SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 33, August 19, 2010

What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

  •   exhibitor invites
      Exhibitor Invites offer 2010 SEMA Show exhibitors another way to reach buyers with discounts, incentives and company news.

    Looking for another way to connect with buyers? A free, new tool called Exhibitor Invites enables 2010 SEMA Show exhibitors to create their own customized e-mail campaigns, allowing them to send up to three e-mails to an unlimited number of buyers and prospects. Program features include:

    • Discounts, incentives, company information and new-product announcements.

    • Upload buyer and prospect files to Exhibitor Invites' bonded and licensed third-party e-mail service, Global IntelliSystems. Each list is 100% secure and will not be shared with anyone (not even SEMA).

    • Company name, logo, booth number and customized message is included as part of the three separate HTML e-mails. Exhibitors approve the message and the schedule while SEMA pays for the whole thing.

    • Boost awareness about each exhibitor’s company and help ensure that all key customers and prospects attend the 2010 SEMA Show and stop by the exhibitor’s booth.

    The exhibitor who generates the most qualified buyers by October 1, 2010, receives $25,000 worth of on-site signage for the Show. SEMA will host a webinar on Thursday, September 2, 2010, to bring exhibitors up to speed on the Exhibitor Invites system (look for a webinar registration e-mail shortly). To get started, click here. Your username is your e-mail address and your password is sema2010.

    Contact Shelly Purcell at 319/521-3340 with any questions about using the Exhibitor Invites program. If you have any problems using the system, send an e-mail to services@exhibitorinvites.com.

Breaking News

  • tia tia2  
    Gary Nash Nick Hodel  

    Inductees for the Tire Industry Association's (TIA) 2010 Tire Industry Hall of Fame include Gus Hawkinson, owner of Hawkinson Tire Consulting; Nick Hodel, former CEO of Portland Tire Factory; retired industry veteran Russell MacCleery; Gary Nash, Yokohama Tire's director of OTR sales; Jerry White, chairman of White Tire Supply; and Don Blythe, former executive director of the Western Canada Tire Dealers Association.

    TIA will recognize its latest class of inductees during the Tire Industry Honors event, scheduled Monday, November 1, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

    Prior to establishing his consultancy in Las Vegas, Hawkinson was the third-generation owner of Paul E. Hawkinson Co. He is credited with many developments in the retread industry, including primary responsibility for developing the industry-standard non-directional tire (NDT) beginning in 1980, with the initial patent issued in 1981.

    With 45 years of experience in the retail tire sector, Nick Hodel co-founded Northwest Tire Factory and also served as CEO of Portland Tire Factory. He is also a past board member of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association and past president of the Tire Association of North America (TANA), a predecessor organization of TIA.

    MacCleery has years of experience working for various trade associations and created the government affairs program for the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA), a predecessor organization of TIA.

    Nash's 45 years of experience in the tire industry include 35 years spent in the Off-the-Road (OTR) tire sector. Currently the director of OTR sales for Yokohama Tire Corp., he has also worked for Goodyear, Purcell Tire and Bridgestone.

    White has more than 60 years of experience in the tire industry and is currently the chairman of White Tire Supply. He has served on several boards, including the NTDRA, and was a founding board member of the Texas Tire Dealers Association.

    Blythe is the former executive director of the Western Canada Tire Dealers Association (WCTDA), where he helped guide WCTDA to become one of the most successful tire organizations in the country.

  •   Local Motors' Rogers
      The 2010 SEMA Show New Products Awards Breakfast will feature Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers.

    John B. Rogers Jr., CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, will discuss how open sourcing will change automobile production during his 2010 SEMA Show New Products Awards Breakfast keynote, “Open Innovation, a 21st Century Advantage," on Tuesday, November 2.

    Rogers launched Local Motors three years ago based on the concept of open-source co-creation and local manufacturing, a business practice and philosophy highlighted in the August issue of SEMA News. Attendees at the annual awards breakfast will not only learn how this company is changing the way vehicles are being built but will also be among the first to see which products the industry has deemed most innovative.

    All exhibitors are invited to enter the awards competition and are entitled to one free entry (additional entries cost $75 if received before October 8, $150 after). Use the form located here to get started.

    Tickets to the New Products Awards Breakfast are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't wait—reserve your tickets now!

    Click here to save your seat.

  •   Manadarin Oriental Las Vegas
      The new Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is offering SEMA Show attendees room rates for $199 a night.

    Opened in Las Vegas earlier this year, the Mandarin Oriental recently joined the 2010 SEMA Show partner hotel program and is offering rooms for $199/night for reservations made by August 31 (after which rates increase to $220/night). Located within the City Center complex, the 47-story Mandarin Oriental offers guests a relaxing atmosphere free of casino and gaming but is also just a short walk to the ARIA Resort & Casino.

    The Mandarin Oriental is the latest hotel to sign on as a SEMA Show partner hotel, joining Mandalay Bay, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara, and returning partners SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Renaissance Hotel, Marriott Suites, Bluegreen Club 36 and Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino.

    SEMA will keep Show attendees apprised of changes to hotel rates in the SEMA Housing Block. Any reductions made to rates are retroactive to anyone already booked in that hotel. Take advantage of these early-bird rates now! If you have questions about booking hotel rooms for the SEMA Show, please contact the 2010 SEMA Show Official Housing Bureau at 800/967-8852 or aapexsema@experient-inc.com.

Business Tools

  •   Gart Sutton of GSA
     

    Gart Sutton will moderate a free webinar previewing his consultancy group's Powersports Dealer Update Workshops at the 2010 SEMA Show.

    Powersports dealers, don't miss the chance to preview unique, high-level training from the industry experts at Gart Sutton and Associates (GSA) (including renowned powersports educator, author and president of GSA, Gart Sutton). GSA will present eight workshops dedicated to powersports dealers at the 2010 SEMA Show, November 1–2, at the Renaissance Hotel, covering topics such as parts and accessories, finance and insurance, sales, service and dealership management.

