SEMA Member News—November/December 2012
From Stock to Show With TORA
Thanks to our Sponsors
TORA thanks the following manufacturers for participating in the Stock Jeep to Show Jeep event:
A new element was added to this year’s Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) New Product Showcase in the form of a vehicle buildup. Dubbed “Stock Jeep to Show Jeep,” the event featured a mountain of TORA member company products being installed on a ’12 Jeep Rubicon in front of a live audience during the Carlisle Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Truck Nationals, which took place on August 3–5, is one of the largest light-truck enthusiast gatherings in the country.
TORA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive Operations pointed out that the New Product Showcase is a great benefit to TORA members, providing direct product exposure in front of thousands of the very consumers who use the products. After the event, photographs, descriptions and contact information pertaining to the products are posted on the TORA website, where they live forever.
“That’s a great deal for the price of council membership and whatever it costs to ship the product there and back,” Lathouris said, “but nothing beats seeing a product in action. Carlisle Events came up with the initial idea of a vehicle build. I presented the idea to one of our TORA member retailers in the area, Bob Smeigh of RV 4 Wheel Drive & Performance. He agreed to not only provide the staff to do the installs, but also offered up a ’12 Jeep Rubicon to serve as the project vehicle. We made a list of parts needed and started contacting manufacturers—all of whom jumped on the chance to participate.”
The event was more than just an exercise for TORA. It expanded on the idea of a product showcase by demonstrating to a large group of consumers that TORA products aren’t just cool to look at inside a tent. They can also be installed by qualified service personnel and make a vehicle look and perform cool as well.
“Bob and everyone at his shop did a fantastic job with this project,” said Lathouris. “They made sure they had all the tools and equipment necessary for the job on hand. They took the time to ‘dry fit’ some of the more complex parts ahead of time to ensure no unnecessary holdups at the event. And they presented themselves in a professional manner the whole weekend. My hat’s off to the whole crew there. We can’t thank them and all the manufacturers who donated product enough. I hope everyone realizes value out of the project in the form of sales. After all, that’s really our desire at the end of the day.”
Photos from the 2012 TORA New Product Showcase and Jeep Build can be seen at www.sema.org/TORA.
Meet RV 4 Wheel Parts & Performance
Address: 712 West Main St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Number of Years in Business: 35
Company Description and History: Business opened in August of 1977 in a small, 800-sq.-ft. space that included both a showroom and an installation garage. Company President Bob Smeigh Sr. was a one-man operation in the beginning, doing the sales and installations by himself.
The original building is still the site of RV 4 Wheel Parts & Performance Automotive, but it has expanded over the years to include a showroom, a warehouse and a state-of-the-art installation facility. The warehouse holds more than 50,000 parts in stock, including vent shades, tonneau covers, nerf bars, running boards, lift kits, lockers, brakes and more.
“If we don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, we can usually get it overnight,” said Smeigh Sr. “And most everything we sell can be installed in our shop by professional technicians.”
In 2009 the senior Smeigh’s two sons, Bob, Jr. and Shawn, joined him in running the company as a corporation.
“They are taking us into this new millenium,” Smeigh said. “But the founding principles of the company are the same today as they were when I opened the shop in 1977. Give the customer the best products at a fair price, and back it up with outstanding customer service.”