SEMA News—March 2012

By Dan Sadowski

Made in Detroit

Caucus Member Representative Gary Peters Tours Dart Machinery

  aftermarket parts regulation, aftermarket parts laws, auto legislation, federal regulation aftermarket parts, Representative Gary Peters
Taking part in the Congressional District Site Visit at Dart Machinery were (from left) Bill Wolf, SEMA senior director of OEM relations; Bob Angliss of AxleTech International; MPMC Select Committee Member Jack McInnis; Dart Machinery owner Richard Maskin; Rep. Gary Peters; Greg Banish of Calibrated Success; Curt Brainard of EcoMotors International; John Coletti of EcoMotors International; and Dan Sadowski, SEMA director of congressional affairs.
  aftermarket parts regulation, aftermarket parts laws, auto legislation, federal regulation aftermarket parts, Representative Gary Peters
Rep. Peters observes how each manufactured engine component is customized by machine during the tour.
  aftermarket parts regulation, aftermarket parts laws, auto legislation, federal regulation aftermarket parts, Representative Gary Peters
Rep. Peters (right) chats with Dart Machinery founder/owner Maskin (left) and MPMC Select Committee Member McInnis during the Congressional District Site Visit tour.
Once a year, automotive performance and restoration enthusiasts descend on the Detroit, Michigan, area to celebrate the Woodward Dream Cruise, the largest one-day collector-car event in the world. Many vehicles at the Dream Cruise are equipped with specialty equipment manufactured in the greater Detroit area. To recognize the importance of these manufacturers and SEMA members to the American economy, Congressman Gary Peters toured Dart Machinery in Troy, Michigan, only a few miles from Woodward Avenue.

Representative Peters was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2008 to represent the 9th District, which includes most of Oakland County. Prior to his election, Peters served in the Michigan State Senate from 1994–2002. In 2007, Rep. Peters became the third Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chairman in American Government faculty member at Central Michigan University. Rep. Peters has also served as a senior policy and financial analyst for the Michigan Department of Treasury. In Congress, he serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the Small Business Committee. He is the author of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2011, which is designed to create advanced manufacturing jobs and promote the use of alternative-fuel vehicles.

Dart Machinery is a leading manufacturer of custom performance cylinder heads, intake manifolds and engine blocks for racing, hot rodding and marine performance. Founded in 1981 by Richard Maskin, Dart began by building aluminum Hemi cylinder heads for racing use in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories. Dart has now expanded its product line to include aluminum and cast-iron engine blocks that are designed to meet the specialized needs of racers and performance enthusiasts. Dart’s Technology Center in Troy houses the company’s administrative offices, the research and development headquarters and the inspection, machining and
warehouse operations.

“Dart Machinery was pleased to show Rep. Peters the true meaning of ‘Made in Michigan,’” said Maskin. “Since 1981, Dart has been a leading manufacturer of engine components, and we continue to expand our locally based operations. As we explore technologies for alternative-fuel vehicles, we look forward to working with Rep. Peters and our local officials to keep Southeast Michigan as the center of specialty vehicle manufacturing.”

Rep. Peters was greeted by MPMC Select Committee member and Dart Advertising Director Jack McInnis as well as SEMA members Bob Angliss from AxleTech International; Greg Banish from Calibrated Success; John Coletti and Curt Brainard from EcoMotors International; and Bill Wolf, SEMA senior director of OEM relations.

Peters quickly learned the important role SEMA members play in the local community by driving innovation and employing skilled workers. Maskin then provided the guests with a tour of Dart’s manufacturing facility.

During the tour, Peters was shown each step of the engine, cylinder head, and intake manifold manufacturing process. Peters took time to meet with Dart employees and received a hands-on demonstration of how each manufactured product is specialized to meet an individual customer’s needs. Near the end of the tour, Peters learned more about Dart’s distribution network and was pleased to see that all outgoing packaging includes a special “Made in Detroit, Michigan, USA” label. Later, Peters held a roundtable discussion to provide an update on Washington legislative activities and to learn more about issues facing small businesses in suburban Detroit.

“When you look at the cars on Woodward this weekend, there’s a good chance you’re looking at parts made right here in Southeast Michigan,” Peters said. “My focus in Congress is creating jobs, and I want to hear directly from small manufacturers in our area about what they need to grow and succeed as our economy recovers. We’ve been working to get the auto industry back on track, and part of that effort is helping small, independent manufacturers continue to come out with innovative new products.”

Roundtable attendees had a chance to ask questions about opportunities for local companies to partner with their elected officials. Topics included access to credit for small businesses, health care reform and research/development and manufacturing tax credits. Attendees also discussed the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act. Introduced in Congress last October, the SEMA-supported bill directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish a regulatory structure for cars produced in small quantities, such as replica street rods, customs and sports cars.

As a result of the event, Rep. Peters joined the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who recognize the important economic impact of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. The caucus now has almost 100 members. The Congressional District Site Visit Program is overseen by SEMA’s Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. The program pairs SEMA member companies with their congressional member for facility tours and business roundtables in their
home district.

If you are interested in hosting an event with your federal elected officials at your facility, please contact Dan Sadowski, director of congressional affairs, at202-783-6007 x19.

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