SEMA News - November 2010
Rick Rollins, owner of Rollins Performance and current SEMA Chairman of the Board
Ramco Performance Filters Purchased by Rollins Performance
Rick Rollins, owner of Rollins Performance and current SEMA Chairman of the Board, purchased the assets of Ramco Performance Manufacturing, a manufacturer of extreme-performance fuel filters for diesel, gasoline, ethanol and methanol alcohol fuels. Rollins’ new company, Filter Solutions Technologies LLC, dba FST Performance, has moved Ramco from North Dakota to Florida. The company’s specialty is low-restriction, high-fuel-flow capabilities (300 gph) coupled with highly efficient three- and five-micron filtration and water separation. FST Performance filters are highly regarded as the leader in biodiesel filtration and in the off-shore powerboat industries.
More information is available online at www.ramcoperformance.com.
Tire Dealers See Real Value in the SEMA Show
For the 2009 SEMA Show, more than 9,800 buyers in all categories noted that they were interested in wheels and tires, and nearly 20,000 buyers cited an overall interest in tire- and wheel-related products.
Nearly 10% of total buyers at the 2009 SEMA Show were specifically tire and wheel buyers, which was the second-largest buyer category of Show attendees. And that percentage has been rising. Just 7% of all buyers were tire and wheel buyers in 2005, but the number has climbed gradually every year since.
Tires have a broader appeal at the SEMA Show than just endemic segment buyers. More than 9,800 buyers in all categories noted that they were interested specifically in wheels and tires, while nearly 20,000 buyers cited an overall interest in tire- and wheel-related products.
Aside from tire and wheel dealers, the strongest interest in tires came from tire wholesalers and WDs, performance retailers, restoration businesses and auto parts retailers—who were also the most interested in tire and wheel products debuting in the New Products Showcase.
But the core tire dealers are the story here, and they represent the top of the tire-buying influence and decision making, as determined by the trade media covering the industry. Nearly 60 of Modern Tire Dealer magazine’s top 100 dealers came to the 2009 SEMA Show as buyers. Likewise, of the tire chains that made Tire Business’ list of the top 100 chains, 66 came to the 2009 SEMA Show looking to buy.
To view all of the tire exhibitors in the SEMA Show Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA, or to register for the 2010 SEMA Show, visit www.SEMAShow.com.
New Industry Award to Debut at the 2010 SEMA Show
SEMA Show exhibitors will choose three outstanding vehicles as the winners of an all-new award. Called simply the SEMA Award, the honor will be presented in three categories—Hottest Car, Hottest Truck and Hottest 4x4-SUV. The SEMA Award marks the first time ever that the “exhibitors’ choice” will be tallied, recognizing the year’s top trend-setting vehicles.
“The SEMA Award allows us to celebrate the outstanding vehicles and trends in the specialty-parts industry,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We will be able to tap into the exhibitors’ unique ability to identify what’s hot just as the trends are gaining momentum.”
To determine the winners of the SEMA Award, Show organizers will survey every booth vehicle at the SEMA Show taking place in Las Vegas Tuesday–Friday, November 2–5, 2010. The most prominent vehicles in three categories—car, truck and 4x4-SUV—will be named winners of the award.
“While the concept is new, it really is based on a phenomenon that we’ve experienced many times before,” said Kersting. “There seemed to be a handful of vehicle models each year that set the tone for the Show—vehicles that were so popular, it seemed they were dominating at the event.”
With more than 1,500 exhibiting companies each year, the SEMA Show typically includes more than 700 qualified booth vehicles.
Modifications range from products that improve performance, safety and convenience to those that enhance appearance and comfort.
A panel of industry experts has identified the vehicles that are most likely to be in the running to win the SEMA Award in each category.
Several indicators were used to select the contenders, including pre-registrations of feature vehicles, involvement in one or more SEMA/OEM collaboration programs and coverage in enthusiast publications.
“The contenders have proven themselves to be significant in the industry,” said Kersting. “Each contender is noteworthy, whether because of its sales record, previous interest from the industry or from exhibitors, existing accolades or simply the buzz that has surrounded the vehicle.”
While each contender comes with its own unique list of accolades, it will ultimately be the booth vehicle that is the prevelant at the 2010 SEMA Show that receives the inaugural SEMA Award.
Winners will be announced during the 2010 SEMA Show in the South Hall, booth #30239 on Tuesday, November 2, at 12:00pm.
Cary Chouinard was named Mast Motorsport’s manufacturing manager and the new director of its cylinder head and valvetrain division. According to a company release, Chouinard played a pivotal role in the startup and success of ET Cylinder Head’s products and founded Performance Induction Specialties. He will turn over his sales responsibilities to Mast Motorsport’s dedicated sales team to focus solely on new-product development and cylinder head production. Mast Motorsports, Nacogdoches, TX; 936/560-2218.