    These same experts will preview their SEMA Show sessions during an exclusive free webinar next Thursday, August 26, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT). The “Powersports Dealer Update Preview” will feature workshop speakers, including Steve Jones, a 30-year industry veteran who develops training programs for several major OEMs and conducts in-dealership consulting and training; Mike Brunken, a 20-group moderator, trainer and a lead instructor of the Service Management Development Program; Tony Gonzalez, management development teacher and moderator of the lion's share of 20 Clubs for GSA; and GSA trainer and on-site consultant Steve Dodds, who spent nearly 10 years working in finance and insurance and has helped numerous multi-line and single-line dealers meet and exceed their goals.

    Sutton will moderate this FREE webinar.

    Powersports Dealer Update Workshops are open to all powersports dealers, include two industry keynote speaker lunches and an additional state-of-the-industry powersports panel discussion that dealers can’t afford to miss.

    Click here to register for this exclusive preview of these valuable SEMA Show sessions. Unable to tune in at the scheduled time? No problem. Visit www.SEMA.org/events/webinars after the event to download and review the webinar at your convenience.

    For more information on the SEMA Webinar Program and to view a list of all upcoming SEMA webinars, go to www.SEMA.org/webinars.

  • While hackers once delighted in bringing down gargantuan computer networks like those of the Pentagon or multinational corporations, the latest breed is more apt to harass and bully much smaller businesses—including those in the automotive specialty-equipment market. Scott Brickey, a data systems analyst for Advanced Clutch Technology, learned this cruel fact the hard way when ACT's website was maliciously attacked for no discernible reason and immediately rendered inoperable.

    Read on for the seven tips to strengthen your site's defenses against today's hackers.

  •   Online Marketing Conference
      The SEMA Online Marketing Conference will offer tips and tools for both marketing experts and novices.

    Marketing online is essential to a company’s growth and future success, and with technology and tactics changing by the minute, a strategy that worked yesterday may not be the best way to do things today. The SEMA Online Marketing Conference at the 2010 SEMA Show will help novices and veterans alike to navigate the dynamics of this shifting landscape.

    Experts will present on a number of subjects, including the essentials of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), landing page optimization, local search, pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing, website analytics, forums and blogs, video and more.

    This year, the conference will offer two tracks; a fundamentals track for businesses and marketers just getting started and an intermediate/advanced track for those more experienced. The 2010 Online Marketing Conference has been custom-built to meet the needs of the specialty-equipment market, giving participants practical tips and tools that will immediately impact their businesses.

    "We've gathered some of the top Internet marketing experts in their respective fields for this unprecedented conference,” says Tom Myroniak, SEMA vice president of marketing and member services. “Not only are they amazing presenters, but they are also top-rated educators with proven strategies and hidden secrets for online marketing success.”

    Last year’s conference was a huge success and the limited seating sold fast. Don’t miss the 2010 SEMA Online Marketing Conference–REGISTER NOW and save $100!

    SEMA Online Marketing Conference
    Monday, November 1, 2010, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
    Las Vegas Convention Center,

    Pre-Registration* (by October 17, 2010)

    • SEMA Member: $99
    • Non-Member: $199

    On-site Registration* (after October 17, 2010)

    • SEMA Member: $149
    • Non-Member: $249

    *includes lunch. Does NOT include required SEMA Show registration of $25 by October 17, 2010 or $75 after October 17, 2010. For more information, visit www.SEMAomc.com.

  • Looking for a new gig? The “Positions Available” section in the SEMA Member Classifieds lists 141 job openings around the country.

    Adept at the whole FaceTwitVirtualFriend thing, have some IT skills and like motorsports? Publishing and events company ProMedia Publications is looking for someone to wear a few different hats, including that of webmaster, IT troubleshooter and social media Jedi. They’re located in Southern California and will need you to travel to some of their events.

    Westin Automotive in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley is seeking a Regional Sales Manager to handle the Southeastern United States. Candidates will need a minimum five years automotive aftermarket sales/sales management experience, specifically including automotive parts sales to large automotive retailers, experience managing automotive manufacturer’s representatives, and excellent negotiating and closing skills.

    If you know transmissions inside and out, Superflow in Des Moines, Iowa, needs a transmission specialist, someone who can design, consult and select components for transmission-specific harness/cable development, and a host of other solenoid and valve body design and assembly duties. Candidates should have five or more years' related experience, some CAD skills and the ability to read transmission control information and apply it to test hardware requirements.

    Follow this link for a full list of available positions.

New Products and Technology

  • 2012 Acura TL

    The Acura TL, controversially redesigned in 2009, appears due for a mid-cycle redesign for 2012. Brenda Priddy’s photographers caught the first sightings of a mule with its controversial “Power Plenum” grille tightly masked.

    Modest powertrain enhancements may also be in store, possibly to include Acura’s new six-speed automatic transmission to replace the aging five-speed. Another possibility is that the TL could receive one of the new family of V6s that Honda is working on.

    Sources say that production has been bumped up to September in order to have models available in showrooms by late spring/early summer 2011, which might provide a boost to a model that has seen sales dip 4.5% from last year.

     

     

     

     

     

    2012 Acura TL

    Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.

Exhibitor Update

Law & Order

  • As the political climate continues to evolve in advance of the 2010 elections, SEMA members arrived in Washington, D.C., for the biennial SEMA Washington Rally. On May 12, Rally participants met with the senators and representatives to discuss critical issues facing their businesses and the industry.

    Read more about how the SEMA Washington Rally helps members of Congress better understand the specialty-equipment industry and provides SEMA members the opportunity to provide recommendations on how to address touch issues facing businesses and employees.

