Thu, 04/29/2021 - 13:03

By Ashley Reyes

SBNDuring the upcoming Facebook live chat hosted by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), SEMA members are invited to tap into the expertise of a professional career coach and HR expert.  

With more than 15 years of experience interviewing candidates and serving as an HR resources to employees, owner of HR Culture Geek, Elizabeth Jacobs has insider tips and advice to help with every phase of a career, from résumé writing to interview prep and career planning.   

Tune in on the SBN Facebook page, Wednesday, May 5, at 12:00 p.m. (PDT), as Jacobs shares advice on how to land a dream job and navigate the workplace landscape with ease. As a live chat, participants will be able to get their questions answered during the event.

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 12:56

By Ashley Reyes

Virtual Town Hall

SEMA Chairman of the Board Tim Martin, President and CEO Chris Kersting and other SEMA/PRI executive staff will share updates about the industry’s top initiatives during the Virtual Town Hall, Tuesday, May 4, at 11:00 a.m. (PDT).  

Recognizing the changes that have taken place in the industry during the past year, the association has many new, enhanced and modified programs focused on current needs. During the 45-minute Virtual Town Hall, members will get updates about resources for emissions compliance, programs uniting the motorsports community and reconnecting the industry at in-person trade events this year.  

SEMA/PRI staff will talk about the status of current programs and events available to members and answer questions live during the Virtual Town Hall.  

By participating in the event, members can make their voice heard and provide their feedback on how SEMA can better serve the industry and membership.   

Register here

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 12:22

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

SEMA will provide free access to a one-hour webinar, May 6, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) to review employment issues facing small businesses as they navigate a summer that will hopefully mark the final chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar will discuss COVID-19 vaccines, returning employees to the physical workspace and some lesser-known but important relief programs available to small businesses, including the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

The webinar is presented by Jessica Summers, an employment law attorney and the strategic policy director for the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC). SEMA is a member of the SBLC—a coalition of trade and professional associations that help influence legislative and Federal policy on issues of importance to the small business community.

Register for free. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 12:21

By Kyle Cheng

Market Research
According to the latest “SEMA Industry Indicators”
report, retail sales surged 9.8% in March.

The overall economic outlook is positive. Consumers are spending money now that restrictions are easing and overall confidence has jumped as consumers are optimistic about the economy.

Retail sales surged 9.8% in March. Driven by the stimulus, Q1 retail sales saw the strongest quarterly growth since the ’60s. Auto sales also spiked last month, hitting levels not seen in more than three years.

Manufacturing has been especially strong, adding 53,000 jobs. Auto manufacturing is seeing some slowing because of key component shortages. However, overall production in the auto-parts segment is still growing. While some obstacles remain, such as supply-chain constraints and short-term pricing pressure, the overall outlook remains bright.

For more information, download the new April “SEMA Industry Indicators” report today at www.sema.org/research.

Other new reports from SEMA Market Research:

  • 2021 SEMA Vehicle Landscape Report: Aftermarket products can be used on just about any vehicle. However, knowing where the greatest opportunities are can be challenging. This report looks at how the vehicle landscape is shifting, where the greatest opportunities are for our industry and what trends are on the horizon that may impact your business.
  • Classic Vehicle Report—Classic Cars, Modern Markets: In this report, SEMA Market Research explores the specialty aftermarket for classic vehicles. Inside, you will find information on how owners relate to their classic vehicle, how they go about achieving their vision and how businesses can connect with them.
Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:57
Raptor

While Ford just recently debuted the third-generation F-150 Raptor R back in February, they only provided a look at the tamer version with the 3.5L EcoBoost. The Raptor R is rumored to have a unique grille, beefier trailing arms, exclusive rims and, as everyone knows by now, the heart and soul of the GT500—the Predator 5.2L supercharged V8.

According to sources, the R will pump out around 725 hp to 750 hp, leaning more toward 750 hp, especially since the GT500 puts out 760 hp. One source said “Honestly, we had to counter RAM once we knew they installed the HellCat in the TRX.” The team is allegedly looking to beat the RAM TRX in every facet of the Raptor R.

