By Douglas McColloch
(Clockwise from top left) Mike and Jim Ring of Ringbrothers, Rick Love of Vintage Air, Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed, Brian Brennan of In The Garage Media, and Bobby Alloway of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop discussed the current state of the hot-rod aftermarket at SEMA360.
Earlier today at SEMA360, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) hosted a panel of experts to discuss the current state of the hot-rod aftermarket. The panel, moderated by Rick Love of Vintage Air, included:
- Kyle Tucker, Detroit Speed
- Mike and Jim Ring, Ringbrothers
- Bobby Alloway, Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop
- Brian Brennan, In the Garage Media
The panelists first reviewed the challenges posed by the COVID-19 disruption, how the lack of a SEMA Show and a show circuit has affected their business in the short term, and what kinds of promotional tools they are using—such as social media—to keep their brand recognition high. They also stressed the importance of staying in touch with their customers, and reviewed how SEMA360 is helping them in this regard.
The panelists also discussed the ways they’ve managed to continue operations given ongoing disruptions to the supply chain, and steps they’ve taken to adjust to increased lead times. They also reviewed the challenges posed by increased freight costs.
On the tech side, the panel discussed the changing skill sets required of todays generation of builders, with an emphasis on electronics, and of the challenges shops face in finding and recruiting that talent. The panelists also stressed the importance going forward of attracting young people to the automotive trades.