  • Under a SEMA-supported “jobs bill” enacted into law last March, private employers can claim tax credits if they hire someone in 2010 who has been out of work for at least 60 days. The federal government estimates the credit already applies to 4.5 million new workers hired between last February and May.

    All businesses that hire an unemployed worker between February 5, 2010, and January 1, 2011, will be exempt from paying the 6.2% employer share of Social Security payroll taxes. The new worker must have been unemployed for at least 60 days and cannot replace another employee. If the business retains the newly hired worker for one year, the employer is then entitled to a one-time, $1,000 tax credit for each eligible worker.

    The law also extended the “Section 179” expensing provision, allowing small businesses to write-off up to $250,000 of capital expenditures made during 2010 rather than recovering the costs over time through depreciation. The law also increases the investment cap to $800,000 for 2010 rather than $500,000 indexed for inflation.

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

Global Update

  •   Luxury automotive brands in China
      Luxury auto sales are on the rise in China, up 34% in June. BMW expects its market share to grow more than 30% and Audi projects selling more than 200,000 autos this year.

    BMW expects its sales in China in 2010 to grow by 30% to 120,000 units. Mercedes-Benz aims to sell more than 100,000 passenger vehicles in China in 2010, according to the company's vice president of sales and marketing. Audi, the top-selling luxury brand in China, is on course to sell more than 200,000 units in 2010. Those aren’t pipe dreams. Luxury-vehicle sales in China rose 34% in June to 35,445 units, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

    Owners of those luxury cars are target customers for T.K. Lee, president of Rennen International, manufacturers of Donz Wheelz. Custom-forged wheels are a fast-growing business segment for Lee in the United States. He figures Chinese luxury owners will have the same desire as U.S. enthusiasts to flaunt their cars. Lee sources wheels from China, and his sourcing team is already selling a small volume of wheels domestically. He just started putting together an actual sales team and says he'd like to find a regional distributor.

    That's one of Lee’s goals when he participates in the SEMA-CIAPE China Business Development Conference in Beijing in late September. Rennen International is one of 20 SEMA-member companies taking part in the conference, where participating SEMA members will be paired with relevant Chinese buyers in up to a dozen private, pre-scheduled meetings. One-on-one meetings with potential Chinese partners at this groundbreaking event will allow SEMA members to get to know the Chinese companies and the market.

    Nitto Tires USA wants to get a feel for hot tire styles in China and meet potential partners, says Tyler Tanaka, account director at Cie Studios, the marketing and advertising firm handling Nitto’s advertising. Tanaka and Nitto marketing manager Gloria Miyamoto will be in Beijing.

    “The trip is a wonderful opportunity for us to do some market research and find out what the current climate is,” Tanaka says. “The bonus is to meet with Chinese distributors.”

    China’s economy grew by more than 11% in the first half of 2010. Sales in the luxury car segment surged by 55% to more than 205,000, according to J.D. Power and Associates. A locally produced stretch version of the Audi A6 sedan led the luxury pack in number of units sold at nearly 60,000. The imported Lexus ES series also sold well.

    Although accessories made for U.S. cars don’t fit all locally produced models, many do, especially when the locally produced models are foreign brands. All are target customers for SEMA members. In Nitto’s case, its team of engineers and designers can produce model-specific and even one-off wheels, says Tanaka.

    SEMA members in Beijing can ask potential Chinese partners about their product’s suitability for locally produced foreign models and even local models. The members signed up to attend the conference, scheduled September 23–26 in Beijing, include:

    • AEM Performance Electronics
    • American Eagle Wheel Corp.
    • AMSOIL
    • BDS Suspension
    • Bushwacker
    • COMP Performance Group
    • DELTA TECH Industries
    • eBay Motors
    • Eibach Springs Inc.
    • Holley Performance Products
    • Injen Technology
    • K&N Engineering
    • Mr. Gasket/Prestolite Performance
    • NITTO Tires
    • Performance Motorsports
    • Rennen International
    • SCT Performance
    • Sheen Coatings
    • ThyssenKrupp Bilstein
    • Wheel Pros

    Don’t get left behind. Register for the SEMA-CIAPE China Business Development Conference by contacting Linda Spencer at lindas@sema.org or online at www.SEMA.org/china.

People, Places, & Racing News

  •   motorhead
      Sam Memmolo (left) and Dave Bowman began hosting their new television series “Motorhead Garage” July 25, 2010.

    Masters Entertainment Group has announced its newest television series, "Motorhead Garage," featuring Sam Memmolo and Dave Bowman, formerly of “Shadetree Mechanic” and “Two Guys Garage.”

    The series debuted on Fox Sports Network (FSN) Sunday, July 25, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. nationwide and repeated on Monday, July 26, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. It will run for 12 consecutive weeks in these time slots for the third quarter of 2010. The series will then return to FSN in January 2011 for an additional 13 weeks.

    “We are extremely pleased to reunite this dynamic duo,” said Butch McCall, executive vice president of Masters. “Sam and Dave were the pioneers and originators of the automotive how-to programs. They developed the concept of step-by-step product installation designed to help automotive enthusiasts utilize the latest in aftermarket products.”

    The series will be archived on Masters Entertainment Group’s Internet television network at motorheadgaragetv.com, where viewers can watch episodes they might have missed on TV.

    “I’m excited about getting back to work with my long-time friend and co-host Dave Bowman and bringing back some 'honest how-to’ for all our friends in the car hobby,” said Memmolo. Bowman added: “I am really looking forward to once again sharing the garage and toolbox with my pal Sam and to bring to our audience the latest in technical information, products and procedures from all the manufacturers.”

    Those interested in having products featured by Memmolo and Bowman on “Motorhead Garage,” can contact Masters Entertainment Group at 423/968-7736 or e-mail Butch McCall.

