. The ZL1 is expected to be available this month. Campbell was quick to point out that 60% of the 50 new Chevys featured at the SEMA Show were Sonics and Cruzes and represent the company’s emphasis on making small cars cool with personalization and performance upgrades.

    Jamie Allison, Ford’s director of racing for North America, and Darrell Behmer, designer of the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302, also provided a very interesting presentation at our Technology Briefing Session at the Show. The Boss 302 comes with two keys. Ford’s Track Key technology is an innovative solution and excellent example of the technologies powering today’s performance vehicles.

    Track Key adds powertrain control software and gives the car full race calibration and two-stage launch control without negatively affecting the warranty. The software is installed after the car is purchased and is accessed through a separate key. Use the black key, and you get typical street performance from the 444-horsepower Boss. Use the red key, and the track programming takes over. Switch back to the black key, and the car goes back to street mode.

    The idea is that weekend racers can simply use a key to switch up the car’s performance, using the black key to get to and from the track and using the red key during track time. There are over 200 engine parameters that can be adjusted, including spark maps and engine braking. Ford created a dual-patch powertrain control module to avoid the complexity and cost issues with using two powertrain control modules. This is a truly innovative approach to performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see SEMA tuners developing similar solutions and products.

    Ford also announced that enthusiasts who think that the 2.0-liter engine from the 2012 Ford Focus would be a fine fit for their project vehicles will be able to buy one from Ford Racing’s crate-engine program. While the need for speed is not going away any time soon, horsepower is competing with the computing power of today’s vehicles. Your future-proofing strategy and technology plan depends on the market segment your company is focused on.

    According to Deloitte’s recent study of young car buyers, Gen-Y—the 80 million people born in the U.S. from 1980 to the early 1990s—prefers vehicles packed with safety and connectivity technology. On the other end of the demographic spectrum, performance often trumps connectivity for many Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. I often tell companies that if it’s too connected, you’re too old. By old I
    do not mean age; I mean your world view of technology and your perspectives on optimization.

    Friends and family influence over 60% of young people’s brand and technology decisions. Earned media is quickly replacing paid media as the top driver of youth consumer behavior. Almost nine of 10 Gen-Y consumers surveyed say that fuel efficiency is a key factor in choosing a vehicle. Half of them say that they are willing to pay an additional $300 per vehicle for each one mile per gallon of improvement.

    Onboard, instrument-panel technology is the most important element of a vehicle interior for 59% of Gen-Y buyers. Nearly three-quarters prefer touch screens, and nearly as many rate smartphone applications as highly desirable. Most young buyers also want to be able to customize their vehicle interiors with accessories and upgrades after purchase. Deloitte says they are willing to spend an average of $3,000 on vehicle hardware for connectivity, and they would pay an average of $2,000 per vehicle for safety systems such as collision avoidance, blind-spot detection and sleep alerts to offset the dangers of driver distraction.

    Following and integrating with Gen-Y, there is also a cohort called Generation-O by my friend Graham Brown, principal of mobileYouth and author of All is Social. This is the generation of 10- to 29-year-olds known as optimizers. Gen-O will be the generation that shows the industry the way forward in how new technologies, apps and products will be used to optimize the customer experience.

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    The Hot Wheels Camaro is one of several Chevrolet projects that include Chevy’s new Central Office Production Order (COPO) crate engines as well as new technologies that General Motors Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell spoke about during the SEMA Show.
       
    SN: Connected-vehicle technologies are providing drivers with increased navigation, safety and infotainment options but also need to balance consumer demand with the risks of distracted driving. What is the latest in the Driving Connected megatrend and OnStar’s FMV aftermarket program?

    JW: Cars aren’t smartphones on wheels yet, but they will be soon. More than 100 million people in the U.S. have smartphones and want their phones to work with the head unit in their vehicles. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company CEO, recently stated that, “The car is a mobile application. If you want to be connected, use your own smartphone in the car, have it voice-activated, hands on the wheel and eyes on the road—that’s the Ford strategy.”

    Mulally was one of the first auto industry executives to recognize the disruptive technologies and new business opportunities of connected vehicles and the importance of connectivity to car buyers. Ford is doubling the infotainment applications available on Ford vehicles to 14, including applications with National Public Radio, an online coupon vendor called Roximity and a custom Internet radio service called Slacker.

    Applications, or apps, are programs that operate web and Cloud services such as iTunes. The technology and ability for companies to send apps and software updates to vehicles by satellite or over the Internet allows automakers and aftermarket companies to greatly reduce the complexity of onboard vehicle systems. Taking the complex technology out of built-in embedded vehicle systems and putting it in the Cloud not only reduces complexity but also accelerates the adoption and commercialization of brought-in and beamed-in services and products provided by aftermarket
    companies.

    Ford is not alone with SYNC AppLink in recognizing the potential of connected-vehicle technologies and telematics opportunities for navigation, infotainment, diagnostics, maintenance, crash notification and many other features and conveniences demanded by consumers. Mercedes has mbrace2; Chrysler has Uconnect; Kia has UVO; Hyundai has Blue Link; Toyota and Lexus have Entune and Enform, respectively; and the industry’s first connected-vehicle technology—now in its ninth generation—was GM’s OnStar.

    OnStar is offering its safety, security and connectivity services for non-GM and older GM vehicles already on the road through the aftermarket. A standalone rearview mirror known as FMV (For My Vehicle) packs all of OnStar’s core technology and is now available through consumer electronics and automotive aftermarket retailers. OnStar FMV offers key features, including automatic crash response, turn-by-turn navigation, stolen-vehicle location assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.

     

    Gen-O will be the generation that shows the industry the way forward in how new technologies, apps and products will be used to optimize the customer experience.

       
    All of these services are available directly through the OnStar mirror without requiring the driver to bring along a mobile phone or even own a mobile phone. In the event of an accident, emergency services are alerted even if there is no mobile phone in the vehicle, the phone is damaged in a crash or the driver is unable to use a phone.

    OnStar FMV is currently certified to work on more than 90 million of the 100 best-selling non-GM vehicles sold over the last 10 years, which equates to more than 75 models. OnStar expects to certify additional models in the months ahead and is giving selected app developers access to its application-programming interface for OnStar products and vehicles. Nick Pudar, OnStar’s vice president of business development, will present the latest aftermarket strategies for in-car mobile apps at the SEMA Show this year.

    Distracted driving is obviously a major concern. Automakers want to build vehicles that can download apps, games, music and movies from a smartphone to a car’s entertainment system. But for every potential distraction automakers and aftermarket companies add, they find themselves having to build in ways to prevent drivers from crashing their new smartphone on wheels—automatically applying the brakes at a traffic light; alerting drivers when a car is in a blind spot; or reading traffic signs and slowing a car as speed zones change.

    “We can’t stop the prolific growth of consumer technology,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer at Ford. “We can’t stop people bringing phones in their cars. We endeavor to make sure people do it in the safest way possible.”

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    Track Key adds powertrain control software to the 2012 Ford Boss 302 Mustang, giving the car full race calibration and two-stage launch control without negatively affecting the warranty. The black key provides typical street performance tuning, and the red key switches to on-track programming.
      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
       
    By 2014, 70% of all consumer devices will be connected to the Internet, and many consumers want to extend their digital lifestyles into their vehicles. Voice activation, gesture recognition and other technologies to mitigate distractions are already in or on their way into the latest vehicles. Apple’s iPhone Siri assistance function will certainly raise consumer expectations for voice-controlled user interaction with apps.

    Many automakers offering in-vehicle technologies already use voice-based interfaces, but Apple’s approach goes beyond voice recognition to enable app interaction and task completion, such as “make appointment at noon.” It will be a natural fit for navigation apps, enabling the user to verbally update routes or check road conditions by voice rather than by touching a screen or device.

    One of the latest technologies is being introduced by Delphi. It uses a camera to track the orientation of your face. Take your eyes off the road for more than two seconds, and a yellow light flashes in the heads-up display, drawing your attention back to the road. Keep your eyes off the road for five seconds, and your smartphone screen dims.

    Connected-vehicle technologies have the potential to avoid up to 80% of crash scenarios. David Strickland, head of NHTSA, recently said that federal safety regulators will decide next year whether to begin making rules governing technology that enables vehicles to electronically avoid collisions. NHTSA is completing several pilot studies, some of which included Denso’s aftermarket safety device presented at last year’s SEMA Show, to provide enough data to decide whether the government should mandate communication technology in cars. NHTSA also recently issued a set of voluntary guidelines for automakers to disable applications that allow drivers to manually access social media, surf the web or send text messages while on the road. The recommendations urge that OEMs seek to prevent any in-car technologies that require drivers to use both hands or take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds.

    There are 250 million vehicles on the road in the United States today, and OEMs sell only 14 to 15 million new vehicles a year. At that rate, it will take decades to get to a critical mass of new cars that can talk to one another to achieve the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications network effect. But we could reach critical mass years sooner while simultaneously increasing sales for aftermarket manufacturers, retailers and installers by adding V2V communication capability through personal navigation devices, specialized aftermarket devices and smartphones—which is the Aftermarket X-Factor.

    SN: How are social media affecting—or being affected by—advanced automotive technologies? What is the difference between “design thinking” and “social thinking”?

    JW: Design thinking is focused on product content, problem solving and logic. It is a top-down, focus-group, expert-driven product development process that gives you things like a cleverly designed vacuum cleaner. Social thinking is quite the opposite and is focused on product context, benefit optimization and emotion. It is a bottom-up, frontline, crowd-driven innovation process that gives you things like Facebook.

     

    Growth and innovation are all about connecting vehicles to consumer’s lifestyles, brands and experiences through vehicle performance, connectivity, dynamics and personalization.

       
    Design and social thinking both matter. They are critical to your success and how you think about technology and its impact on your business. As part of our Technology Briefing Seminar program this year, Graham Brown, the author of All is Social whom I mentioned earlier, will present and discuss the latest trends in brand democracy, youth sourcing and frontline social and design thinking as well as help members understand how disruptive and democratized technologies and consumer expectations are impacting the platforms, systems and perceptions of vehicles today and in the future.

    Advanced vehicle technologies combined with social media have democratized traditional design, marketing and branding models. Disruptive technologies have the power to make, move and reshape markets and have led the auto industry to one of the most exciting times in history for consumers, endemic and new aftermarket industry players.

    Performance branding isn’t about choices in media but choices in mindset. Brand management is old school. The future of performance branding, brand democracy, designing for customization, youth sourcing and social networking is all about connecting vehicles to consumer’s lifestyles, brands and experiences. From vehicle dynamics and performance accessories to smartphone applications that interact with consumer vehicles and onboard technologies, successful designing and marketing to automotive enthusiasts today requires strategies that make customers part of your brand through design, movements, storytelling and advocacy.

