SEMA Member News—July/August 2015

Wheel & Tire Council Welcomes New Leadership

 Joe Findeis
Joe Findeis of Wheel Consultants Inc. is the new WTC chair.
  

On July 1, Joe Schaefer’s two-year term as chair of the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) came to an end and Joe Findeis was initiated into the position. As the founder and president of Wheel Consultants Inc., Findeis handles operations in addition to developing tire and wheel fitment data for the company’s online programs and publication. He is also the creator of “The Ultimate Wheel and Tire Plus Sizing Guide,” the tire and wheel fitment guide known as “The Red Book.”

Findeis found his start in the automotive industry 38 years ago, when he took a job as a truck driver for the Parnelli Jones wholesale division. He served several terms on the WTC select committee prior to being named chair-elect in 2013. He recently spoke with SEMA Member News about his perspective on council membership and his plans for the next
two years.

SEMA Member News: Why are you involved in the council?

Joe Findeis: Simply put, to contribute to the industry that has provided for me and my family.

SMN: What have you gained or learned from your council involvement?

JF: There are many others who have the same passion for our industry and aftermarket as I do.

SMN: What value do you find in council membership?

JF: Keeping informed about our industry and creating relationships with other like-minded people in the aftermarket industry.

SMN: What do you hope to accomplish during your term?

JF: Continue advancing council projects that have real, tangible benefits for our members and the industry as a whole, such as the WTC “Ride Guide.” Because of our collaboration with Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, we’re able to provide our members with solid testing results of the actual effects of “plus-sizing” tire and wheel fitments on vehicle driving dynamics. These results are in an easy-to-understand printed format.

Also, the WTC Wheel Measurement Database for members who may be unable to travel to the SEMA Garage for measuring sessions. We make free wheel-measurement data about new vehicles accessible through SEMA Garage measuring sessions.

The goal is to get this valuable information into the hands of manufacturers, distributors and shops, where we expect it will have a solid impact on our industry. I also hope to do further testing to see what effects “plus-sizing” may or may not have on current and future vehicle technology.

SMN: Why should companies join WTC?

JF: The fact that the WTC provides benefits that have positive results on their businesses is reason enough. But I also believe that if you have a passion for and make your living with wheels and/or tires, you should join with us by donating your time and talents to the industry. We welcome new members to the WTC and value their input.

Introducing Chair-Elect Wayne Williams

 Wayne Williams
Wayne Williams of Exsell Marketing and Design became the WTC chair-elect on July 1.
  

Wayne Williams became the WTC chair-elect on July 1 as Findeis stepped into the chair role. Williams is the founder and president of Exsell Marketing and Design in La Habra, California. It is a consulting firm specializing in brand and product development and digital marketing. He is also the “Counter Intelligence” columnist for Modern Tire Dealer.

With more than 35 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, Williams has established himself as a wheel and tire specialist. In the past, he served in wholesale and retail sales roles before working his way up to regional sales manager and vice president of sales and marketing for companies such as Parnelli Jones, Discount Tire Centers and Winston Tire. Williams has served on the WTC select committee for several years and is often a guest speaker at council meetings. He is currently assisting the “Ride Guide” task force with its marketing efforts.

WTC “Ride Guide” for the Mazda3

A new sales tool for wheel and tire retailers, WTC has released a new “Ride Guide” for the ’14–’15 Mazda 3. Inside the report, users will find graphical representation of test data about the effects of differing wheel and tire sizes, compiled by the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The vehicle performance data includes comparisons on ride comfort, road grip, steering firmness response, directional response and steering speed response. Guided by this information, sales professionals can help consumers narrow their style and design options based on the desired performance characteristics.

For sales staff, the “Ride Guide” is a sales tool to immediately strengthen relationships with buyers by confirming with hard data what has previously only be known by seasoned professionals from practical experience. After seeing the research, consumers can feel confident and satisfied in their decisions. The report can also be useful as a training tool for new sales staff, or for enthusiasts who want to research wheel and tire packages on their own.

Download the “Ride Guide” now at www.sema.org/wtc. For more information about the report or the council, contact Senior Manager of Councils Clayton Drescher at claytond@sema.org.

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