The Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) recently caught up with a couple of new members to learn more about their companies and their experiences in the industry. Meet Ann Fladger of Allure Custom Automotive and Steve Hamilton of AnthemWheels.com.
Founded by Alex Shen 18 years ago, SP Engineering began as a tuner shop in a humble 4,800-sq.-ft. facility with three employees in City of Industry, California. The company has since expanded into retail with a 13,000-sq.-ft. facility, five lifts and 13 employees.
Business has changed drastically for SP Engineering since the Nissan GT-R launched in 2008. The company previously worked with a mixture of Japanese cars and European exotics, including the 2JZ, RX7, 350Z and V12 Lamborghini. Since 2008, the GT-R has represented about 90% of SP Engineering’s market.
The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) recently released the second edition of the “PRO Sales Training Manual,” a resource designed to help restylers, trimmers and accessory retailers build more successful dealer-direct sales strategies. The original idea for the resource came about at a long-range planning meeting a decade ago.
The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) pursued a wide-ranging agenda at the 2014 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show held December 11–13 in Indianapolis. The first-ever MPMC open meeting was held on the Wednesday before the show and featured SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) Membership Director Jim Graven, who shared how manufacturers can benefit from organizing their product data through the SDC.
On the Monday prior to the 2014 SEMA Show, the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) hosted a Media Preview, giving nearly 200 journalists a head start on their truck, SUV and off-road coverage for the week. The goal was to allow council members to meet one on one with media reps, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers.
Each of the 18 manufacturer participants was chosen from an application pool by lottery to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center in the Las Vegas Convention Center
Warm up your TV and mark your calendar for 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8. That’s the date and time set for the premiere airing of the one-hour SEMA Battle of the Builders program on the Velocity Network—an in-depth TV event promising to focus new consumer attention on the creativity, products and vehicle builds of the annual SEMA Show.
“We’re extremely excited about the upcoming debut airing of our very first SEMA Battle of the Builders competition,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “A lot of thought and hard work went into both the competition and the television production.
Charities and Student Builders Benefit From an Exciting SEMA Garage Project
The ’15 Omix-ADA Jeep Wrangler JK Sport featured at this past November’s SEMA Show has sold for $85,000 to benefit SEMA Cares charities. The sale came on the Barrett-Jackson auction block on Wednesday, January 16, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Known as the Rugged Ridge/SEMA Cares Jeep, the upfitted, dirt-ready vehicle was originally procured with funds from a 2013 Omix-ADA donation and contained a total of $30,000 in aftermarket parts and accessories from other donor companies, including Falken Tire, Super Chips, Rugged Ridge and Kicker. It was also clad in custom paint by Theresa Contreras from LGE-CTS Motorsports. Perhaps most notably, however, it was customized through a collaboration with the Alex Xydias Center (AXC) for Automotive Arts, in which a team of AXC students modified the standard four-door JK at the new SEMA Garage facility in Diamond Bar, California. All of the proceeds from the Jeep’s auction will go to benefit Childhelp America and Victory Junction.
SEMA Ignited closed out the week of the 2014 SEMA Show with an afterparty like no other, and a public tribute to the best car builders on the planet. As the Convention Center doors closed and the trade-only Show ended on Friday, hundreds of custom vehicles roared to life, forming the now-traditional SEMA Cruise.
This year’s exit parade had a different destination, however—straight down Paradise Road and on to The LINQ in Las Vegas. With the high-roller observation wheel in the background, the world’s first car show that exclusively featured cars from the SEMA Show opened to the public. Enthusiasts were over-the-moon about the chance to get up close and pose next to cars built by true automotive legends.
Racing and Performance Products From the SEMA Show
For buyers, attending the SEMA Show is all about identifying next year’s hottest products. In the racing and performance section of the Show, exhibitors thrilled attendees submitting more than 800 new products to the annual New Product Showcase. The entries ran the gamut from turbochargers and exhausts to performance tuning and diagnostic tools.
The SEMA Garage provides SEMA-member businesses with access to the high-tech tools and equipment they need to get their products off the drawing board and into customers’ hands, whether they’re accessories or performance products. It is the only known facility of its kind in the United States, and manufacturers are invited to visit the garage to view the possibilities firsthand.
A total of 12 VIP Tours with about 15 guests each were scheduled for 2015. The currently scheduled dates are March 3, 10 and 17, with more to follow through the month of June. Each tour will last from 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., beginning with a breakfast. Members will then be led on a tour of the Garage, including demonstrations of the FaroArm coordinate measuring machine and...