    Your company’s ability to deliver a superior, personalized customer experience will set you apart from your competitors, inspire fans and advocates and drive spending on your products or services. Customers buy your stuff but, more importantly, they buy what your stuff does for them. You need to sell the benefits of your products and services to your fans and enthusiasts.

     

    Disruptive technologies are integral to both the relevance and the future of SEMA and the performance aftermarket. To ignore their impact is a fundamental mistake.

       
    Enthusiasts and fans are 10 times more influential than mainstream customers. Youth sourcing taps beachheads of enthusiasts and fans with ideas and empowers designers and marketers with powerful insights and frontline context. Leading companies think of their products as the content, and they think of the design, marketing, branding and social packaging as the context. Your product content is certainly important, but your brand context is central to your success. Apple and Google are excellent examples of companies that effectively think of their products as content and their social packaging as context.

    SN: Of all the ideas and insights we’ve discussed here, what are the one or two most essential takeaways that SEMA members should keep on top of? How is SEMA helping them to increase their awareness and take advantage of emerging and disruptive technologies?

    JW: Never stop questioning and learning. Go to the Gemba—the place where value is created. There is an old Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is today.

      Aftermarket News, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Connected Vehicle
    OnStar is offering its safety, security and connectivity services for non-GM and older GM vehicles already on the road through the aftermarket. The standalone OnStar FMV rearview mirror packs all of the core technology and is now available through consumer electronics and automotive aftermarket retailers.
       
    When I was head of motorsports program management at GM Racing, I had the very fortunate opportunity to work with the late quality guru, W. Edwards Deming. Dr. Deming told me something very profound that I have always remembered. He said: When the student is ready, the teacher will come. His point was that learning is not compulsory, but neither is survival.

    SEMA’s vehicle technology programs and partnerships are designed to provide members with relevant information, knowledge and solutions to help them compete today and prepare for tomorrow. The SEMA Vehicle Technology Center provides members with valuable resources, and the association’s Technology Briefing Seminars are must-attend education sessions for serious technology enthusiasts and performance professionals committed to developing technology roadmaps and business plans focused on future-proofing their survival and growth.

    The automotive specialty-equipment industry has been and will always be challenged by complex vehicle technologies, federal regulations, systems integration and safety considerations. SEMA is continually working to provide unique benefits and value to members by developing vehicle technology solutions and building relationships that foster collaboration between automakers, suppliers, retailers, research organizations, industry associations and member companies.

    It may be tough, but the grid is set for the next few years to be podium years for many specialty-equipment companies. The question is, are you prepared to win? Like many of the successful racers I have known, you have to ask yourself if you have done everything you can do to future-proof your success and give your company the best possible chance of winning. Do you have a technology roadmap? Does your organization understand the impact of emerging technologies on your core competencies, future product development plans and new business opportunities?

    Clint Eastwood provided excellent insight and great advice to those SEMA members committed to facing the challenges and leveraging the opportunities of disruptive technologies. In the gritty “It’s Halftime in America” commercial that Chrysler aired during the Super Bowl, Eastwood essentially said that if you can’t find a way through tough times, make one.

    For additional information, please contact John Waraniak at 248-363-5313 or johnw@sema.org. A comprehensive list of advanced and disruptive vehicle technologies, along with their descriptions, can be found at the SEMA Vehicle Technology website: www.SEMA.org/vehicletechnology.

New Products & Technology

  • future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, BMW 1-Series

    Brenda Priddy & Co. and her team of shooters spotted this three-door prototype of the upcoming BMW 1-Series. Looking closely at the photos, the group points to the seam line that has been marked with black tape to portray a rear-door outline—although there is no rear door! They also point out the angled B-pillar.

    Priddy's team had previously only spotted five-door variants of the next-generation 1-Series in prototype form. But both body styles reveal the 1-Series' sleeker, more extended look. With expected powerplants to be similar the current 135i coupes and cabrio, Priddy says to look for an official introduction later this year.

    future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, BMW 1-Series

    Photos: Brenda Priddy & Co.

  • SEMA News—April 2012

    INTERNET
    By Joe Dysart

    Web Security

    10 Major IT Security Trends

      Aftermarket Business, Aftermarket Research, Automotive Industry News
    The apple of many an eye—the iPhone—can be easy prey for the experienced hacker.
       
    While the Internet’s white hats have done a great job of keeping the medium’s darker forces at bay, security experts predict that the web will still remain a dangerous place for businesses in the coming year—especially those without digital smarts.

    “The web will undoubtedly continue to be the most prominent vector of attack,” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer for Sophos, a web-security firm.

    Specifically, Eschelbeck predicted that hackers will still use the web as their primary distribution point for malware throughout 2012. And he worries that the growing trend of “Bring Your Own Device” to work, in which millions of workers push to use their own unsecured iPhones, iPads, tablets, Androids and other technologies on the job, will only increase business vulnerability to that malware.

    “IT departments are being asked to connect devices to corporate networks and secure data on these devices, which they have very little control over,” said Eschelbeck.

    Indeed, according to a Sophos poll conducted at the close of 2011, 61% of those surveyed felt that the biggest security threat on the web was its users who were not doing enough to secure the devices they use to access the Internet. In addition, nearly 50% of respondents said that their workplace allowed staffers to use personal technology—including iPhones, Androids and the like—at work.

    “As cybercriminals expand their focus, organizations are challenged to keep their security capabilities from backsliding as they adopt new technologies,” said Mark Harris, a vice president at Sophos.

    Added Eschelbeck: “2011 was characterized by a rise in cybercrime. The availability of commercial tools designed by and for cybercriminals made mass generation of new malicious code trivial and scalable. The net result was significant growth in the volume of malware and infections. Cybercriminals also diversified their targets to include new platforms as business use of mobile devices accelerated. Politically motivated ‘hacktivist’ groups took the media spotlight, even as the more common threats to cyber security grew.”

    And while Microsoft Windows remained a favorite target for hackers in 2011, most of the black hats preferred to tunnel in via add-ons to Windows such as Adobe .PDF and Adobe Flash.

    Also rearing its ugly head yet again in 2011 was the Conficker worm, which has been terrorizing the web for more than three years.

    “The Conficker worm is still the most commonly encountered piece of malicious software, representing 14.8% of all infection attempts seen by Sophos customers,” Eschelbeck said. “Evidently, plenty of infected PCs are still trying to spread this old worm. Although Microsoft patched this flaw more than three years ago, the current rate of Conficker infection is a shining example of how bad many of us are at patching our systems.”

    All told, Eschelbeck saw the following 10 major IT security trends emerging in 2012, which are discussed in detail in a report he co-authored with a number of analysts at Sophos entitled “Security Threat Report 2012”:

    Expect Major Hits on Social Media: “We expect cybercriminals to continue their effective mass generation of malware, increasing the number of attacks using social media platforms and integrated apps,” Eschelbeck said.

    Look for Apple as a Target: Enjoying newfound popularity, Apple—once passed over as an afterthought to Microsoft—is now considered a legitimate target by hackers. Look for increased attacks on the Mac operating system as well as other non-Microsoft software, including Adobe, in the coming year.

    Prepare for Android Attacks: Google’s wildly popular operating system, embraced by a wide variety of mobile computer device manufacturers, will face its own plundering. “IT security professionals will need to deal with rapidly evolving mobile platforms, each with a unique set of risks,” Eschelbeck said.

    Safeguard That iPhone: “A casual shift to the use of consumer devices without appropriate controls will cause backsliding in security capabilities,” Eschelbeck said. “IT will once again struggle to deploy reliable security measures for the environment.”

    Anticipate Rebels With a Cause: 2011 saw an outbreak of cause-fueled attacks on major corporations such as Sony, Paypal and Bank of America. Expect more of the same in 2012 as hacker groups like Anonymous single out more businesses for vengeance.

    Expect a Push for More Regulations in D.C.: Consumers fed up with what they perceive as an onslaught of privacy-invading technology will be in Washington again, pushing hard for more regulations on how traffic on your website can be analyzed.

    Expect Trouble With New Mobile Payment Systems: While many businesses and consumers are eagerly anticipating new cell phone technologies that will allow customers to simply “wave” a smart phone at a register to pay for an item, that same technology—near field communication—could prove easy pickings for the expert hacker. “We expect cybercriminals are just as eager to target these integrated platforms that hold our money,” Eschelbeck said.

    Prepare for More Sophisticated Encryption to Usher in the Cloud: As more businesses turn some or all of their applications over to the cloud, IT departments will need to encrypt data wherever it flows, rather than just focusing on protecting endpoints like devices and in-house networks.

    Double-Check Your HTML5 and IPv6: New technologies for websites and web communications will create their own vulnerabilities.

    Do the Right Thing: Scores of businesses will invite plundering by simply ignoring security fundamentals. Don’t be one of them. Instead, educate staff on the critical importance of keeping up to date on security patches from Microsoft and other software vendors. And engage in sensible password creation that features keywords of at least 12 characters in length.

    “Keeping your devices healthy by identifying missing patches in areas commonly targeted by the bad guys will help significantly,” Eschelbeck said. “Technologies like file and folder encryption will smooth the adoption of cloud services and new devices.”

    Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.
    Voice: 646-233-4089.
    E-Mail:
    joe@joedysart.com.
    Web:
    www.joedysart.com

Law & Order

  • SEMA continues to oppose decisions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to permit the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15). The EPA has previously granted waivers to market the fuel for model-year 2001 and newer vehicles, despite industry concern that it poses a risk to older vehicles and certain high-performance specialty equipment of any age. The EPA has now begun approving E15 registration applications, the next step to permitting the fuel to be sold commercially. 

    SEMA opposes the sale of E15 based on scientific evidence that it causes corrosion with incompatible parts. Ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. Ethanol also burns hotter and can cause some engines to stall, misfire and overheat. 

    The EPA’s decision to permit the sale of E15 for newer vehicles was based on limited scientific research. SEMA supports federal legislation (HR 3199) that would direct the National Academies to conduct a comprehensive assessment of E15 and E20 gasoline. Under the bill, the research would include an evaluation of the safety, durability and performance effects on engines and related equipment for motor vehicles and boats. 

    The EPA agrees with SEMA that E15 poses a risk to an estimated 74 million pre-2001 vehicles in the marketplace, including many collector cars. SEMA opposes the EPA’s solution, which is simply to require a gas pump warning label and make it “illegal” for the consumer to fuel the vehicle with ethanol-blended gasoline. The EPA makes it the vehicle owner’s responsibility to understand the potential threat posed by E15. The EPA does not provide immunity to gas stations, automakers or others in the market from lawsuits if a consumer alleges equipment failure from E15. 

