SEMA News - November 2009



Get drawn into the excitement of watching young mechanics race to rebuild engines at the 2009 SEMA Show. 

The 2009 SEMA Show will be home to the first ever Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championship. The competition will be held at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, November 5 in Booth #25042 in the Racing & Performance section of the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Watch as four winning regional high-school teams from across the country tear down and rebuild identical high-performance 350ci Chevrolet powerplants dressed with all the goodies.

The competitors will include:

  • Joliet Central High School (Joliet, IL)—Sponsored by Speed Pro/Fel-Pro and winner of the Illinois Championship at the Race & Performance Expo

  • Loara High School (Anaheim, CA)—Sponsored by Hedman Hedders/Trans-Dapt and winner of the California Championship at Edelbrock’s Rev’ved Up 4 Kidz Event

  • Van Buren Tech Center (Lawrence MI)—Sponsored by Edelbrock and winner of the Michigan Championship at Lane Automotive’s Car Show Event

  • Elkhart Area Career Center (Elkhart, IN)—Sponsored by MSD Ignition and runner-up of the Michigan Championship at Lane Automotive’s Car Show Event

Elimination rounds will be held on Wednesday, November 4 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.  in Booth #25042 in the Racing & Performance section of the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center.


SEMA Presents $119,000 in Scholarships to Future Industry Leaders

A total of $119,000 in scholarships is being distributed to 73 students through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), a SEMA-administered program to foster leadership opportunities in the specialty-equipment marketplace and to support educational goals for students.

“We’re honored to present the awards to this year’s SEMA scholarship winners,” said Tom Myroniak, SEMA vice president for marketing and market research. “The applications that came through were truly impressive and reflective of an amazing and talented group. We’re now looking forward to watching these individuals continue their educations and pursue careers in the exciting SEMA industry.”

The SMSF received 551 qualified applications on or before the deadline in April 2009. From those, 74 individuals were chosen as winners, including 14 recent graduates who applied for the loan-forgiveness program.

Introduced five years ago, the loan-forgiveness program offers individuals who have been working for SEMA-member companies for at least one year the opportunity to receive $1,000 to pay for their existing student loans. As with the scholarships, the loan-forgiveness program was developed as an incentive for students to seek employment in the automotive specialty-equipment industry upon graduation.

Also of note, 20% of the award dollars went to SEMA-member company employees or their dependents.

“Although SEMA affiliation is not a requirement of the scholarships, added consideration is given to employees and relatives of employees at SEMA-member companies,” said Myroniak. “It’s great to see SEMA members taking advantage of this benefit.”

Applications for the 2010 program will be available at in December.


WD-40 and SEMA Build a Custom 2010 Camaro for Show, Auction

WD-40 Company and SEMA Cares, the association’s charity arm, have partnered to build a custom 2010 Camaro for the 2009 SEMA Show. Several specialty-equipment manufacturers are also pitching in to bring the classic pony car back in style, and with its aggressive stance, 6.2L V8 and 600+ hp, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Camaro has exceptional performance to match its distinctive look.

The vehicle will also appear at other select auto events on the West Coast before going to auction at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show and Auction, January 18–24, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Proceeds from the sale will go to Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp children’s charities.

The WD-40/SEMA Cares Camaro features include: a custom body kit from Street Scene Equipment; Pedders suspension with 3 inches of height adjustment; Forgeline DE3S wheels, 20x9.5 front and 20x11.5 rear; Nitto NT05 max-performance radial tires; Paxton NOVI high-output supercharger system; DynoMax Ultra Flo welded performance mufflers; special paint and color formulation; tint design; Katzkin leather interior and logo embroidery; Odyssey high-power, long-life battery; Point Source 6.5-inch component speakers, digital subwoofer, four-channel amplifier; Eclipse 7-inch wide-screen video monitors; and a Sony PlayStation 3.

Additional partners involved in the Camaro build include Ape Wraps, Audio Innovations, Cie Studios, House of Tints, MGP Caliper Covers, PPG Industries and Top Quality Powder Coating.


2010 MPMC Media Trade Conference Moves to New Location

The annual MPMC Media Trade Conference moves to Covina, California—just 15 minutes from Ontario Airport—in 2010.  
The upcoming Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference is moving to the recently renovated Radisson Suites Hotel in Covina, California.

Located about 15 minutes from the Ontario Airport in Southern California, the new location features easy freeway access and is near many local attractions, including the Fairplex in Pomona and the NHRA Museum. Media Trade Conference participants will also enjoy fine dining via the on-site restaurant, Hamilton Steakhouse, as well as low room rates.

“We’re looking forward to hosting a fantastic Media Trade Conference at the Radisson in Covina,” said MPMC Chairman Bill Floyd of RideTech. “This annual event has become an essential activity for hundreds of media representatives and for our council members. The convenience of the hotel—along with the amenities and low rates—will ensure that the event continues to be a great success and will allow us to accomplish even more than ever before.”

The MPMC Media Trade Conference is a three-day event where manufacturers and media take part in pre-scheduled, private, sit-down meetings. Nowhere else can a manufacturer meet with editorial staffs from so many news outlets, and nowhere else can the media gather so much technical and new-product information at one time.

Here are additional details about the 2010 MPMC Media Trade Conference, scheduled for Tuesday–Thursday, January 19–21, 2010. Media registration for the event is available here.



Marc Alan Associates Inc.
added industry veterans Bob Leedom, Skip Scafidi and J.P. Scafidi to its organization. The company, currently celebrating 45 years in business, now has 17 salesmen and four sales-support individuals servicing the northeast automotive aftermarket. Marc Alan Associates Inc., Oakland, NJ; 201/337-6222.


NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc. promoted Hideyuki Koiso (left) to president and CEO. Koiso, previously the company’s executive vice president, is a 31-year veteran of NGK Spark Plugs Co. Ltd. He replaces Shinichi Odo, who is returning to Japan to assume the position of director, automotive division. NGK Spark Plugs also promoted Michael Schwab (right) to vice president of its aftermarket division. Schwab, a 20-year veteran in the aftermarket, has been with NGK since 1989 and previously served as director of sales and marketing for North America. Prior to that, he served as general manager for NGK Spark Plugs (USA). In his new role, Schwab will oversee sales and marketing functions for NGK’s aftermarket and OES channels. NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc., Wixom, MI;

Trico Products launched “It’s Raining Rebates,” a promotional campaign that will run from October 1–November 30 and is designed to drive more store traffic and increase wiper-blade sales while raising awareness about safe driving. The company is offering up to $20 rebates on a pair of its NeoForm, Teflon or ExactFit wiper blades. Trico Products.

CGS Motorsports has moved to a larger distribution and manufacturing facility in Chino, California. The company previously operated out of its original location in Pomona, California. CGS Motorsports, Chino, CA; 909/902-0102.

 John Julis

John Julis’ J&J Marketing is celebrating 30 years in the manufacturers’ rep business. Founded in 1979, J&J Marketing specializes in hardcore racing and high-performance product lines. J&J Marketing, Riverside, CA; 951/689-1221. 

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. opened a new distribution facility on September 1. The 55,000-sq. ft. facility is located in Sunrise, Florida, northwest of Miami and west of Ft. Lauderdale. It serves all of south Florida and will export orders to customers in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The company’s Orlando branch will continue to serve central and northern Florida. C.R. Laurence Co. also began construction of a new 60,000-sq. ft. facility at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. The facility is being built on recently purchased acreage across the street from CRL headquarters on Vernon Avenue. According to the company’s chairman and CEO, the construction will increase warehouse space and available stock for customers. C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Los Angeles, CA; 323/588-1281. 

SEMA NEWS-NOVEMBER 2009-INDUSTRY NEWSSpeedway Motors Inc. hired Mike Long as vice president of development, open-wheel specialist. Long served as vice president of operations for Maxim Racing Chassis in Springfield, Illinois, from 2002–2009. Prior to that, he worked as a crew member for Steve Kinser Racing, a 20-time World of Outlaws champion. Long is also a longtime racer who has competed in everything from go-karts to micros and sprint cars. Speedway Motors also announced that its 9 Super 7 Hot Rod Carburetor won back-to-back best-new-product awards from the Goodguys Goodguys Rod & Custom Association (GR&CA) and National Street Rod Association (NSRA). In July, the 9 Super 7 won the best-new-product award in the engine and transmission category from the GR&CA. The award was presented at the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Less than a month later, the carburetor was selected as the best new product in its class by the NSRA during the 40th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. Speedway Motors Inc., Lincoln, NE; 800/979-0122. 

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels received the 2009 Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award, also known as an “E-Award,” from the state of Ohio. Each year, the Governor of Ohio presents E-Awards to organizations that have increased the number of export-related jobs in Ohio or helped Ohio companies succeed internationally. The company was honored at a luncheon ceremony held in Columbus, Ohio, in August at the Hyatt Regency. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Stow, OH; 330/928-9092.  

SEMA NEWS-NOVEMBER 2009-INDUSTRY NEWSChristina Awad joined Precision Fleet Brakes as project manager. Her responsibilities include customer relations, business management and sales support. Prior to joining Precision Fleet Brakes, Awad worked at Air Liquide as an account manager, where she was responsible for introducing new applications of cryogenics to a variety of industries, maintaining customer accounts and serving as a liaison between several departments, including engineering, distribution, business development and management.

Due to its transition over the past 15 years into a full-line suspension company, the founders of Air Ride Technologies—Bret and Sharon Voelkel—have changed the company’s name to RideTech, which they feel fully reflects its current and upcoming product line. The company’s core product will continue to be Air Ride Technologies air suspension, but will expand its product line and customer base as RideTech. Changes in personnel took place as well, with industry veteran Bill Floyd being named RideTech’s new vice president of sales and the promotion of long-standing employee Steve McPherron to vice president of operations. More information is available at RideTech, Jasper, IN; 812/482-2932.

OK Spark USA Inc.’s OK Spark brand spark plug sensor won the Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) 2009 award in the diagnostics category. Readers of PTEN magazine choose the winners of all categories with no influence from the magazine staff. The PTEN award ceremony will be held during the annual AAPEX/SEMA Show at the AAPEX PTEN booth (#1056) on Tuesday, November 3, at 8:00 a.m.

Auto Aftermarket Concepts (AAC) of Cincinnati, Ohio, purchased the assets of Razzi Corp., located in Alpharetta, Georgia, in June. The new company—Razzi by AAC—will remain in the existing Georgia manufacturing location and retain many Razzi Corp. key employees. Razzi by AAC brings 25 years of ground-effects development, products and marketing to the AAC family. Products will be shipped from any of AAC’s three locations—Atlanta, Buffalo, New York or Cincinnati.

The CarDomain Network Inc. has selected Focus Media & Marketing for its sales representation in the Midwest. The companies will work together to reach a core audience of auto enthusiasts. The move is part of CarDomain’s ongoing expansion plans. CarDomain Network Inc., Seattle, WA; 206/926-2100.  

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