The ’21 F-150 Raptor will be assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and will be available at dealers this summer. The Raptor R is expected to debut later this year with an on-sale date in 2022.

Raptor

Photo credit: Brian Williams, SpiedBilde

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:57
Raptor

While Ford just recently debuted the third-generation F-150 Raptor R back in February, they only provided a look at the tamer version with the 3.5L EcoBoost. The Raptor R is rumored to have a unique grille, beefier trailing arms, exclusive rims and, as everyone knows by now, the heart and soul of the GT500—the Predator 5.2L supercharged V8.

According to sources, the R will pump out around 725 hp to 750 hp, leaning more toward 750 hp, especially since the GT500 puts out 760 hp. One source said “Honestly, we had to counter RAM once we knew they installed the HellCat in the TRX.” The team is allegedly looking to beat the RAM TRX in every facet of the Raptor R.

The ’21 F-150 Raptor will be assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and will be available at dealers this summer. The Raptor R is expected to debut later this year with an on-sale date in 2022.

Raptor

Photo credit: Brian Williams, SpiedBilde

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:24

Compiled by SEMA Editors

John Thomas
John Thomas

John Thomas Named President and CEO of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has announced that John Thomas has been selected as its next president and CEO. He brings more than 30 years of automotive experience to the role, including extensive knowledge of the North American OEM and aftermarket landscape. In his most recent role, Thomas served as president and CEO of Webasto Charging Systems Inc. based in Monrovia, California. Thomas will report to Tatsuo Mitsuhata, chairman of the board of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. All departments at Toyo Tires, including sales, finance, pricing and planning, marketing, and product planning and technical services will report directly to Thomas. He succeeds Roy Bromfield, who will retire in July after nearly nine years with Toyo Tires and 37 years in the tire industry. Bromfield will serve as an advisor to Toyo Tires at least through the end of 2021.

RANDYS Worldwide Promotes Neal Hollingsworth to Vice President of Marketing

Neal Hollingsworth
Neal Hollingsworth

RANDYS Worldwide has announced the promotion of Neal Hollingsworth to vice president of marketing. As a part of the executive leadership team and reporting to the President and CEO, Hollingsworth will continue to be responsible for activities related to RANDYS Worldwide and the network of brands across all sales and marketing channels. His marketing group leads RANDYS’ companies in web, analytics, digital, event and brand management, graphic design, motion graphics, sales channel support and development, customer marketing support and more. In addition to RANDYS internal work, Hollingsworth’s group functions as a marketing agency to customers, building brand and sales support programs within their market area. He began with RANDYS in September of 2010 and continues to place emphasis on brand development along all channels of the business.

Pep Boys to Award $100,000 in Scholarships to Aspiring Automotive Technicians

Pep Boys invites those studying to become technicians to apply for one of the 15 scholarships available in the annual Find Your Drive scholarship program. Scholarships awarded through the program this year will total $100,000 to celebrate the company’s centennial and continue the “Race to 2026” initiative, designed to recruit talented technicians in the automotive industry and close America’s skills gap.  

This year’s program will include five $10,000 scholarships to be awarded to qualified students studying to become professional automotive technicians in major metro areas: Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Puerto Rico. An additional 10 $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to qualified students studying to become professional automotive technicians in other areas in the U.S.

To be eligible for consideration for a scholarship, students must be pursuing an automotive technician degree or certification through a full- or part-time college or trade school program and meet certain academic requirements, provide a written or video essay and submit two letters of recommendation. The application window will remain open until Friday, May 21, at 12:00 a.m. (EDT), and winners will be notified by Tuesday, June 1. Students can begin the application process and find additional details and eligibility requirements at www.pepboys.com/findyourdrive.

Retrac
Dan Walmsley

Retrac Group Announces New CEO, Company Structure

Retrac Group has announced a structural change designed to increase growth and enhance the security and prospects of its employees. The company’s ownership has been transferred from the Carter family to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) structure, making the 115-strong workforce the company’s beneficiaries. Experienced automotive and motorsports executive Dan Walmsley has been appointed as CEO. He will lead the group’s two divisions—Retrac Productions Ltd. and Retrac Composites Ltd. Long-standing co-owner and Retrac Productions Managing Director Andy Carter has been appointed as chairman of Retrac Group. Walmsley arrives at the company from VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium. Prior, he was the motorsports director at McLaren Automotive from 2016-20, having been team principal at FIA World Sportscar Championship entrant Strakka Racing.