    SEMA will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities. SEMA represents thousands of companies that market products for these vehicles and, through its SEMA Action Network, millions of enthusiasts who buy and operate these automobiles. 
  • A SEMA-supported bill to create a statutory definition of a “vintage travel trailer” and provide for a one-time $40 registration fee was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert. Under the law, vintage travel trailers will also be eligible for a special group license plate and exempted from wheel cover, mudguard, flap or splash apron requirements. 

    Slated to go into effect July 1, 2012, the new law defines a "vintage travel trailer" as a travel trailer, camping trailer or fifth-wheel trailer that is 30 years old or older and primarily a collector's item that is used for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, occasional recreational or vacation use and other similar uses. 

    For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

People, Places & Racing News

  •   cooley
     

    Geoffrey Cooley piloted his No. 22 Alumi Craft/Competitive Metals Pro-Buggy to a fifth-place finish in Round 1 and third place in Sunday's Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

     

    Cooley Leads Team Competitive Metals to the Podium at Lucas Oil Off Road Season Opener
    Rookie Driver Geoffrey Cooley piloted his No. 22 Alumi Craft/Competitive Metals Pro-Buggy to a fifth-place finish in Round 1 and battled for the win placing third in Sunday's Round 2 of the season opening Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Firebird International Raceway. Cooley qualified with the fastest time of 44.548. He was the only driver to crack the 44-second mark. The team entered the event with a goal of just finishing the race and possibly getting into the top 10. But Cooley had bigger expectations as he raced in the lead pack competing against and beating some of the series long time veterans.

    For teammates Justin "Bean" Smith (Pro-Lite) and Dave Mason Jr. (Pro-Buggy) the weekend was not as kind. Piloting the #84 Alumi Craft/Competitive Metals Pro-Lite "Bean" grabbed the early lead in the Saturday Round 1 event after qualifying fourth and being inverted to the pole, but fell off the pace after four laps due to a flat tire. He was able to salvage a 16th-place finish. In Sunday's Round 2 "Bean" qualified 21st and gained five positions to finish 16th, but wasn't able to get the truck up front with having to battle traffic. Despite the rough start "Bean" showed signs of being a front runner. The team will turn their focus to Rounds 3 and 4 at Lake Elsinore, where they are likely to be a strong contender.

    Mason had a string of rough luck in his debut driving the #65 Rigid Industries/Competitive Metals Pro-Buggy. A computer issue with the engine led to a 22nd place starting position for Round 1. Mason drove hard fighting his way up through the field. He was caught in a mid-air collision that left his right rear arm heavily damaged. Mason kept the car going and finished out the race with a 10th-place result. After a long night of repairs Mason and his crew were ready for a new day of racing in Round 2. But once again a mechanical issue held him back to a 17th-place qualifying spot. Mason was working his way up the field and had a good car until he was hit hard in the left front wheel. The wheel was barely hanging on but Mason continued getting his wounded race car to an 18th-place finish.

    Competitive Metals also rode on the No. 91 Pro-2 Truck of Nick Tyree and Tyree Motorsports. Tyree started Round 1 in seventh place and was quickly inside the top five early on in the race. He was scuffled back a few positions ending the day in ninth. For Round 2, Tyree started in the 10th spot and within a few laps was again inside the top 5. Tyree ended the second round with another top 10 bringing his Diffenbaugh Construction/PAC Springs/Competitive Metals truck home ninth in both rounds.

      dejong
     

    Mitchell DeJong finished in the top 5 at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORS) at Firebird International Raceway during opening weekend.

     

    Mitchell DeJong Finishes Top Five at Firebird International Raceway
    In his #24 Traxxas/Red Bull Pro-Buggy Unlimited, 14-year-old Mitchell DeJong finished in the top 5 at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORS) at Firebird International Raceway during opening weekend.

    Saturday's Round 1 LOORS main event started great, but in the second half, #24 suffered a brake failure forcing him to adapt quickly. DeJong held off most of the field to salvage an 11th-place finish.

    In Round 2, after experiencing a power steering system failure, DeJong earned fifth place, making a remarkable recovery coming from the 25th position and passing 20 racers without contact in a traditionally hard-to-pass Pro-Buggy Unlimited class.

    Bakersfield to Host Flowmaster/NMCA West Coast Season Opener
    The Flowmaster NMCA West Street Car Series season opener will be contested June 22–24, 2012, in Bakersfield, California, at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

    The NMCA recently expanded its racing series to include a West Coast division sponsored by Flowmaster Performance Exhaust Systems. The series was originally scheduled to begin in Fontana, California, at Auto Club Dragway, Fontana, April 20-22, 2012; however, a recent court ruling put the brakes on the season-opener Fontana date.

    Auto Club Dragway, Fontana has been engaged in a legal battle between community residents and the facility concerning excessive noise since its relocation to the east side of the facility. Charlie Harmon of NMCA West said he is confident that if the International Speedway Corp. (ISC) truly desires to maintain an active, vibrant drag-racing facility in Southern California, a compromise can be worked between the facility, county and community that will allow the opportunity to proceed with racing activities culminating with the NMCA West finals at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, October 19–21, 2012.

    The Flowmaster NMCA West Coast Street Car Series will consist of four events in 2012 as a part of the Aerospace Components NHRA Unleashed program, featuring a complete championship drag racing series that offers the opportunity to compete for a points championship, the NHRA Wally at each event, along with the potential to garner a special edition Flowmaster Top Ten Jacket, a Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Ring and a double-tiered NHRA Championship Wally for each of the series champions. At this time, the NMCA West series is close to announcing an August 17–19 date for the rescheduled Fontana opener at either Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, or Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield.

    With the final event scheduled for Fontana still pending due to the ongoing litigation, the NMCA is investigating options, such as Bakersfield and Pomona to conclude the 2012 Flowmaster/NMCA West championship season. The 2012 Flowmaster/NMCA West Coast Street Car Series Championship Awards Ceremony will take place at the NHRA/Wally Parks Motorsports Museum in late fall of 2012 where the top-10 points finishers, in 10 different categories, will be recognized for their accomplishment in the inaugural NMCA West season.

      zane
      Lee Zane

    Zane and McHugh to Form Pro Stock Team
    Two-time Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champion Lee Zane and returning Super Stock driver Kevin McHugh have formed a team to race together in the sportsman ranks in 2012 and then take it to the next level when they debut a Pro Stock team for a large portion of the 2013 season of NHRA Full Throttle drag racing.

    Longtime sportsman competitor Zane of Perry Hall, Maryland, will compete in Stock Eliminator this year while coaching McHugh in his return to Super Stock after a 35-year respite. In 2013, McHugh will turn in his driving gloves once more to focus on seeing the Pro Stock team to success with Zane behind the wheel of a Pontiac GXP purchased from legendary Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson. The GXP was formerly piloted by Johnson's son, Kurt, a 40-time national event winner and the first driver to run in the six-second zone in the category.

    Zane began assisting McHugh in preparation for his return to racing, and McHugh is now ready to rejoin the sportsman ranks after recently obtaining his NHRA competition license at the Frank Hawley School of Drag Racing in Gainesville, Florida. The effective collaboration between McHugh Racing and Lee Zane Motorsports ignited new ideas and the structure for a Pro Stock team operating under the banner of Lee Zane Motorsports was built.

    The team, receiving assistance from Coppermine Applicators, is in the process of leasing a notable engine and R&D program and will test the Pro Stock car later this year. The team intends to make their professional debut at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville early next year and compete in 10–12 events or more if they are able to acquire further financial backing.

      hart
      Marty Hart celebrates his Round 1 victory of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

    Team ReadyLIFT Racing's Marty Hart Finishes First Place in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Season Opener
    Off-road racing veteran Marty Hart and Team ReadyLIFT Racing rolled into Firebird International Raceway for the season debut of the 2012 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series last weekend. A fast qualifying effort put Hart on the outside of the second row to start. Right out of the gate Hart wheeled his #15 ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension machine into a battle for the lead with Robby Woods. As the yellow flag was drawn to signal the half way point of the race and the mandatory pit stops, Hart made one last charge coming out of the final corner and blew past Woods to nab the lead at the line.

    After the pit stops the field took to the track behind the ReadyLIFT-sponsored Toyota Tundra pace truck. Hart now out front followed by Woods, Rob MacCachren and Rodrigo Ampudia, each of whom had shown to that point they had the muscle to make a run to take away the lead. But the waving checkered flags in front of a sold-out crowd was the canvas on which Hart in his ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension/Maxxis Tire/GearUp2Go.com Unlimited Pro 2 Ford earned a win in one of the toughest classes in the sport.

    Hart qualified his steed on the second row yet again for Round 2 last Sunday. Right out of the box it looked like this was easily going to be a repeat of Saturday's race. Within a lap, Hart took the lead. At the mid-race caution, Hart had the field in his rearview mirror and was poised to sweep the weekend. Two laps into the restart as Hart had made a big gap on the field, the rear sway bar broke, taking away Hart's chance to double up on the weekend wins. But a digging effort to keep pace earned Hart a fifth-place finish, enabling him to retain the overall points lead leaving Firebird.

  •   John Pulli, SEMA YEN Member Insight
      Jon Pulli

    We recently had the pleasure of catching up with a passionate SEMA member who is a leader in the distribution side of the automotive aftermarket—Jon Pulli, CEO of Turn 14.

    Some of our readers aren't familiar with Turn 14; could you give us a brief overview on the company and, most importantly, your role there?

    Turn 14 Distribution is a performance warehouse distributor focused on modern, post-2000 vehicle applications. I co-founded Turn 14 with Chris Candido initially to fill a void in the sport-compact market for an East Coast-based distributor. As a co-founder, I have done every job in the company but, at this point, as CEO, I am able to focus my day-to-day on oversight and future planning. I spend most of my time strategically planning avenues for Turn 14’s growth in the short and long term. I feel a constant, yet welcomed, pressure to achieve our target growth numbers. Distributors, when doing their job correctly, act as a conductor between retailers and manufacturers. My goal is to grow Turn 14, which, in turn, benefits the brands we distribute, the retailers we service and Turn 14 employees.

    Could you give us a little background about yourself—family, education, how you caught the car bug?

