|The ROUSH team prepares a brand-labeled Ford Mustang for future sale. As both an engineering icon and production entity, the group assembles the final touches to an enthusiast’s vehicle with out-of-the-box performance. |
The city of Detroit continues to make headlines. The headlines are usually negative, with the discussions involving reduced vehicle sales, job losses and plant closures. What people may not realize is that the Detroit area is home to a number of SEMA-member companies as well. As the car-production capital of the world, there is no doubt that Detroit has suffered greatly as a result of the downturn in the economy.
But at the same time, the people of Detroit are hard working and are not ready to give up the fight. In fact, those who work for SEMA-member companies might just have the best attitudes of all. And rightly so, because in many cases these companies have weathered the storm fairly well, just as they have done in previous market crunches.
One of these companies is ROUSH Performance Products Inc. While attending the SAE World Congress in April, members of the SEMA Market Research staff had the privilege of visiting ROUSH Performance Products.
Erin Dmytrow of ROUSH was generous enough to take time out of his busy day to talk about the company. Despite the fact that Dmytrow’s parents really had no interest in cars, he became a gearhead at a young age. By the age of 10, he could distinguish between the various makes and models of vehicles on the road and could recite the names of powertrain-related features even if he did not know how they worked.
He was fortunate enough to be a part of a co-op program in college that enabled him to work for Ford Motor Company’s aluminum casting and Modular engine plants and gain experience toward earning his degree. He was hired by ROUSH upon graduation and has now been with the company for a total of 10 years. Dmytrow started out on the OEM side of the company and later moved to the specialty-equipment side, where he has been for four years. Yes, there is more than one component within the company that most people usually refer to simply as ROUSH.
The parent company is called ROUSH Enterprises, and ROUSH Performance Products is a separate entity within the company, along with ROUSH Industries, ROUSH Fenway Racing and ROUSH Life Sciences. ROUSH Enterprises offers many services, from motorsports management to engineering to product design and testing.
ROUSH Industries is a Tier One Supplier that provides engineering and development support services. ROUSH Performance combines the experience of ROUSH Racing with the engineering expertise of ROUSH Industries for the development of performance vehicles, performance parts and Modular engines. ROUSH Performance is the facet responsible for the company’s signature ROUSH Mustang.
The man responsible for the success of ROUSH Enterprises, and for whom the company is named, is Jack Roush. He began his career in the automotive industry working as an engineer for Ford Motor Company in 1964. After leaving Ford, Roush formed Jack Roush Performance Industries in 1976. This grew to include Roush Racing in 1988, and together these entities evolved into ROUSH Enterprises. Roush was a successful racer in the NHRA, NASCAR, IMSA and SCCA Trans-Am.
He is also a successful businessman and NASCAR-team owner and currently serves as chairman of the board of ROUSH Enterprises. At the track, he is one of the most recognizable figures, always wearing his signature straw hat and carrying around a notepad filled with ad hoc notes and ideas.
|Erin Dmytrow (left) of ROUSH and Oscar Munoz of SEMA’s Tech Transfer program discuss the company’s heritage and the association’s resources available to SEMA members. |
To this day, Roush plays an active role in the company both on and off the track, which includes hands-on involvement with his race teams. He is always thinking about ways to improve his cars. And after a weekend of racing, he can still be seen in the office of ROUSH Enterprises on Monday mornings. He truly loves his work and this industry and has become a significant figure for both the specialty-equipment market and for racing.
ROUSH Performance Products has been a SEMA member since 1995. The company has been a regular participant in the Tech Transfer program and has been represented at SEMA Measuring Sessions. Tech Transfer is designed to provide SEMA manufacturing members with access to OEM-part specification data for designing and building specialty-equipment parts without reverse engineering.
A ROUSH Mustang is not delivered from the factory equipped with ROUSH products. It is sent to the facility in Livonia, Michigan, to be tricked out with various parts, including a supercharger, an exhaust system, a brake kit and appearance accessories, such as fender badges and embroidered floor mats. CAD files supplied by Tech Transfer were used in the development process for products for the 2010 ROUSH Mustang.
The visit to ROUSH Performance Products was exciting and memorable. Member visits such as this one not only give SEMA staff a chance to visit with members, but they also help them learn more about SEMA member companies and the specialty-equipment industry.