Have some company news you would like to share? Let us know and the news may appear in an upcoming issue of SEMA eNews. Send your items for consideration to editors@sema.org.

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:21

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Indy 500 Scores Victory for Racing Industry

The motorsports industry scored a major victory on April 21 with the announcement that Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) will host up to 135,000 fans during this year’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The 105th running of the iconic event will take place May 30, and comes on the heels of the city of Indianapolis successfully hosting the NCAA Tournament, March 18–April 5. Indianapolis will also welcome the world’s premier event for motorsports professionals—the PRI Trade Show—on December 9–11 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

NMRA
The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals has announced an All-Female
True Street category will compete at its upcoming Ohio event.

NMRA Announces All-Female True Street Set for Ohio

The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals has announced an All-Female True Street category will compete at its upcoming Ohio event. Presented by Baer Brake Systems, All-Female True Street will take place during the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, June 10-13. The new class will follow the same format as the QA1 True Street category with its 30-mile drive and three consecutive runs down the quarter-mile. NMRA officials will rank competitors based on ET, rewarding the overall winner, overall runner-up, and the quickest average times in the nine-second, 10-second, 11-second, 12-second, 13-second, 14-second and 15-second zones. The All-Female True Street category is open to any Mustang or Ford, car or truck, whether the competitor owns it or not. All True Street rules require DOT tires, and all vehicles must be registered and insured.

Formula DRIFT Partners to Help at-Risk Youth

Formula DRIFT has announced a partnership with Acceler8—a California-based automotive education and workforce development program—as part of ongoing community outreach. The Acceler8 program pairs volunteer automotive professionals and law-enforcement officers with eligible youth to help provide support and stable adult role models. The program aims to help youth complete school, acquire skills and prepare them for jobs in the wide automotive sector. As part of the new partnership, Formula DRIFT will help Acceler8 reach more communities around the nation, thanks in part to the popularity of the drifting series with a younger automotive enthusiast audience. As the education partner for Formula DRIFT, Acceler8 will invite youth from local communities throughout the 2021 national tour. The students will receive an up-close look at professional drift teams and the automotive industry while speaking to crews, drivers and FD personnel. They will also have the opportunity to watch their favorite drivers perform during the FD weekend. Acceler8 will also be on-hand at events to demonstrate its automotive educational programs to all attendees, along with highlighting the importance of high-school auto-shop classes. The 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship kicks off on May 7–8, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:13

By SEMA Editors

SEMA News 35 Under 35 2020The September 2021 issue of SEMA News will highlight rising stars in the automotive aftermarket industry who are age 35 and younger. If you know a leader in that age range as of September 1, 2021—whether they are in manufacturing and design, marketing, retail, events and media, or distribution—we would like to hear from you.

Many SEMA members are currently working with creative young professionals who are already industry trailblazers. They may have played key roles in leveraging new and emerging technologies with a traditional automotive aftermarket business to expand company reach, improve product development, energize marketing efforts or upgrade customer interaction.

They could be budding talents at an established company, entrepreneurs building their own brands or innovators who have launched companies that might become big names in the future. What they all will have in common are fresh ideas, enthusiasm, charisma and the drive to succeed.

SEMA News looks for candidates drawn from diverse industry segments who are already making a significant impact through their leadership within their organizations or businesses. Entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the marketplace weigh heavily in the decision-making process. We’ll honor the winners in the September issue of SEMA News and on www.sema.org.

Nominate a candidate now for the 2021 SEMA News 35 Under 35. Nominations are due May 31.

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:05

By SEMA Editors

SEMA eNews highlights SEMA-member companies’ websites weekly through the Hot Links to Cool Sites section. SEMA members: To be included in Hot Links to Cool Sites, email your company name and website to enews@sema.org. Note: Make sure to include “Hot Links” in the subject line of the email.