    Both of my parents were entrepreneurs who ran numerous successful small businesses, so business was in my blood from an early age. With that said, Turn 14 was started with only $100. I graduated from Franklin and Marshal College with a degree in accounting, so I have always been a numbers guy. From the very start, Turn 14 has been profitable. The best part about starting with zero is that you cannot afford to dig yourself a hole and tell yourself you will become profitable later.

    In terms of the car bug, I got that in high school when I was enamored with car stereo systems. By college, I got into the sport-compact scene with a Toyota Celica GTS. I have never been a track nut or a car show buff, but I genuinely enjoy fast, well-rounded street cars that can be driven day in and day out. After the Celica, I bought a Subaru WRX STi right when they were first released in late 2003 and that’s when the business really started to go.

    How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? Where do you live? How long have you been a SEMA member?

    I will be 30 this month. I am married to a stunning woman name Samantha and have a 16-month-old daughter named Keira with beautiful blue eyes that she got from her mother. We live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I have been a SEMA member since 2003.

    Much of our industry has changed with the advent of the Internet; for instance, distribution is now different. Could you give us an overview of how the Internet has impacted you both positively and negatively? How do you stay ahead of the curve?

    In today’s market, distributors are now order fulfillment centers that also sell to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. As the Internet has infiltrated every corner of our society, buying online is now the standard. Distributors need strong web tools to allow their jobber bases to be competitive. Brick-and-mortar retailers who used to sell with high mark ups now get price matched against massive online retailers by customers on their cell phones. Local and regional markets are no longer closed so smaller retailers in the business need strong discounts to even have a chance to make a sale. This evolution has meant that distributors need to constantly work on efficiency and technological advancements to keep pace and be able to operate on less profit. This transition positively impacted Turn 14 by lowering the barriers to entry into the wholesale marketplace long enough for Turn 14 to establish itself. The major negative impact is the constant downward pressure on pricing and, in turn, profit margins.

    Logistics is paramount to good distribution; do you approach logistics in an innovative manner? Do you have any tricks for encouraging teamwork in logistics strategy?

    We focus a great deal of our effort on creating efficiencies and then trying to improve upon them. We never allow ourselves to believe a process has been perfected; instead, we are constantly scrutinizing, trying to think abstractly to improve. Employees are trained to constantly question our processes to try and find ways that they can be improved. This has resulted in a company full of thinkers, instead of followers, who take pride in our systems primarily because they have had a hand in designing and improving them.

    Speaking of teamwork, how do you build your teams?

    Teamwork is paramount to running a streamlined distribution center. During a typical sale, six staff members from different departments have a hand in making a transaction successful. Without teamwork among departments everyone would suffer. To encourage teamwork, we get our staff together outside of the office on various occasions. A good example took place last fall. After a great summer selling season, our sales staff ran the warehouse for a day while we sent the whole warehouse staff to a Phillies game with box seats. The warehouse staff had a blast on their surprise day off and the sales staff got a refresher on how hard our warehouse staff works. At the end of the day, our warehouse staff came together during an escape from the norm and our sales staff came together trying to handle the warehouse for a day. Both teams gained a higher level of respect for each other in a short, one-day exercise. Since that event, salespeople know when they are asking for too much from our warehouse and the warehouse is happy to help get late orders out the door when a salesperson makes that request.

    You are in this business because you have a passion for vehicles. What is in the stable right now and are you planning any new additions?

    Right now, I have a ’06 Lotus Elise with a custom supercharger and side-mount intercooler kit putting down 257whp. I also have an ’87 Toyota Supra with a 1JZ-GTE swap in progress, plus an ’03 Civic with your basic bolt-ons for the daily commute and, last but not least, an ’04 Dodge 2500 pickup to tow the boat. In terms of new additions, I’ll probably sell the Elise pretty soon and get something spicier, maybe a 997, GT-R or R8.

    Lastly, if you could provide one piece of advice to a young person considering this industry, what would it be?

    Work your butt off to continuously improve; in my opinion, drive and effort can make up for any other shortcomings you might have.

  • NEWS NUGGETS
    nhra tobler
    Rahn Tobler
    nhra four wide
    NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
    nhra us nationals
    Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

    TOBLER NAMED NEW CREW CHIEF FOR CAPPS IN RESTRUCTURING AT DON SCHUMACHER RACING: Rahn Tobler has been named crew chief for the NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car of Ron Capps effective immediately, team owner Don Schumacher has announced. Don Schumacher Racing also has hired veteran tuner Todd Smith as the new crew chief for the Valvoline NextGen Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Smith's first race with the team will be the April 13–15 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte (North Carolina) Motor Speedway's zMAX Dragway. Tobler also will be the lead tuner for Beckman's team for at least the next two Full Throttle events as Smith transitions to his new position. John Collins will assist Tobler on the NAPA Auto Parts team and Terry Snyder will assist Smith on Beckman's car.

    NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS PRESENTS UNIQUE CHALLENGE:
    The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13–15, is one of the greatest spectacles in motorsports, so winning means that much more; a victory at the race is one of the most sought after on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit. Just ask past event winners John Force, Greg Anderson, and Jack Beckman how it feels to race and win. When they return with other NHRA stars to zMAX Dragway, they will attempt to make history as the only two-time winners of the four-wide event. Fans can purchase two tickets to any day of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for $60 and receive a choice of two T-shirts, two beer vouchers or two Coca-Cola soft drinks and two hot dogs. Children 13 and younger will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

    TICKETS ON SALE FOR 58TH ANNUAL MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS AT LUCAS OIL RACEWAY:
    Tickets for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals are on sale. This year, the event will run August 29–September 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and will showcase all four classes in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Tickets range from $10 to $61 and can be purchased by logging on to NHRATix.com or calling 800-884-6472. Those purchasing tickets in advance will have an advantage over those waiting until the race as advance ticket purchases will cost less than those purchased the days of the races. Also, purchasing your ticket in advance will secure you a premium seat.

    COMING ATTRACTIONS

    NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, April 13–15: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops of the season in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the only four-wide national event. Winners from 2011 were Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-455-FANS (3267) or log on to CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Alex Baca at abaca@nhra.com.

    O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRING NATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY, April 27–29: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first stop of the season in the Lone Star State for the sixth race of the season. Winners from 2011 were Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jeff Arend (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 281-383-RACE (7223) or log on to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com. For media credentials, contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at avestal@nhra.com.

    SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS, ATLANTA DRAGWAY, MAY 4–6:
    The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Georgia for the seventh race of the season, one of NHRA’s long-established events. Defending winners are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATix.com. For media credentials, contact Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith at ssmith@nhra.com.

    HE SAID, SHE SAID

    SWITCHING UP THE THOUGHT PROCESS:
    Spencer Massey has earned two victories in 2012 by crossing the finish line first four times in a row at each race, but as the NHRA heads to zMAX Dragway for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the format changes, and so does his thought process: “Last year, I remember I was right behind Del Worsham and remember thinking, ‘OK, I hope I’m second, I hope I’m second, I hope I’m second, and we were second.’ It’s a little different strategy, but that’s what makes it that much better for the fans, that much better for all of us. Because it’s four-wide drag racing at 300 mph. It’s awesome.”

    INSIDE THE NUMBERS
        DID YOU KNOW
    nhra full throttle     nhra top fuel
    4: THE NUMBER OF THE WEEK: The next event is the one and only four-wide race of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, and it is one of the most exciting. With four 7,000-hp nitro-burning engines racing side by side at the Bellagio of dragstrips, the excitement and competition level is sure to rise.    

    TESTING THE WATERS IN TOP FUEL: John Force is famous for being the most successful Funny Car driver in NHRA history, and two of his daughters have followed in his Funny Car tire tracks, but his daughter Brittany has a different plan. She intends to take the Force family name to the Top Fuel ranks in 2013. The team has been testing her Top Fuel car with a Boss 500 motor following several events this season, including the Monday after the Las Vegas race. Brittany made family history when she became the first Force in the sub-four-second range with her 3.962-second pass. Although that stat is unofficial because it wasn’t in NHRA competition, it is likely official in the Force family.

  • Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)
    Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
    Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA)
    Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC)
    Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
    Street Performance Council (SPC)
    Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
    SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) Young Executives Network (YEN)

     


    ARMO Logo

    Visit ARMO's website.

    Ensure the Future by Restoring the Past—Join ARMO

    The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), a SEMA council, is dedicated to preserving our automotive heritage for future generations to enjoy. ARMO provides a number of benefits to its 275 member companies, which include direct access to ARMO-member companies, education and outreach for small businesses in the restoration market, product exposure through an annual New Products Showcase and collective support of the restoration hobby.

    Top Reasons to Join ARMO: 

    • Networking Opportunities: The primary strength of ARMO is its member companies. The organization provides multiple venues for ARMO members to interact and share ideas through its long-range planning meetings, new-products mixer at Spring Carlisle and the ARMO awards reception at the 2012 SEMA Show, as well as discussion groups on MySEMA and social media websites.
    • Education: The annual ARMO education seminars at the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show bring industry leaders and experts together to share their real-world experience with small-business owners, providing tips and insights to help them grow their businesses. The ARMO Restoration Trademark Licensing Guide provides ARMO members with the basic forms needed to begin the process of getting products licensed by an original-equipment manufacturer. The licensing guide is available through the SEMA Education Institute.
    • Supporting Hobby Growth: ARMO recognizes the importance of the individual hobbyist to the industry and supports Collector Car Appreciation Day activities across the country. Every April, the ARMO New Products Showcase puts member company products directly in front of 100,000+ restoration enthusiasts each year at Spring Carlisle. In addition, ARMO’s “Take a Kid to a Car Show” (TKCS) program strives to get children involved in automotive hobbies at an early age. The interactive TKCS website provides information on how to get involved for kids and adults alike.

    ARMO membership is open to virtually any business in the restoration industry, large or small. Annual dues are $100, and an application is available on the ARMO website.

    Contact ARMO’s staff liaison Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org for more information.

      armo restoration
      The ARMO New Products Showcase at Spring Carlisle takes place April 26–28, 2012, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

    Deadline is Near!

    The deadline to submit your best new restoration products for the 2012 ARMO New Products Showcase is Friday, April 13, 2012. Don’t miss out on this exciting and exclusive ARMO-member benefit. The event takes place April 25–29, 2012, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and online registration is now open.

    The ARMO New Products Showcase puts your product in front of 100,000+ automotive restoration enthusiasts in the country at Spring Carlisle. In addition, each product is professionally photographed while on display. The photograph is posted in a gallery on the ARMO website and is also shown in video displays in the ARMO booth and during the ARMO awards reception at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

    For only the cost of shipping, your product effectively gets a full year's worth of exposure. This is available only to ARMO members and is included with the annual ARMO membership fee. Don’t miss out, register your restoration product now.