Borla Performance Industries announced the merger of TWM Induction into the Borla Performance group of companies. According to a release, the merger enables the two companies to leverage their collective 60 years of experience to design, manufacture, market and sell induction and exhaust systems worldwide. TWM Induction, originally based in Goleta, California, has moved into the 320,000-sq.-ft. headquarters of Borla Performance, located in Johnson City, Tennessee. A joint operation named Borla Induction will soon launch, introducing a new line of late-model products. Borla, Johnson City, TN;
Publishing Group of America appointed John Cobb III as chief executive officer. Cobb has a longstanding career leading the development of large-scale, multimedia properties for Peterson Publishing, EMAP, Primedia and Source Interlink Media, where he most recently served as senior vice president, digital, overseeing 100-plus web properties. Cobb succeeds Dick Porter, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) named Mobil 1 as the official oil of the SCCA. All SCCA members will receive a 20% discount on purchases at www.mobilracingstore.com as part of the agreement, and competitors using Mobil 1 products are eligible for a sizable contingency program at the 2010 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway at Road America. Sports Car Club of America, Topeka, KS; 785/357-7222.
CV Products hired Mike Newcomb as a technical sales representative. Based out of Thomasville, North Carolina, Newcomb will work to expand business to the short-track asphalt market by working closely with engine builders and racers in the United States. Newcomb spent the past four years with Five Star Racing Bodies. CV Products, Thomasville, NC; 336/472-2242.
Hotchkis Performance moved into a larger facility in Santa Fe Springs, California, a move that the company reports increases its production and new-product development opportunities. In addition to a large customer installation center, the move brought together several offices under one roof and provides larger work bays, engineering suites, shipping and receiving areas and warehouse space. Hotchkis Performance, Santa Fe Springs, CA; 562/907-7757.
RimTyme announced that five of its employees have passed the SEMA Z5 Custom Wheel & Tire certification exam. The credential acknowledges Elijah Dickerson, Jeremy Hankins, Robert Blake, Sean Barnes and Taylor Jones as certified installation specialists. The certification establishes benchmarks for employee knowledge and competence. RimTyme, Plano, TX; 972/403-4901.
Pirelli Tire appointed Nick Heidfeld its Formula 1 test driver to test sample versions of its P Zero Formula 1 tire. The tire, which Heidfeld put to task behind the wheel of a Toyota TF109, will be used by all Formula 1 teams beginning in 2011 under a three-year agreement with the FIA. Pirelli Tire North America, Rome, GA; 800/747-3554.
R&R Marketing Consultants Inc. added Rob Kearns to its sales team. He will cover the Southwest and mountain states, including Denver, where he resides. The company also announced that Gunnar Smith is the newest service representative in the Midwest region. Both Kearns and Smith join Josh Forster as new members of the R&R team. Forster is based in Southern California and focuses on retail sales. R&R Marketing Consultants Inc., San Francisco, CA; 650/588-3404.
For the third consecutive year, Inc. 500 has recognized Classic Instruments as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Owner John McLeod stated, “Working in an industry you love with the greatest team you could ask for and being able to work in the most beautiful place in the world (Boyne City, Michigan) is a grand slam. I am very proud to be included in such a hard-working group, and I owe it all to my family, employees and community.” Classic Instruments, Boyne City, MI; 231/582-0461
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. has signed an agreement for a portion of its brake drum and rotor business with Affinia Group. Affinia Group has served as a vendor partner with O’Reilly Automotive for more than 26 years, including the Wix brand of filtration products. O’Reilly Automotive, Springfield, MO; 417/862-2674.
Eight-time American Motorcyclist Association Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 25 during a gala black-tie ceremony at the Fillmore Detroit Theatre. McGrath is currently listed 19th in points in both the Pro4 Unlimited and Pro2 Unlimited divisions of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series—a series of 16 closed/short-course stadium-style off-road races held on specially designed and constructed tracks in the western United States.
Valspar has opened a new office for its consumer division. The new location, which includes the sales and marketing staffs for PlastiKote, is located at 8725 W. Higgins Road in Chicago, minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Advanced Clutch Technology hired Rich Barsamian as national sales manager. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives to grow the company’s product business. Barsamian served as vice president for Grant Products and worked as national sales manager for Edelbrock. He is also a member of SEMA’s Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council Select Committee and the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Committee. Advanced Clutch Technology, Lancaster, CA; 661/940-7555.
Motorz TV, produced by Duke Networks, announced that it has selected Martin & Co. Advertising as its exclusive sales partner. According to a recent press release, both companies cite their dedication to recognizing the changes and fluctuations in marketing automotive products to the aftermarket as the basis for a natural partnership. Duke Networks, San Diego, CA; 858/935-7300.
SEMA-member Inland Empire Drive Line Service Inc. was selected the manufacturer of the year by the National Street Rod Association (NSRA). Inland Empire Driveline Service began in 1981 as a conventional driveshaft repair shop serving the Ontario, California, auto repair and heavy trucking industries. The company says that the same commitment remains today as when it started: to provide top-quality products and service on a prompt and courteous basis at a competitive price. Inland Empire Drive Line Service Inc. Ontario, CA; 909/390-3030. National Street Rod Association, Memphis, TN; 901/452-4030.