Following its most recent election cycle, the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) will soon install new leadership. Rich Barsamian, vice president for sales and marketing at GT Performance Products LLC, will take over the chair position, and Chris Douglas, marketing director for COMP Performance Group, was chosen to serve as chair-elect. Each laid out his goals for the group in recent interviews with SEMA Member News.
TORA Member News
For decades, the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) and its forerunners have been sources of information, connections and advocacy for aftermarket professionals in the light-truck and off-road segments. LTAA leadership recently identified a new approach and focus to better serve the membership and industry as a whole. With this new clarity of structure and activity, LTAA is poised to be of even greater value to the aftermarket in the coming years.
The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) industry awards reception is the premier networking opportunity for those employed and active in the light-truck accessories market. The 2013 event was held November 6 in the Garden Patio North of the Las Vegas Hotel in conjunction with the SEMA Show. In addition to the presentation of LTAA’s industry awards, the evening was highlighted by the annual LTAA Fall Nationals Pinewood Drag Races benefitting the SEMA Cares charities.
A New Look for the LTAA Booth
The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) booth will look a little different at the SEMA Show this year. When attendees first approach South Hall, they will notice five vehicles on display outside the entrance. This representation of the wide variety of LTAA-member companies and products is sure to be an eye opener for everyone. Inside the Upper South Hall, LTAA select committee members will be present at booth #34151 to interact one-on-one with attendees and answer questions. If you have never met your LTAA leadership, this is a great chance to do so.
Andrew Schroeder became the Light Truck Industry Alliance (LTAA) chair-elect on July 1. Schroeder started working part-time at Ben Murphy & Associates, a national rep agency, about 15 years ago. He had very limited knowledge of the business in the beginning, but he learned and took on more responsibility as he assisted in many different departments. Eight years ago, Schroeder moved into his current position of vice president.
The 2013 Carlisle Truck Nationals will once again be home to the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) New Product Showcase on August 2–3, 2013. The New Product Showcase is recognized as a valuable benefit by an increasing number of LTAA-member companies. Participation has grown from 17 companies and 32 products at the inaugural event in 2010 to 27 companies and 52 products in 2012.
“It’s a tremendous value,” said Melanie White, chair of LTAA and vice president of Hellwig Products. “The Carlisle Truck Nationals is one of the largest light-truck enthusiast gatherings in the country. The Showcase provides LTAA-member companies with the opportunity to put their products in front of the very folks who might use them, without even being there. In this day of online everything, there’s still nothing better to a consumer than touching, feeling and seeing shiny or go-fast things in person.”
The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) and the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently launched an innovative, online product-training program, the SEMA Product Training Center. This new joint program allows manufacturers to efficiently and effectively provide product training to hundreds or even thousands of resellers throughout the industry for what they might spend to reach only a handful using traditional means. LTAA helped develop this web-based training solution to complement each manufacturer’s existing training while keeping costs down.
“We benefitted from the fact that SEMA was holding its own reception in the same location the following night,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive Operations. “They set up their stage and some of the lighting a day in advance, giving us a fantastic atmosphere and the best reception venue of the entire Show.”
A new element was added to this year’s Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) New Product Showcase in the form of a vehicle buildup. Dubbed “Stock Jeep to Show Jeep,” the event featured a mountain of LTAA member company products being installed on a ’12 Jeep Rubicon in front of a live audience during the Carlisle Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Truck Nationals, which took place on August 3–5, is one of the largest light-truck enthusiast gatherings in the country.