    For more information, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.

    ARMO Licensing Guide Now on SEI

    ARMO members may now access the ARMO Trademark Licensing Guide online. Previously available only in hard copy, the Guide is now located on the ARMO education track on the SEMA Education Institute (SEI).

    ARMO Licensing Overview:

    Ever wonder how a company gets a restoration product officially licensed by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) carmaker? ARMO members can now find introductory information from three OEMs, including preliminary application forms, in one document.

    Obtaining a trademark license is one of the few remaining processes that cannot be accomplished "online" or with a simple application. OEM carmakers are very proud and protective of their trademarks. There are many steps involved in order to display an "Officially Licensed" logo on your product. Just finding out where to begin can be a daunting task.

    The Trademark Licensing Overview provides ARMO-member companies with the information they need to begin the oftentimes lengthy process in one handy reference document. Ford, GM and Chrysler have supplied contact information, application forms and general process overviews. While the Overview is not a complete guide to trademark licensing, it does provide you with information necessary for all those important first steps.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? ARMO Is!

    Be sure to follow ARMO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/armo and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read ARMO's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.

    Back to Top


    HRIA Logo
     
    Visit HRIA's website
      hria pinewood
      HRIA is looking for top hot-rod builders to participate in the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge.

    Calling All Hot Rod Builders

    HRIA is sponsoring the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge and looking for top hot-rod builders or custom vehicles to take part in this charity event. Builders will be given small blocks of wood to complete their own unique and one-of-a-kind pinewood race car. All cars will be raced at the annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Races and then placed on display at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. In addition, the cars will be placed on eBay for auction, with all proceeds going to two great children’s charities—ChildHelp and Victory Junction Camp. To participate, contact Eric Saltrick at esaltrick@steelerubber.com or 704-483-9343 for more information.

    Hot Rodder Highlight: Melanie Rushforth, Rushforth Wheels

    Melanie Rushforth started her business—Rushforth Wheels—approximately five years ago in Tacoma, Washington, and, like many others within the automotive aftermarket industry, she enjoys the people she meets at shows and other venues. With the help of the Internet, she has also built many relationships through Rushforth Wheels’ online forums.

    Rushforth’s current project vehicle is a ’64 Buick Skylark. It's the ultimate love story. Rushforth and her husband were looking for a project and found this ’64 Skylark on Cragislist.com. The car had everything they wanted and the original owner lived about a mile from their front door. Like a dream come true, the Skylark was at its new home that afternoon. Today, you might see Rushforth, her husband and the car that was meant to be theirs from the start taking a cruise on the beach.

      hria rushforth
      Melanie Rushforth

    However, Melanie’s true passion is late ’40s/early ’50s trucks, which she would use to transport her dogs and bikes and play in style.

    On a personal note, Rushforth spends much of her time volunteering with non-profits and in the rotary. She is also an officer on the Board of Tacoma Community College and was named a 40 Under 40 in 2009 and a 2010 Woman of Influence in the Puget Sound.

    Rushforth and her husband share their excitement for the industry with their 16-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. Even though they travel a lot for work, it’s not nearly enough for pleasure. “If everyone we knew bought wheels from us, I’d make a point to spend more time on the beach in a tropical location,” she said.

    SEMA's Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) thanks Rushforth for her continuous support.

    Have You Registered a Patent or Trademark? Your Competition Has

    Protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of its members is a top SEMA priority. The process begins when companies register their patents, trademarks and copyrights with government agencies in the United States (and other countries). Registration is a key to establishing legal rights.

    To assist its members, SEMA has created a webpage called Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights, explaining the different types of IP, including protecting new products (utility patents) and product designs (design patent), identifying the source of the product (trademarks) and protecting product brochures or website designs (copyright). It also contains information on how to register IP along with links to seminars, webinars and SEMA News articles.

    With respect to enforcing IP rights at the SEMA Show, the association has developed an effective policy for pursuing infringement allegations. SEMA’s IP enforcement policy is posted on the IPR webpage and is also published as part of the Exhibitor Services Manual. Questions may be directed to Stuart Gosswein (stuartg@sema.org).

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? HRIA is!

    Be sure to follow HRIA on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/hria and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read HRIA's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about HRIA and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.

    Back to Top



    LTAA Logo
     
    Visit LTAA's website.  

    LTAA Technical Resource Available on SEI

    LTAA is pleased to announce the launch of an LTAA education track for the SEMA Education Institute (SEI). LTAA members may now reference and download a number of technical resources from the new LTAA learning track that were previously available in hard copy only. Now, LTAA members have the information at their fingertips via an Internet connection.

    Resources currently available are:

    • LTAA Pickup Truck Bed Dimensions – pdf
    • LTAA Keyless Entry Connection Guide – pdf
    • LTAA CHMSL Wiring Connection Guide – pdf
    • Why Paint Colors Vary – video

    “This is very exciting for the Council,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive. “These reference tools are always appreciated by installers and counter people in the field. SEI provided us a solution that keeps the tools as an LTAA-member benefit and makes for quick and timely updating of data. LTAA members received an e-mail recently with instruction on how to access their account on SEI. I encourage all members to get familiar with this LTAA education track because this is only the beginning—I promise you!”

    Learn more about the LTAA education tools.

    Not yet an LTAA member? Download an application or contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org or 909-978-6690 for more information.

    What's the Value of Being an LTAA Member?

    New Products Showcase – Put your product in front of one of the largest gathering of truck enthusiasts in the country at the Carlisle Truck Nationals.

    Networking – LTAA mixer at the Carlisle All Truck Nationals, Annual Long-Range Planning meeting and access to LTAA members and light-truck industry professionals around the world.

    Tools and resources for the retailer and installer – "Pickup Bed Dimensions Sheet," "Keyless Entry Wiring Pickup Points Reference Sheet," "Why Paints Don’t Match" DVD and more.

    Education – and LTAA-specific learning track on the new SEI from SEMA, coming soon!

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? LTAA Is!

    Be sure to follow LTAA on all of your favorite social networking sites.

    To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/ltaa and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read LTAA's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.

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    MPMC Logo
     
    Visit MPMC's website.  

    How MPMC Membership Can Benefit Your Motorsports Business

    Does your company manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events? The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)—a SEMA council—provides a number of benefits to its more than 200 member companies.

    Benefits include access to a best practices reference guide dedicated to common manufacturing business questions, contact information for more than 200 fellow motorsports parts manufacturers and an opportunity to have three days of 30-minute meetings with editors from print and electronic media.

      mpmc, motorsports
     

    MPMC members produced the “Business of Engine Building” seminar at the 2011 PRI Show in Orlando. From left to right, veteran engine builders Tracy Dennis, Keith Dorton, Ron Hutter, David Reher, Scott Shafiroff and Carl Wegner answered questions from moderator Alan Reinhart. Have an idea for another seminar topic? Join MPMC now and help make it happen!

     

    Four Reasons to Join the MPMC:

    • Business Guidelines Manual: Written, produced and designed specifically for performance product manufacturers, the manual addresses the many challenges faced by manufacturing companies like yours. Definitions, resources, options, examples and even sample documents are included in the various sections. Each section is written and formatted for quick and easy referencing. Topics include bar coding, catalogs, counterfeiting, electronic data exchange, freight policies and much more. The manual is available for download or viewing, but only to MPMC members, through the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) MPMC Education Track.
    • Media Trade Conference: Another opportunity unique to MPMC, and available only to MPMC-member companies, is the MPMC Media Trade Conference (MTC). The MTC brings 100 MPMC manufacturers together with 200+ editorial staff from national and international media for three days of 30-minute, face-to-face meetings to discuss editorial content. Space is limited each year to 100 manufacturers, selected via lottery, but only MPMC members have the opportunity to participate.
    • Industry Outreach: MPMC members work with other industry contacts to produce seminars, panel discussions and events for the benefit of not only fellow manufacturers, but the shop owners and consumers who ultimately use their products. This past year at the PRI Show in Orlando, Florida, MPMC hosted a two-hour discussion in which six of the most renowned engine builders in the country shared their business experiences with an audience of 150+ shop owners and aspiring engine builders.
    • Networking: MPMC hosts various events throughout the year to further promote relationship building. A networking breakfast at the U.S. Nationals and a Hall of Fame Breakfast at the PRI Show are examples of how MPMC works to bring manufacturers together with media and other industry colleagues. In addition to meetings with the media, the Media Trade Conference also offers two evening receptions, lunches and break periods that present myriad networking opportunities.

    MPMC is the only SEMA council dedicated specifically to manufacturing companies. If you are not already a member, there is no better time to join than right now. Membership is only $100 annually and an application is available on the MPMC website.

    Contact MPMC’s staff liaison Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org for more information.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MPMC Is!

    Be sure to follow MPMC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mpmc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    Take a Friend to a Race Fan Page

    The MPMC Motorsports Awareness campaign, highlighted by the Take a Friend to a Race program, now has its very own Fanpage on Facebook. If you’re not a fan yet, you should be!

    MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MPMC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

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    MRC Logo
     
    Visit MRC's website.  

    Why Using a Manufacturers' Rep May Be the Right Move for Your Company

    Here are the top 10 reasons why your company should use a rep:

    1. Results Driven. Our success is your success. Reps are highly motivated to sell your products because they make money when you sell products.
    2. Cost Effective. Better utilize your time and resources. Minimize the labor and travel expenses of hiring your own employees.
    3. Territory Expansion. You get the instant benefits of territory and customer knowledge that takes years to learn.
    4. Relationships. Reps already know companies with whom you want to do business. Take advantage of strong, pre-existing relationships that have been cultivated through trust and action.
    5. Quick. Hiring a rep is quickest way to get results and to get your “feet on the ground” selling.
    6. Access. Your products and services will have better exposure with your customers because reps are already doing business with them.
    7. Sales Calls. Focused and increased face-to-face time with your customers equals greater sales.
    8. Training. Field training and professional development sets reps apart. Reps will educate your customers about the features and benefits of your programs and services.
    9. Feedback. Get instant and accurate feedback on your products and programs.
    10. Industry Knowledge. Receive an insider’s perspective that allows you a clearer understanding of the “ins and outs” of your industry.

    Interested? Want to know more? The SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC) can answer your questions and share more reasons why hiring an Independent sales rep may make sense for your company.

    A Message From MRC Chair Wade Cobb

    The MRC council has been chipping away at what our Long-Range Planning session of 2010 identified as a need—benefits for our membership! MRC recently put a program together with TeleNotes, offering our members a business tool to elevate their company’s ability to capture data and reporting. We are also continuing to work on travel programs, possibly offering an “MRC” rate at our industry events, such as PWA and the SEMA Show, with select lodging. We also recognized the need to reach out to our general members and non-members to determine what it is they need from MRC.