  • YEN Logo  
    Visit YEN's website.  

    “Networking: Making Personal Contact” – Part 2 of 5

    In part one, we kicked things off with “A Strategy for Every Stage of Career Development” and a focus on the different types of networking. Now, let’s get started with “Making Personal Contact.”

    Before you actually begin making personal contacts, do some homework. Begin with yourself. What is your purpose? Do you have a career or industry focus, or are you seeking contacts who might serve as resources to help you discover your interests and desires?

    Follow your hunches about the industries and work functions that you think would most interest you and do some background research that might enrich any conversation or exchange you will have with the people who are actually in that line of work. Continue your homework after defining your purpose and researching industries or work functions by beginning to build your network of contacts, which includes learning as much as you can about the people you will be contacting.

    Start to build your network by listing your natural acquaintances and contacts. Ask yourself, “Who do I know?,” and add anyone who comes to mind to your list. Your goal at this stage is to connect with your natural network to discover not only if they have direct advice, but also if they know of others more closely affiliated with your interests. Those individuals might be found through:

    • The SEMA Young Executives Network
    • Other industry professionals
    • Family and their friends
    • Friends and their families
    • Professors, advisers, coaches
    • Former or present work colleagues

    Before your list is complete, have you consulted your social networks? That’s right, have you looked at those connected to you through LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, MySpace and MySEMA? Have you used these tools to seek out individuals from your past? Your high school? College? Former places of employment? You’ll find a wealth of knowledge using these online resources.

    Reach out to those contacts. Let them know your interests and aspirations. The more people who know of your interests, the greater the chance those doors will open for you. Your chances of being in the right place at the right time are increased when you are attentive to this fact. It’s sometimes called “managing your luck.”

    Before you make contact (with either your natural network or new people discovered through them), prepare your introduction or “elevator speech.” Your elevator speech is that 30-second introduction that provides others with just the essentials they’ll need to know about you and your interests. This step will also be useful for those unpredictable moments when you are presented the opportunity to connect with someone new (e.g., on the flight home or at a social function).

    Your elevator speech should include such essentials as:

    • Your name
    • Why you are in contact
    • What you are seeking

    So, what’s your elevator speech and how will you use at your next event? Next week, we’ll focus on part three – “Expanding Your Network.”

    Join YEN

    Did
    you know that the SEMA Young Executives Network has more than 500
    members networking in the industry and is the largest SEMA committee?
    If you are employed by a SEMA-member company and are under the age of
    39, then you can join the SEMA Young Executives Network for FREE. If
    you are interested in becoming part of the team, please visit our
    website at www.sema.org/yen.

    YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

    Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA
    website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections
    or to make a nomination, visit www.sema.org/yen.


    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? YEN is!

    Be sure to follow YEN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/yen and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    YEN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read YEN's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Angela Lee.


    ARMO Logo  
    Visit ARMO's website.  

    ARMO Welcomes New Select Committee Members

    As a result of the recent elections, ARMO has four new members on the Select Committee. Todd Bidwell of Parts Unlimited and Camee Edelbrock of Schiefer Media each began their first term as a Select Committee member last Thursday, July 1. Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products, while “new” for this year, is actually beginning his second round on the Select Committee. Agosta is a former ARMO chair, and former SEMA Board of Directors member.

    The complete ARMO Select Committee roster for 2010–2011 may be found on the ARMO website at www.sema.org/armo.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? ARMO Is!

    Be sure to follow ARMO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/armo and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read ARMO's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.


    HRIA Logo  
    Visit HRIA's website.  

    HRIA Builds Custom Pinewood Racers for Auction

    The
    first annual HRIA Builders Pinewood Race was held in Pasadena,
    California, as part of the SEMA Show 'N Shine car show and Pinewood Drag
    Races. This new event featured some of the nation’s top hot-rod and
    custom car builders bending the rules of pinewood car racing to create
    one-of-a-kind creations for the track. Aside from required dimensions
    and weights, the only rule for the builders was to use at least one
    piece of the wood block provided.

    All of the participating
    builders far exceeded the expectations for the race, creating
    masterpieces that will eventually be auctioned for Childhelp and
    Victory Junction Gang Camp.

    Alan Johnson's Hot Rods and Pinkee’s Rod
    Shop chose to create their hot rods from billet aluminum, while Rich
    Evans Designs and Street Vizions went with a more traditional approach
    of forming their cars from wood. Other builders looked for loopholes
    in the rules, as Rob Ida Concepts and Cotati Speed Shop entered hot
    rods with only three wheels.

    The cars built by Clay Smith Cams
    and Carl’s Custom Cars embodied the spirit of traditional hot rods,
    while Boerne Stage Kustoms paid tribute to the land speed bullets of
    the past. The paint skills of these builders was on display with great
    entries from Hot Rods & Custom Stuff and Fesler Built.

    Finally,
    Art Morrison engineered the most unique and advanced pinewood car in
    the race, fabricating an actual chassis and suspension, along with ball-bearing wheels.

    Although some of the cars look much better than they raced, all of
    these pinewood cars are unique works of art. Derrick White with Street
    Vizions captured the HRIA Cup by leaving all the other entrants in the
    dust with his traditional hot-rod pinewood car. But, the true winners of
    this event will be the kids of Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

    All of these cars will be on display at the SEMA Show in November, and
    available for bidding on eBay beginning November 1. HRIA congratulates
    Street Vizions and thanks all of these builders for their time and
    dedication to this special event. Get ready for next year, as we are
    sure the cars will be even more unique and wild as we add more great
    builders to the race. Click here to see photos of the event.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? HRIA is!

     

    Be sure to follow HRIA on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/hria and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read HRIA's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about HRIA and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.


    LTAA Logo  
    Visit LTAA's website.  

