SEMA Member News—September/October 2013
ARMO Select Committee Welcomes Two
The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) welcomes two new volunteers to the Select Committee as a result of this year’s election cycle. Ben Tucker is vice president of Camaro Central and Muscle Car Industries, two companies that specialize in Camaro and Firebird restoration parts. Mark Cotter is in charge of sales and new-product development at Repops, a manufacturer of reproduction parts for classic musclecars. SEMA Member News recently asked both of them what they are looking forward to in their “freshman” terms on the Select Committee. Cotter was literally on the run and had to be brief with his responses. Nonetheless, he assured us that he is anxious to see how to best serve the restoration market through the ARMO council.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in ARMO?
Ben Tucker: I have been involved in the classic car parts industry for more than 13 years. Our companies, Camaro Central and Muscle Car Industries, have been part of ARMO for more than a decade. We have always tried to participate in open meetings for ARMO at the SEMA Show and display our new products in the ARMO showcases.
Mark Cotter: I have 22 years in the manufacturing and sales of soft goods for classic cars and musclecars.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the ARMO Select Committee?
BT: The restoration community affords me the opportunity to make parts that keep our automotive history alive, and it allows me to make a living doing it. It sounds cliché, but I want to volunteer a little time to give back. Many folks have done the same thing while I was growing up in the industry; it’s my turn now to do the same. Specifically, I would like to help the Take a Kid to a Car Show program grow and strengthen. Getting our youth interested in classic cars and helping to preserve our industry will always be important.
MC: I would like to bring fresh ideas to the committee.
SMN: How do you plan to contribute?
BT: I would like to help get some of the entry-level restoration vehicles more visible, like the ’82–’92 Camaro/Firebird. Building some hype around these and other entry-level cars can help get younger folks involved and help the industry. We need to show younger and first-time restoration folks that driving a classic doesn’t always mean a six-figure restoration.
SMN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
BT: I would like to have a level playing field for brick-and-mortar companies to compete with guys selling the same product at a much lower cost due to their lack of overhead. I’m not sure how or if ARMO can assist in that area, but we’ll see what we can do.
ARMO Small-Business Bootcamp
For several years, ARMO has produced a series of business seminars in conjunction with the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Education Day product seminars. Recently, HRIA announced that Education Day is moving to the Detroit Autorama car show in Detroit for 2014. As of press time, ARMO had not finalized a plan to include its Small-Business Bootcamp seminars at Autorama.
“These seminars have provided a nice bookend to HRIA Education Day for several years,” said ARMO Chair-Elect Dennis Roberts. “They got product training at the beginning of the [Hotrod & Restoration] trade show and business training on the last day. We have every intention of continuing this series, but we just learned about HRIA’s decision to relocate Education Day, so we’ll talk with its leadership and the Championship Auto Shows folks to see if there’s a fit for our seminars as well. By the time you read this, the decision may have been made.”
ARMO Chairman Alex Tainsh said that the group got especially good response from shop owners regarding the ARMO seminars last year. “Select Committee member Sal Perez was on two of our panels and had the shop owners engaged even well after the seminars ended,” Tainsh said. “We are looking forward to continuing the series; we just have to finalize a location.”