    In February we conducted an online survey to 3,500 rep agencies associated with SEMA to find out more about reps and how MRC can maximize its efforts as a council to provide you with benefits. Thanks to all who took the time to respond; it’s the only way we can build a better MRC. Just as any council or association, it’s imperative to get the feedback from members on what works or needs to be fixed. As we move on reviewing the data MRC has been able to obtain through the survey and the information from our LRP, the council will continue to put action plans in place to address the concerns.

    Looking to continue the efforts put forth by our members, MRC attended the MPMC Media Trade Conference held in Los Angeles this past January with the purpose of representing MRC to the manufacturers present. MRC Chair-Elect Chris Fairless and I had an MRC room all three days of the event, conducting meetings with members interested in utilizing reps and showing them the value of using rep agencies. We provided each exhibiting company with an MRC brochure and offered the MRC DVD for additional information. Both Chris and I were very pleased with the event, realizing this was a first for MRC and a great opportunity given to MRC by MPMC to explore the venue and take away ideas to build even better programs for coming events. We truly wish to thank Kyle Fickler and Vic Wood of MPMC for working with us during the MPMC Media Trade Conference.

    We look forward to working with other industry segments to continue educating our fellow industry members on the benefits of utilizing a rep agency as their sales force. Your thoughts and comments are welcome any time. We need to hear your voice, so please speak out!

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MRC is!

    Be sure to follow MRC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mrc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MRC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MRC, contact Zane Clark.

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    PRO Logo
     
    Visit PRO's website.  

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? PRO Is!

    Be sure to follow PRO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/pro and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    PRO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read PRO's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about PRO, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.

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    SBN Logo
     
    Visit SBN's website.
     

    Connect to the Fastest Growing Committee—the SEMA Businesswomen Network

    The SEMA Businesswomen Network (SBN) welcomes both women and men who work for a SEMA-member company to join the committee. Along with the benefit of joining a community of prominent industry leaders, members in the SBN offers several distinct advantages:

    Networking: The SBN offers access to more than 300 members, largely composed of women who understand the challenges and advantages for working in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Via exclusive invitations to SBN mixers at industry events and SBN events at the SEMA Show, such as the Speed Networking Breakfast, members have the opportunity to network with key influencers in the industry.

    Recognition: Established in 1994, the SBN Awards have become the premier honor for recognition of industry veterans who have volunteered their personal and professional time to contribute to women in the automotive aftermarket. Also, through SBN’s Member of the Month (MoM) spotlight, select women are highlighted for acting as trendsetters in the industry. MoM spotlights receive the honor of being featured in SEMA eNews with a subscription of more than 150,000 recipients, along with a feature on the SEMA website.

    SEMA Show: The SBN offers members the ideal opportunity to become actively engaged in SEMA via volunteering time to help with SBN-sponsored events. Events featured throughout the week include the Speed Networking Breakfast, Café SEMA, and the Gear-up Girl, which act as a great medium to enhance professional growth, networking and business leads.

    There is no cost to join SBN, just many opportunities to meet other women in the industry who are as equally committed to professional growth as you are. Join the SBN now!

    You Ought to Be in Pictures!

    The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network committee is a great resource of minds. All ladies in the specialty-equipment industry can join the SBN, so pass the word around to your colleagues and friends! We are encouraging all new and existing SBN members to log-in to the MySEMA portal to update their profile with a photo so we get to know each other's faces before the SEMA Show.

    And don’t forget to turn your notifications settings “ON” so you can stay in “the loop.” Want to know more about the SBN? Interested in becoming a member?

    Want to get involved in the industry but don't know how? We have an app for that! Go to www.SEMA.org, click on the Leadership tab, click on Council/Committee, click on SBN and join! Don't delay—get involved and join now. You are just a few clicks away! We look forward to "seeing" everyone!

    Don’t Be Out of the Loop—Stay in Touch

    The very best way to stay in touch and to read the latest news, discussions and topics posted from SEMA and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is to make sure that your notification settings are turned on in your MySEMA account. Next to your photo on your MySEMA page, at the top right, is a link to the "Edit My Settings" page.

    On the “settings” page, look for the “notifications” tab, where it will ask how you would like to receive your news. Check whichever method is most convenient, but either way, make sure you're in the loop by turning “on” your notifications. Visit http://my.sema.org to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SBN is!

    Be sure to follow SBN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/sbn and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SBN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SBN's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    SPC Logo
     
    Visit SPC's website.  
    Find the Business Possibilities Through the SPC

    Participate in the automotive aftermarket at a whole new level by joining the SPC.

    The purpose of SEMA councils is to help our member companies succeed and prosper. In the SPC, our mission is to provide market information, education and support to our members concerning new and emerging trends. Whether it’s the latest business technology, forecasting sales, future marketing solutions or up and coming vehicle platforms, we give you and your company the chance to see what’s on the horizon.

    Then we’ll help you understand and acquire the skills, tools and technologies to lead the way. The SPC has the most diverse membership of any SEMA council, and that will allow you to network with other professionals from every facet of our industry and gain insights into areas you may not have previously considered. Find out about the parts, people, technologies, strategies, trends and, most important, possibilities.

    This is your chance to give something back to the industry, your profession and to grow personally along the way. Join the SPC today and become an active member of the specialty equipment and automotive market — Tracie Nuñez, Advanced Clutch Technology, SPC Chairman

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SPC is!

    Be sure to follow SPC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/spc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SPC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SPC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    Visit WTC's website

    Wheel and Tire Professionals Discuss State of the Industry at SEMA Headquarters

    Wheel and tire professionals gathered at SEMA Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for an open discussion to help guide the strategic direction of SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC). “The meeting was full of awesome information, especially for someone like me who fields dozens of phone calls from the enthusiast up to the highest levels of purchasing,” shared Blake Warner of Primax Wheel Corp.

      wtc
      Wheel and tire professionals gathered at SEMA Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for an open discussion to help guide the strategic direction of SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC).

    Much of the conversation focused on continuing concerns revolving around tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), including their lifespan, the servicing of and opportunities for an additional revenue stream. In an attempt to help members better address TPMS, The WTC has made a webinar available through SEMA’s Education Institute (SEI) entitled, "TPMS 101: Identifying and Understanding the Opportunity," presented by Russ Fuller of Revolution Supply Co.

    Other topics included the Wheel and Tire Council's continuing effort to work with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) on wheel testing standard J2530. The WTC strongly supports the standard, but has concerns over the implementation of a conformance and registry program that could potentially increase the cost for aftermarket wheel manufacturers and ultimately extend the scope of the standard beyond it original purpose. At the same time, the WTC recognizes the importance of a voluntary testing mechanism that legitimizes the use thereof and addresses any misrepresentation of the standard.

    Based on the open discussion and in working with the Tire Industry Association (TIA), the WTC has also made it a priority to increase communication to its retail members in order to provide technical and sales training, as well as best practices that help improve consumer awareness. To help accomplish the Council’s agenda, the WTC Select Committee will make a concerted effort to solicit the participation and expertise of its general membership.

    To get involved, please email Zane Clark at zanec@sema.org or follow the Member Resource Pool link.

    Don't Miss WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting and Industry Discussion February 8

    The WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting and industry discussion will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. Get feedback and provide your thoughts to industry leaders during the open discussion. Whether you have questions regarding testing standards, increasing sales, vehicle technology or other pertinent issues, come to the open forum and share your thoughts.

    Have you ever wondered how to get more involved in the SEMA Wheel & Tire (WTC) Council?

    What exactly do the council leaders do throughout their term? Very simply, the Select Committee is elected by members of the council to serve a two-year term. They participate in monthly conference calls and meetings that are held at various trade events throughout the year. Each Select Committee member volunteers for at least 20 hours throughout the year, and some volunteer even more. Some share their experience and vision, others provide creative solutions to challenges our member companies are facing and others get their hands dirty and get it done. Each Select Committee member is supported by their company in their WTC efforts, and for that we say “thank you” to those companies!

    The leaders of the WTC gathered last year at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for its annual Long-Range Planning meeting. This meeting focused on bringing value to the WTC-member companies. The past 18 months have been extremely challenging for all of our companies and the council is dedicated to utilizing SEMA’s resources to further benefit each WTC member.

    Guiding the group’s effort was the council’s mission statement to “identify common problems and opportunities relating to the wheel and tire industries that the council, as an interested body of companies, can address for the common good.” A handful of exciting objectives are being developed for the council over this year and next. If you are passionate and have an interest in being involved, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for a task force with a limited investment of time that provides a great way to network and share your ideas. Please reach out to the task force chair if you want to participate or have comments.

    Science and Technology Task Force

    Tim Dietz (Standards Testing Laboratories Inc.) and can be reached at tdietz@stllabs.com. This group focuses on aftermarket and OEM advances that affect our industry. From creating wheel standards to improved processes for tire-pressure monitoring systems and electronic stability control, the Science and Technology Task Force plays a pivotal role in the industry’s advancement.

    Education Task Force
    Kelly Austin (Ultra Wheel Company) chairs this group and can be reached at kelly@mail.ultrawheel.com. The education task force is charged with developing successful programs for members to enhance their businesses. The WTC Task Force is responsible for partnering with the SEMA Educational Institute to create and promote online learning resources.

    Communication and Marketing Task Force

    Doug Frymer (Law Offices of Douglas A. Frymer) chairs this group and can be reached at legal@starshieldarmor.com. This group focuses on membership outreach, growth and retention. It is imperative that councils effectively communicate services provided by WTC and SEMA to our members. Communication and services ensure that there is proper dialogue between leadership and membership.

    SEMA Show Task Force

    David Insull (American Tire Distributors) chairs this group and can be reached at dinsull@atd-us.com. The SEMA Show in Las Vegas provides the backdrop for critical networking functions. This group focuses on making WTC’s awards reception an ideal place to get together, honor one another and network with all those who share a common passion.

    There are so many other things the council leadership does throughout the year. You are the expert at what your business needs and this council wants to deliver. Feel free to get in touch with us or come to one of our WTC events. Our hope is that, if you haven’t been a part of WTC yet, you will be in 2010 and beyond.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? WTC is!

    Be sure to follow WTC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/wtc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    WTC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read WTC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about WTC and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call or 909/978-6696.

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    YEN Logo

    Visit YEN's website
    SEMA YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

    Jon Pulli, CEO, Turn 14

      John Pulli, SEMA YEN Member Insight
      Jon Pulli

    We recently had the pleasure of catching up with a passionate SEMA member who is a leader in the distribution side of the automotive aftermarket—Jon Pulli, CEO of Turn 14.