    LTAA Welcomes New Select Committee Members

     

    As a result of recent elections, LTAA welcomes two brand-new Select Committee members. David Crocket of Rolling Big Power and Isaac Ronquillo of Big Country/Go Rhino Products began their first terms as select committee members last Thursday, July 1. The election results also included returning incumbents Tom Brooks of Truckin’ Thunder, Bill Cole of Yankee Customs Inc., Fred Snow of Hella Lighting and Melanie White of Hellwig Products.

    The complete 2010–2011 LTAA Select Committee may be found on the LTAA homepage at www.sema.org/ltaa.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? LTAA Is!

    Be sure to follow LTAA on all of your favorite social networking sites.

    To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/ltaa and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read LTAA's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.


    MPMC Logo  
    Visit MPMC's website.  

    Media Trade Conference Exhibitor Registration Now Open

    MPMC-member companies may now register for one of the 100 available
    exhibitor suites at the 2011 MPMC Media Trade Conference. Exhibitor
    registrations must be submitted using the online registration form [here].

    The 14th annual MPMC Media Trade Conference takes place on January
    25–27, 2011, at the Embassy Suites LAX South in El Segundo, California. A
    maximum of 100 MPMC manufacturers are assigned a suite in the hotel and
    host as many as 42 one-on-one, 30-minute meetings with editorial staff
    from national and international automotive media.

    Exhibitor registration is open until August 20, 2010. If more than 100
    registrations are received by the deadline, then the 100 available
    suites will be assigned via lottery. See event Rules and Regulations or via the online registration form.

    MPMC Welcomes New Select Committee Members

     

    MPMC welcomes six brand new members to the Select Committee as a result of recent elections. They are:

    • William Baty, Centerforce Clutches
    • Todd Gartshore, Baer Inc.
    • Scott Hall, Moroso Performance Products
    • John Sonnefeldt, Holley Performance
    • Steve Williams, K&N Engineering
    • Gary Wright, Painless Performance Products.

    “This year saw quite a turnover in the Select Committee,” said newly
    installed Chairman Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing. “We have an interesting
    mix of returning incumbents and fresh faces which should make for a
    dynamic group. Vic Wood (newly installed chair-elect) and I are looking
    forward to working with everyone.”

    The MPMC Select Committee, with member profiles, can be seen on the MPMC homepage at www.sema.org/mpmc.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MPMC Is!

    Be sure to follow MPMC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mpmc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    Take a Friend to a Race Fan Page

    The MPMC Motorsports Awareness campaign, highlighted by the Take a Friend to a Race program, now has its very own Fanpage on Facebook. If you’re not a fan yet, you should be!



    MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MPMC's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.



    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.


    MRC Logo  
    Visit MRC's website.  

    MRC Long-Range Planning Meeting

    MRC will host its annual Long-Range Planning meeting at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, from 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Dinner will be served. All reps are welcome and encouraged to participate in this open and interactive forum.

    Participate in the meeting: Be part of the present—be part of the future—address issues faced daily by reps in all segments of the automotive industry.

    For meeting coordinators to be able to accommodate food and beverage, attendees are asked to take a moment and download the RSVP form, call 909/978-6693 or e-mail stacib@sema.org by September 15, 2010.

    MRC Rep Conference Coming to Vegas!!

    The 9th annual MRC Rep Conference moves to Las Vegas at the 2010
    SEMA Show. Bryan Shirley, president and CEO of the Manufacturers’
    Agents National Association will host an open and interactive session
    titled “Survival of the Fittest! Is that You?” The economy has redefined the new automotive aftermarket…now it’s time to redefine yourself!

    The MRC Rep Conference will convene at the Las Vegas Hilton on Sunday,
    October 31, 2010, from 4:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. The early-bird price for
    SEMA members is $49 ($69 for non-members). Online event registration is now available! For additional information, contact SEMA Council Liaison Staci Bostock at 909/978-6693 or stacib@sema.org.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MRC is!

    Be sure to follow MRC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mrc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MRC's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MRC, contact Staci Bostock.


     

    PRO Logo  
    Visit PRO's website.  

    Have you ever wondered how to get more involved in the SEMA Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) Council?

    What exactly do the council leaders do throughout their term? Very
    simply, the Select Committee is elected by members of the council to
    serve a two-year term. They participate in monthly conference calls and
    meetings that are held at various trade events throughout the year.
    Each Select Committee member volunteers for at least 20 hours
    throughout the year, and some volunteer even more. Some share their
    experience and vision, others provide creative solutions to challenges
    our member companies are facing and others get their hands dirty and
    get it done. Each Select Committee member is supported by their company
    in their PRO efforts, and for that we say, “thank you,” to those
    companies!

    The leaders of the PRO gathered earlier this year in Lima, Ohio, for
    its annual Long-Range Planning meeting. This meeting focused on
    bringing value to the PRO-member companies. The past 18 months have
    been extremely challenging for all of our companies, and the council is
    dedicated to utilizing SEMA’s resources to further benefit each PRO
    member.

    Guiding the group’s effort was the council’s mission statement to “address
    the challenges facing the restyling segment of the automotive
    aftermarket and to develop effective strategies for dealing with
    industry-specific issues.”
    A handful of exciting objectives are
    being developed for the council over this year and next. If you are
    passionate and have an interest in being involved, there are plenty of
    opportunities to volunteer for a task force with a limited investment
    of time that provides a great way to network and share your ideas.
    Please reach out to the task force chair if you want to participate or
    have comments.

    Education Task Force
    Brian Champa (Check Corporation) and Bill North (Webasto Product North America) co-chair this task force and can be reached at bchampa@checkcorp.com or bill.north@webasto-us.com.
    The education task force is charged with developing successful programs
    for members to enhance their businesses. The Technical Skills &
    Training Conference (TSTC) recently launched, and the group is tasked
    with expanding the number of events each year to ensure that training
    and education become primary drivers for our industry.