    Some of our readers aren't familiar with Turn 14; could you give us a brief overview on the company and, most importantly, your role there?

    Turn 14 Distribution is a performance warehouse distributor focused on modern, post-2000 vehicle applications. I co-founded Turn 14 with Chris Candido initially to fill a void in the sport-compact market for an East Coast-based distributor. As a co-founder, I have done every job in the company but, at this point, as CEO, I am able to focus my day-to-day on oversight and future planning. I spend most of my time strategically planning avenues for Turn 14’s growth in the short and long term. I feel a constant, yet welcomed, pressure to achieve our target growth numbers. Distributors, when doing their job correctly, act as a conductor between retailers and manufacturers. My goal is to grow Turn 14, which, in turn, benefits the brands we distribute, the retailers we service and Turn 14 employees.

    Could you give us a little background about yourself—family, education, how you caught the car bug?

    Both of my parents were entrepreneurs who ran numerous successful small businesses, so business was in my blood from an early age. With that said, Turn 14 was started with only $100. I graduated from Franklin and Marshal College with a degree in accounting, so I have always been a numbers guy. From the very start, Turn 14 has been profitable. The best part about starting with zero is that you cannot afford to dig yourself a hole and tell yourself you will become profitable later.

    In terms of the car bug, I got that in high school when I was enamored with car stereo systems. By college, I got into the sport-compact scene with a Toyota Celica GTS. I have never been a track nut or a car show buff, but I genuinely enjoy fast, well-rounded street cars that can be driven day in and day out. After the Celica, I bought a Subaru WRX STi right when they were first released in late 2003 and that’s when the business really started to go.

    How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? Where do you live? How long have you been a SEMA member?

    I will be 30 this month. I am married to a stunning woman name Samantha and have a 16-month-old daughter named Keira with beautiful blue eyes that she got from her mother. We live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I have been a SEMA member since 2003.

    Much of our industry has changed with the advent of the Internet; for instance, distribution is now different. Could you give us an overview of how the Internet has impacted you both positively and negatively? How do you stay ahead of the curve?

    In today’s market, distributors are now order fulfillment centers that also sell to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. As the Internet has infiltrated every corner of our society, buying online is now the standard. Distributors need strong web tools to allow their jobber bases to be competitive. Brick-and-mortar retailers who used to sell with high mark ups now get price matched against massive online retailers by customers on their cell phones. Local and regional markets are no longer closed so smaller retailers in the business need strong discounts to even have a chance to make a sale. This evolution has meant that distributors need to constantly work on efficiency and technological advancements to keep pace and be able to operate on less profit. This transition positively impacted Turn 14 by lowering the barriers to entry into the wholesale marketplace long enough for Turn 14 to establish itself. The major negative impact is the constant downward pressure on pricing and, in turn, profit margins.

    Logistics is paramount to good distribution; do you approach logistics in an innovative manner? Do you have any tricks for encouraging teamwork in logistics strategy?

    We focus a great deal of our effort on creating efficiencies and then trying to improve upon them. We never allow ourselves to believe a process has been perfected; instead, we are constantly scrutinizing, trying to think abstractly to improve. Employees are trained to constantly question our processes to try and find ways that they can be improved. This has resulted in a company full of thinkers, instead of followers, who take pride in our systems primarily because they have had a hand in designing and improving them.

    Speaking of teamwork, how do you build your teams?

    Teamwork is paramount to running a streamlined distribution center. During a typical sale, six staff members from different departments have a hand in making a transaction successful. Without teamwork among departments everyone would suffer. To encourage teamwork, we get our staff together outside of the office on various occasions. A good example took place last fall. After a great summer selling season, our sales staff ran the warehouse for a day while we sent the whole warehouse staff to a Phillies game with box seats. The warehouse staff had a blast on their surprise day off and the sales staff got a refresher on how hard our warehouse staff works. At the end of the day, our warehouse staff came together during an escape from the norm and our sales staff came together trying to handle the warehouse for a day. Both teams gained a higher level of respect for each other in a short, one-day exercise. Since that event, salespeople know when they are asking for too much from our warehouse and the warehouse is happy to help get late orders out the door when a salesperson makes that request.

    You are in this business because you have a passion for vehicles. What is in the stable right now and are you planning any new additions?

    Right now, I have a ’06 Lotus Elise with a custom supercharger and side-mount intercooler kit putting down 257whp. I also have an ’87 Toyota Supra with a 1JZ-GTE swap in progress, plus an ’03 Civic with your basic bolt-ons for the daily commute and, last but not least, an ’04 Dodge 2500 pickup to tow the boat. In terms of new additions, I’ll probably sell the Elise pretty soon and get something spicier, maybe a 997, GT-R or R8.

    Lastly, if you could provide one piece of advice to a young person considering this industry, what would it be?

    Work your butt off to continuously improve; in my opinion, drive and effort can make up for any other shortcomings you might have.

    SEMA Young Executive Insight

    Ed Monte, Director of Sales, MSD Ignition

      ed monte, yen
      Ed Monte

    The consummate “nice guy,” Ed Monte has a reputation in the automotive aftermarket as one of the friendliest, most outgoing and positive people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. Having worked his way up from taking customer service calls to director of sales at MSD Ignition, Monte firmly believes in the value of hard work, maintaining a positive attitude and building relationships.

    Monte grew up in the Southwest and began riding Honda XR dirt bikes as a kid, exploring the desert and learning the terrain—a good primer for a budding desert racer. It also taught him to respect machinery. From there, he became interested in off-road racing, but focused on business in school knowing he’d need a real “day job” to support his passion for racing. After earning his business degree and working for a speed shop that specialized in desert racing, the Texas native got his first job out of college with MSD Ignition.

    Monte was hired as a jack-of-all-trades sales and marketing clerk, when he realized he was able to make a living talking about his passion—cars and trucks. Monte began making friends and building relationships, which grew into sales accounts and long-term partnerships. He worked his way up to director of sales—a position he still holds at MSD. We spent some time with Monte to learn more about his business philosophy—one we believe would benefit SEMA members of all ages.

    When did you first become interested in cars/trucks?

    When I was in school, I worked for a fellow who ran a paint and body shop by day, but went desert racing on the weekends. I’d spend my afternoons at the shop tearing down off-road cars and prepping them for the next trip. I had a limited amount of knowledge, but a great mentor in the shop owner who showed me how to set the welder up and pull a motor out of a VW Bug in 30 minutes. He also instructed me that a $500 Mac 4-ft. torque wrench wasn’t to be used as a breaker bar! I enjoyed the nitty-gritty work because at the end of the day, getting behind the wheel and shaking down our Class 1 car was a treat after doing all the work on it—and I looked forward to doing it the next weekend!

    What was your first project vehicle? What project vehicles do you own now?

    My first “real” project vehicle (not just a driver I fixed to go to class) was an early ’90s version of a Sand Cars Unlimited four-seat buggy. Before long-travel A-arm suspension cars came onto the scene, this was your traditional 112-in. beam axle car with a whopping 1835cc Type 1 VW motor. A small car by today’s standards, it was my next evolution in keeping the dust and dirt flying in my face, and I loved it. I currently drive a ’99 BFG Project Suburban, plus I have a four-seater play buggy, two XR 600s, a CRF450X and a ’72 El Camino loaded with MSD gear I use for car shows and cruises. I also have an F-150 Raptor that’s been to Barstow for the M.O.R.E. Powder Puff.

    You’ve been with MSD for a long time. Why stay with one company so long rather than jumping around?

    At MSD, it’s a pleasure to work with a team of people who enjoy doing what we all do. A majority of our staff has been with the company for a number of years. We represent a company that is well known in the industry for providing quality parts. That makes it easy for me to take the time to travel on the weekends for shows and races. When you work with neat people, it’s a good thing! You spend more hours at work than you do at home in most cases, so you should really find a job that makes you happy and co-workers whom you like to spend time with. It makes it that much easier to do a good job if you love your work.

    You worked your way up from a sales/marketing administrator to sales director. How did you get there?

    When I was first hired, my initial tasks were to fax (yup, remember faxing everyday?) and call our reps with the information we wanted to get out. We were shorthanded in sales and marketing, so basically I helped coordinate everything from inbound purchase orders to grabbing that one last part from shipping to get it out on a Red Label for a race team. Throughout the years, knowing how to get things handled internally helped when I started working more with the reps building account relationships. When things needed to be handled, I was the go-to guy. We pride ourselves on not letting things sit. I always try to help move things along. After a couple years, I started traveling on the show circuit in addition to working some of the off-road events. Once that started, I had the privilege of becoming the person who our accounts and reps could call on, and I try to always deliver. All you have in business is your word.

    What has been your biggest on-the-job challenge, and how did you deal with it?

    Certainly there are several, but I’d say the very first challenge was when I started doing the jobber shows. While I was excited to travel, I was a little apprehensive about how to interact with the accounts. Not so much the public in general; I knew I could answer the consumer questions and also learn. I had freaked myself out by listening to the guys who had been on the road a lot, especially at NHRA events where the customers are only comfortable talking with their “one guy.” I thought the same when I started to do visits with our customers. Luckily, I figured out that all you can do is put your best foot forward and find out “what can I do for you?” You end up proving yourself, as yourself.

    What is your proudest on-the-job moment?

    I’d hate to sound too simplistic, but I’m pretty happy when I’m flying home from the SEMA Show, PRI, or any show or race where I’ve been able to be productive. It’s satisfying knowing you’ve given 100% and a great feeling when that last customer of the day thanks you for a job well done or appreciates the help.

    Monte’s Top 10 Rules for Success in Sales:

    10. Maintaining relationships is priority #1—try to be friendly with everyone you meet.
    9. Always be honest and straightforward with customers, co-workers and yourself.
    8. Know what you’re talking about.
    7. Keep things in perspective—take every problem one step at a time.
    6. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes—“how can I help you?”
    5. Go into every situation with an open mind. Avoid pre-conceived notions.
    4. Don’t be negative; always look forward.
    3. Listen to people and be genuine. Don’t just wait for a turn to talk.
    2. In our market, people don’t “need” our parts; they want them. Explain what you can do for them.
    1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Customers can tell when someone knows their stuff and when they don’t. Whether setting up a booth or talking to a customer, don’t “b.s.” people if you don’t know what to do. Ask. Learn.

    2011 SPC/YEN Awards

    Three significant industry awards were given out at the 2011 SPC/YEN reception—including the YEN Vanguard Award, Young Executive of the Year Award and SPC/YEN Industry Icon award.