    NovemberFest Task Force
    Mike Stanifer (Innovative Creations Inc.) chairs this group and can be reached at mike@icionline.com. The SEMA Show
    in Las Vegas provides the backdrop for critical networking functions.
    This group focuses on making PRO’s awards reception the place to be and
    offering a fun forum to bring passionate members with common interests
    together.

    Membership Task Force
    Joey Johnston (Tops & Trends) chairs this group and can be reached at joey@topsandtrends.com.
    The success of any council or initiative is dependent upon its members.
    This task force focuses on growth, promotion and retention. It is
    important that we mentor new members on council activities, events,
    meetings and benefits.

    ProPledge Task Force
    David Stringer (Insignia Group) chairs this group and can be reached at dstringer@insigniagroup.com.
    The purpose of this group is to promote industry standards and to
    improve the perception of aftermarket installations throughout the
    restyling industry. ProPledge offers dealers a warranty program and is
    committed to delivering quality products and services.

    There are so many other things the council leadership does throughout
    the year. You are the expert at what your business needs, and this
    council wants to deliver. Feel free to get in touch with us or come to
    one of our PRO events. Our hope is that if you haven’t been a part of
    PRO yet, you will be in 2010 and beyond.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? PRO Is!

    Be sure to follow PRO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/pro and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    PRO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read PRO's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about PRO, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.


    SBN Logo  
    Visit SBN's website.  

    Discover the SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by the SBN

    “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…” - Joe Cocker

    Everyone needs help or expert advice from time to time, and SEMA’s
    Mentoring Program is an excellent resource to get answers to all your
    questions. Whether you need to know more about SEMA, market information
    for a start-up company or advice on how to approach your boss about a
    new position, the SEMA Mentoring Program can help.

    “Ask A
    Mentor” is perfect for one-time questions. You can expect multiple SEMA
    mentors to provide online guidance and answers to your industry-related
    questions.

    Short-term Assistance/Guidance is for help with a
    specific project or task. A SEMA council/committee mentor with the
    expertise you seek will be paired up with you to provide guidance with
    your project.

    Long-term Relationship is helpful for developing
    your professional career. In this program segment you will be paired
    with a SEMA council/committee mentor who will provide guidance and
    assistance for ongoing career development or a long-term project.

    So whether you just need an answer to a question or you want to
    cultivate a mentoring friendship, the SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by
    the SBN is available to help. After all, we can all use a little help
    from our friends.

    Visit the SEMA Mentoring Program now.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SBN is!

    Be sure to follow SBN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/sbn and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SBN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SBN's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, contact Angela Lee.


    SPC Logo  
    Visit SPC's website.  

    Find the Business Possibilities Through the SPC

    Participate in the automotive aftermarket at a whole new level by joining the SPC.

    The purpose of SEMA councils is to help our member companies succeed
    and prosper. In the SPC, our mission is to provide market information,
    education and support to our members concerning new and emerging
    trends. Whether it’s the latest business technology, forecasting sales,
    future marketing solutions or up and coming vehicle platforms, we give
    you and your company the chance to see what’s on the horizon.

    Then we’ll help you understand and acquire the skills, tools and
    technologies to lead the way. The SPC has the most diverse membership
    of any SEMA council, and that will allow you to network with other
    professionals from every facet of our industry and gain insights into
    areas you may not have previously considered. Find out about the parts,
    people, technologies, strategies, trends and, most important,
    possibilities.

    This is your chance to give something back to the industry, your
    profession and to grow personally along the way. Join the SPC today and
    become an active member of the specialty equipment and automotive
    market — Tracie Nuñez, Advanced Clutch Technology, SPC Chairman

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SPC is!

    Be sure to follow SPC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/spc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SPC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SPC's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Angela Lee.


    WTC Logo  
    Visit WTC's website

    Have you ever wondered how to get more involved in the SEMA Wheel and Tire (WTC) Council?

    What exactly do the council leaders do throughout their term? Very simply, the Select Committee is elected by members of the council to serve a two-year term. They participate in monthly conference calls and meetings that are held at various trade events throughout the year. Each Select Committee member volunteers for at least 20 hours throughout the year, and some volunteer even more. Some share their experience and vision, others provide creative solutions to challenges our member companies are facing and others get their hands dirty and get it done. Each Select Committee member is supported by their company in their WTC efforts, and for that we say “thank you” to those companies!

    The leaders of the WTC gathered earlier this year at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for its annual Long-Range Planning meeting. This meeting focused on bringing value to the WTC-member companies. The past 18 months have been extremely challenging for all of our companies and the council is dedicated to utilizing SEMA’s resources to further benefit each WTC member.

    Guiding the group’s effort was the council’s mission statement to “identify common problems and opportunities relating to the wheel and tire industries that the council, as an interested body of companies, can address for the common good.” A handful of exciting objectives are being developed for the council over this year and next. If you are passionate and have an interest in being involved, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for a task force with a limited investment of time that provides a great way to network and share your ideas. Please reach out to the task force chair if you want to participate or have comments.

    Science and Technology Task Force

    Tim Dietz (Standards Testing Laboratories Inc.) and can be reached at tdietz@stllabs.com. This group focuses on aftermarket and OEM advances that affect our industry. From creating wheel standards to improved processes for tire-pressure monitoring systems and electronic stability control, the Science and Technology Task Force plays a pivotal role in the industry’s advancement.

    Education Task Force
    Kelly Austin (Ultra Wheel Company) chairs this group and can be reached at kelly@mail.ultrawheel.com. The education task force is charged with developing successful programs for members to enhance their businesses. The WTC Task Force is responsible for partnering with the SEMA Educational Institute to create and promote online learning resources.

    Communication and Marketing Task Force

    Doug Frymer (Law Offices of Douglas A. Frymer) chairs this group and can be reached at legal@starshieldarmor.com. This group focuses on membership outreach, growth and retention. It is imperative that councils effectively communicate services provided by WTC and SEMA to our members. Communication and services ensure that there is proper dialogue between leadership and membership.

    SEMA Show Task Force

    David Insull (American Tire Distributors) chairs this group and can be reached at dinsull@atd-us.com. The SEMA Show in Las Vegas provides the backdrop for critical networking functions. This group focuses on making WTC’s awards reception an ideal place to get together, honor one another and network with all those who share a common passion.

    There are so many other things the council leadership does throughout the year. You are the expert at what your business needs and this council wants to deliver. Feel free to get in touch with us or come to one of our WTC events. Our hope is that, if you haven’t been a part of WTC yet, you will be in 2010 and beyond.

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? WTC is!

    Be sure to follow WTC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/wtc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    WTC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read WTC's column featured in the July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about WTC and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call or 909/978-6696.

  • TRAGEDY: Eight spectators were killed and at least a dozen
    injured when an off-road racing truck plowed into a crowd during a
    Mojave Desert Racing event in the Soggy Dry Lake Bed near Lucerne
    Valley, California, Saturday night.

    THIS BUD’S FOR YOU: Budweiser will sponsor Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick for 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point races in each of the next three seasons.

    GOLDEN GO: Tim Shaffer topped four-time and defending race winner Donny Schatz to win the 50th running of the Goodyear Knoxville Nationals sprint-car race at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway Saturday, earning $150,000 in the process.

    IN CHARGE:
    Tony Cotman has been hired by the IZOD IndyCar Series to serve as the project manager for the development of its 2012 technical program.

    NEW BOSS:
    Joie Chitwood III has been named the president of Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, replacing former president Robin Braig effective immediately.

    HISTORIC FIRST:
    Brothers Tanner and Kody Swanson became the first brothers in the 40-year history of the USAC Silver Crown Series to finish one-two when Tanner Swanson beat Kody Swanson at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan, August 12.

    LABOR DAY FUN:
    The inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix will be held over the Labor Day weekend (September 2–4) next season.

    NEW TEAM:
    Paul Menard will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to join Richard Childress Racing next season, bringing sponsorship from Menards, the home improvement company owned by his father John Menard, with him.

    BUSTED: Tommy Ellis, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for defrauding the Internal Revenue Service of more than $133,000.

    CHEAPER HORSEPOWER:
    Officials from the Northeastern Midget Association and United States Speed Association are independently working with engine manufacturers to create cheaper, cost-effective midget racing engines, ranging from $17,000–$22,000, which should be available in 2011.

    WELCOME TO THE TEAM:
    Marcos Ambrose will drive the No. 9 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports next year with sponsorship from Stanley Black & Decker.

    SUBSCRIBE: National Speed Sport News has been published weekly since 1934. To subscribe to National Speed Sport News, click here.

  •   Bob Bode Larry Dixon
         

    NEWS NUGGETS

    BODE RACES TO FIRST CAREER WIN; DIXON TO NINTH FOR THE SEASON IN BRAINERD: It took more than 10 seasons to accomplish, but Funny Car driver Bob Bode was able to hold off some of the top drivers in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Sunday in Brainerd, Minnesota, as he drove his Alard Machine Chevy Impala to his first career win at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Bode held off such highly recognized drivers as former two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon, Bob Tasca, Tim Wilkerson and Jack Beckman in the final round to secure his first career Wally and visit to the Winner’s Circle.

    “All of this is kind of like a dream I’m afraid I’m gonna wake up from,” said Bode. “I didn’t know if it would ever happen, but now that it did, I can’t believe it happened. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire life in the racing world.”

    Bode was joined in the Winner’s Circle by Top Fuel pilot and current points leader Larry Dixon. Dixon showed once again why he has the dominant car in the category as he drove past Cory McClenathan in the final round to pick up his ninth win of the season, 57th of his career and third at Brainerd International Raceway. Dixon now enters the Countdown to 1 playoffs with a 30-point lead over second place McClenathan.

    “We’ve won finals so many different ways this year, and there are so many variables that if you have just one hiccup, someone else wins,” said Dixon. “I’ve had seasons where I haven’t won one race, so to win nine is overwhelming. These races are so hard to win; to win nine period let alone win nine straight in finals, is something.”

    For more results from Sundays Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

    Jeg Coughlin Andrew Hines  
         

    COUGHLIN SCORES FOURTH WIN OF THE SEASON; HINES ALSO GETS FOURTH AND POINTS LEAD IN BRAINERD: Pro Stock driver and former world champion Jeg Coughlin raced to his fourth win of the season Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota. It was Coughlin’s fourth win at Brainerd International Raceway and 52nd career win in Pro Stock. Coughlin held off Auto Club Road to the Future Rookie of the Year candidate Shane Gray in the final round after a red-light.

    “I’d have to say, the Gray family has done an unbelievable job, and they’re getting a program from nothing to several final-round runnings between the two of them,” said Coughlin. “Shane did a heck of a job, and had he turned that thing green by a couple of hundredths, he would have smoked the yellow and black car. We got away with one there because I was late on the Tree in the final.”

    Coughlin was joined in the Winner’s Circle by former Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Andrew Hines. Hines held off up-and-coming rider Jim Underdahl to not only pick up his fourth win of the season, but also move around defending world champion Hector Arana and secure the top spot in the point standings heading into the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Hines will enter the first race of the playoffs, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, with a 30-point lead over Arana.