    The YEN Vanguard Award was presented to John Hotchkis of Hotchkis Suspension. As a 20-year member of the aftermarket and current member of the SEMA Board of Directors, Hotchkis has inspired, influenced and mentored dozens of young SEMA members. He was an active YEN member, is active on Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and passionate about his work on the board. Specializing in suspension for musclecars (among the first in the industry), he founded Hotchkis Performance in 1992. Since then, he has employed dozens of young people, inspiring them all. He continues to offer internships to students in the engineering departments of several local universities, and many employees whom he hired as teenagers still work for him nearly 20 years later. He recently fought and defeated cancer and he remains an inspiration to us all.

    The Young Executive of the Year Award was presented to Dan Dolan of DiabloSport Inc. Dolan worked tirelessly to promote and grow the YEN membership over the past year. His enthusiasm has been a great asset in getting the general membership more involved in YEN. He has been a positive influence in the performance aftermarket arena. Dolan is the type of person that any company would want to be represented by because of his “can-do” attitude that looks at problems as opportunities.

    The SPC/YEN Industry Icon award was presented to Mike Spagnola of Street Scene Equipment. As the leader of an automotive aftermarket business, Spagnola understands the cost of doing business and the pressures that manufacturers face in all aspects of the industry. Over the past couple of years, Spagnola has served on the SEMA executive committee and governance committee, chaired the SEMA Show committee as well as the SEMA Show ‘n Shine and Gala Fundraiser efforts. In addition, he has been very active in the SEMA Cares committee and has served as the Board of Directors liaison to the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA). He was honored as SEMA’s Person of the Year in 2010.

    Join YEN

    Did you know that the SEMA Young Executives Network has more than 500 members networking in the industry and is the largest SEMA committee? If you are employed by a SEMA-member company and are under the age of 39, then you can join the SEMA Young Executives Network for FREE. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please visit our website at www.sema.org/yen.

    YEN Member of the Month Spotlight


    Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections or to make a nomination, visit www.sema.org/yen.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? YEN is!

    Be sure to follow YEN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/yen and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    YEN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read YEN's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Bryan Harrison.

    Back to Top


    Join the SEMA Council Family

    SEMA hosts 10 distinct councils and committees that represent focused niches within the specialty-equipment industry. These groups are comprised of elected volunteers (Select Committee) who guide and direct council activities while representing the membership at large. Although each council acts independently and represents a different segment, they are all focused on the betterment of the industry as a whole.

    The value councils provide SEMA and the industry is beyond refute. It is inspiring to witness a diverse collection of company representatives, many of which are direct competitors, come together and develop educational, training, youth awareness and networking events that are, at the core, designed to give back and promote business. An equally important council function is to ensure that SEMA sustains a pulse on the industry and maintains a presence with its members.

    The question is often asked, “Why should my company join a council?” The answer is simple. SEMA councils open the doors and provide you exposure to industry leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion and desire to see business succeed and prosper. Once the doors are open, it is your responsibility to take advantage of the benefits by becoming actively involved.

    Learn more today
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  •   aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news
     

    Flex-a-lite announced a summer tour that celebrates the company's "50 years of makin' it in the USA" and will include stops at automotive enthusiast events and major product distributors throughout the Midwest.

     

    Flex-a-lite Tour to Celebrate 50 Years of Makin' It in the USA
    Flex-a-lite will hit the road this summer for its 50th Anniversary Tour, which will span 50 days and include stops at automotive enthusiast events and major product distributors throughout the Midwest. As the company celebrates its 50 years of "makin' it in the USA," the tour will feature a specially prepared motorhome, trailer and a ’10 Camaro. The Camaro will include the company's latest products: the Flex-a-fit direct-fit radiator and transmission cooler. The planned tour dates and stops include: June 18, kick-off party at Flex-a-lite headquarters, Fife, Washington; June 22, Premier Performance, Rexburg, Idaho; June 26, Speedway Motors, Lincoln, Nebraska; July 6–8, Goodguys PPG Nationals, Columbus, Ohio; July 10, Summit Racing, Tallmadge, Ohio; July 12–15, NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, Joliet, Illinois; July 16, Winner's Circle, Joliet Illinois; July 17, VSI, Hammond, Indiana; July 19–20, Motor State Distributing, Watervliet, Michigan; August 2–4, Street Rod Nationals, Louisville, Kentucky; August 6, Meyer Distributing, Jasper, Indiana; August 7, P&E Distributors, Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

    Overhaulin' TV Series to Return Fall 2012
    The Velocity television network is bringing back the vehicle restoration series "Overhaulin'," with a new season set to premiere in fall 2012. Restoration icon Chip Foose will return to the show with an all-new format ready to transform the vehicles of several lucky and well-deserving individuals. The new season of "Overhaulin'" premieres on Velocity in the fourth quarter of 2012. The series was a big hit when it first appeared on TLC from 2004–2009 where it was a viewer favorite.

    “I am thrilled to be returning to television with a new and improved version of 'Overhaulin,'' and especially excited to be working with the team at Velocity,” said Chip Foose. “Velocity is the perfect home for 'Overhaulin’' and I’m looking forward to shooting all-new episodes bringing viewers compelling stories of car owners who are surprised to have their much-loved treasures overhauled.”

      aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news
     

    Morris Hamm, a 40-year SCCA member with more than 25 years of stewarding experience, will serve as the chief steward for the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series. 

     

    Morris Hamm to Serve as Chief Steward for SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series
    Morris Hamm will serve as the chief steward for the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series. A 40-year SCCA member with more than 25 years of stewarding experience, Hamm will be responsible for the officiating of the 46-year-old Trans-Am Series. He has served as chief steward of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup and its predecessor SCCA Pro Racing Mazda Miata Cup, and five years as the assistant chief steward of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships. 

    RCH Designs Helps Redesign Website for Monroe Brakes
    RCH Designs announced that the company helped redesign and streamline the website for Monroe Brakes, www.monroebrakes.com. “It takes a collaborative effort to redesign and catalog a product line, such as Monroe Brakes, said Ryan Hagel, owner RCH Designs. "In addition to product inventory and part numbers, the database we built for the site incorporates two additional languages; allowing you to switch, with the click of a mouse, to a full Spanish version and French version of the website. Something very important to Monroe as their business is global, and something that we will incorporate into the other brands within Tenneco and their sites that RCH Designs currently updates and maintains.”

    In addition to the two websites for Monroe (www.monroe.com and www.monroebrakes.com), RCH Designs has also built sites for “performance” divisions within Tenneco, Rancho Suspension (www.gorancho.com) and DynoMax Performance Exhaust (www.dynomax.com).

    Local Motors' CEO Selected Jury Captain for Core77 2012 Design Awards
    John B. Rogers Jr., president, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, was selected as the Jury Captain for the Core77 2012 Design Awards. Core 77 is an online design resource for designers and enthusiasts that publishes articles, provides discussion forums, hosts portfolio and job listings and more for its community. Rogers recently chose the following designers to serve on the Jury Team: Victor Garcia, senior industrial designer at Peterbilt Motors; Aurelien François, community liaison and design at Local Motors; and Chris Cocalis, president and CEO of Pivot Cycles and BH USA LLC. According to Core 77, the awards celebrate the design profession and practitioners by recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise.

      aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news
     

    A special birthday celebration for hot-rod legend and So-Cal Speed Shop Founder Alex Xydias will take place at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Saturday, June 16, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

     

    Alex Xydias 90th Birthday Celebration in June
    A special birthday celebration for hot rod legend and So-Cal Speed Shop Founder Alex Xydias will take place at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Saturday, June 16, 6:00–9:00 p.m. Tickets, which are $90 per person, include dinner, silent and live auction of items from Alex's personal collection, admission to the museum and an event keepsake. Tickets can be purchased through the museum at 909-622-3389 or ordered via e-mail at mvaladez@nhra.com. The event benefits both the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts, a program of The Learning Centers at Fairplex. 

    Alapont Retires as Federal-Mogul President, Jueckstock Named CEO
    Jose Maria Alapont will retire from his position as Federal-Mogul Corp. president and CEO, effective March 31, 2012. He will remain with the company in a consulting role to assist with the transition and remain on the company's board of directors through its 2013 annual meeting of shareholders. Rainer Jueckstock, currently senior vice president of the company's Powertrain Energy business unit, has been elected chief executive officer, effective April 1, 2012. Jueckstock will also join the company's board of directors. Federal-Mogul also announced that its board of directors has decided to modify the company's corporate structure to create a separate and independent aftermarket division and has engaged a search firm to fill the position of chief executive officer of the aftermarket division. The chief executive officer of the aftermarket division will report directly to the company's board of directors. Federal-Mogul's aftermarket business unit is one of the largest independent global suppliers of leading, premium branded automotive parts, with global sales of $2.3 billion in 2011.

    Design Engineering Product Sponsorship Program
    Design Engineering Inc. will continue its product sponsorship program for 2012 that includes all of its performance brands: Ny-Trex, CryO2, DEI, Boom Mat, Radiator Relief and Spa Turbo USA. DEI announced that it will offer racers and project builders any DEI branded product in exchange for media coverage at race and show events. The sponsorship program is applicable to any product for domestic or import automotive vehicles (gas or diesel), kart, personal watercraft or boat. There is no limitation based on the race series or class, show vehicle category, or the number of products or the product mix that is requested. To learn more about DEI’s 2012 product sponsorship program, visit www.DesignEngineering.com, or e-mail: MikeZ@DesignEngineering.com.

    Gema Begins Operating as a New Business Unit of Graco
    Powder coating equipment manufacturer Gema announced that began operating as a new business unit of the Graco Corp., effective April 2. According to Gema, the company will operate as a separate business unit and customers and industry partners will see no change in how the company conducts business. Over the next several months a transition will occur as marketing, promotional, and product materials are integrated with the new company name, Gema.

Shows & Events

Hot Links To Cool Sites

Classifieds

  • SEMA-member companies have posted several new listings for job opportunities (view all here). Working for a SEMA-member company has many advantages. In addition to working for a company that supports and contributes to the success of the overall industry, being employed by a SEMA-member company enables employees to participate in webinars, access free market research, join SEMA committees and more.

    The newest classified listings posted under Positions Available include:

    SEMA members: Have a job opening that you need filled? Members are invited to post classified ads on www.sema.org/classifieds free of charge. Categories available are: Positions Available, Positions Wanted, Rep Opportunities, WD Opportunities, For Sale, Items Wanted, Business Opportunities and Internships. Visit the SEMA Classifieds site for details.