    “Big win,” said Hines. “I’ve never been No. 1 going into the playoffs, so it’s nice to be in this position. Three or four races ago, we were looking at the points, and Hector had something like a 160-point lead, and we just wrote it off that we wouldn’t make it there. Luck turned to our side, the motorcycle started performing better, and Hector faltered a little bit, and we capitalized on it.”

    For more results from Sunday’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

    FINAL SPOTS SECURED AS COUNTDOWN TO 1 BEGINS: As racing came to an end Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota, the final spots in the Countdown to 1 playoffs were finally secure, with the Countdown field set for the beginning of the playoffs, the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil at historic O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in three weeks. Top Fuel pilot David Grubnic was able to grab the 10th and final spot in the field with his semifinal-round finish.

    “I’m so proud of the effort that Connie (Kalitta, team owner) and our whole team put forth to get us in the Countdown,” said Grubnic. “Now we’ve made the Countdown and we’ll continue with our goal, and that’s to go out and win every race.”

    Former two-time world champion Tony Pedregon secured the 10th spot in Funny Car when both he and 11th-place Jeff Arend lost in the first round. Rodger Brogdon used his second-round appearance to lock up the 10th and final place in Pro Stock, while Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Eddie Krawiec, LE Tonglet, David Hope, Karen Stoffer and Craig Treble were able to take the final five positions in the category with their eliminations appearances on Sunday.

    “I think we’ve got a fair shot at the title,” said former world champion Krawiec. “I think anything can happen.”

    Of the 40 drivers competing for the Full Throttle world championship in their respective categories, 13 are former world championship winners, with seven of those having two or more titles to their name. In the top two classes, Top Fuel and Funny Car, 15 of the 20 drivers are competing for their first world championship.

    The action and excitement of the NHRA Countdown to 1 playoff begins September 2 at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil at historic O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

    COMING ATTRACTIONS

    MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS PRESENTED BY LUCAS OIL, O’REILLY RACEWAY PARK AT INDIANAPOLIS, September 1–6: The famed Labor Day event at historic O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis is the first of six races in the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Ashley Force Hood (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

    O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, September 16–19: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the season in North Carolina and second stop of the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Defending event winners include Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Mike Edwards (Pro Stock); and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

    O’REILLY SUPER START BATTERIES NHRA FALL NATIONALS, TEXAS MOTORPLEX, September 23–26: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its second stop in the Lone Star State and third stop of the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

      Cory McClenathan
       

    HE SAID, SHE SAID

    JOINING THE 500 CLUB: Top Fuel pilot Cory McClenathan on collecting his 500th career round win Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd:

    “Coming in here knowing we had a chance to go 500 rounds, that was pretty cool, but it wasn’t what I was thinking about, obviously. We knew we had to go around Tony (Schumacher) to be able to get in second place. We knew we were going to have to take it away from him and go on to try to win the semis. We completed that, and I got my 500th round win.”

    INSIDE THE NUMBERS

    2: That’s the number of drivers since the Countdown to the Championship began in 2007 that have held the points lead after the regular season and have gone on to win the world championship at the end of the year. Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith did it in 2007 and Top Fuel pilot Tony Schumacher did it in 2009.

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that of the Top 40 drivers competing in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, only 16 have won the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil at historic O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis?

  • The Advanstar Automotive Group named long-time editorial director Larry Silvey editorial director emeritus. Silvey is leaving Advanstar to become the new chair of the automotive aftermarket management program at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan. Silvey will continue to be affiliated with Advanstar Automotive, writing a monthly column on aftermarket topics and serving as a member of the organization's editorial advisory board. Web Director Michael Willins will take over Silvey's responsibilities. Willins has been involved in the automotive industry since 1997, as the former publisher and editor-in-chief of Automotive Body Repair News (ABRN) and a former senior editor of Aftermarket Business.

    Gary Jurick was named the new vice president and general manager of ROUSH Performance. He was previously the director of ROUSH Performance product development where he headed up the engineering, testing and validation areas of vehicle and parts programs. Jurick has 21 years of experience at ROUSH.

    Martin & Company Advertising hired Brian Zembrycki as marketing and administrative assistant to president and owner Zan Martin. Zembrycki has 28 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, serving in numerous management capacities, specializing primarily in the racing sector.

      David Richardson
       

    Directed Electronics appointed David Richardson to the new position of director of auto dealer sales. Richardson has more than 30 years of professional experience holding senior management positions with leading automotive businesses, including AutoNation, EDS, General Motors, Johnson Controls and Toyota. According to Glenn Busse, senior vice president of sales and customer care, “Although Directed has catered to the needs of expediters and the car dealer channel for more than 20 years, David will lead our charge to innovate, improve and leverage technical prowess building partnerships with Automate customers nationwide.”

    G-Force Racing announced that it has a permanent business office location in the Charlotte Motor Speedway's main office building. Don Stodola, executive account manager, has relocated to the new office from the G-Force corporate building located in the Atlanta area. The office at the speedway was originally established in 2009 for the research and development of new opportunities with local, area and national competitors and regional businesses.

    Federated Auto Parts and Standard brand launched its Dream Car Sweepstakes, where one professional technician or counterperson has the chance to attend the Mecum High Performance Car Auction with $15,000 to spend on the car of their choice. The auction is set for January 27–30, 2011, in Kissimmee, Florida. Other prizes include Apple iPads and Dell Inspiron laptops. Read more about the Dream Car Sweepstakes and requirements.

    The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) named Mobil 1 as the "Official Oil of the SCCA." All SCCA members will receive a 20% discount on purchases at www.mobilracingstore.com, as part of the agreement, and competitors using Mobil 1 products are eligible for a sizable contingency program at the 2010 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presnted by Subway at Road America.

Market Snapshot

  •   cartown
      Car Town is the latest Facebook application where users can collect and customize their rides, race against friends or showcase their vehicles.

    Following in the footsteps of the popular Facebook social games, FarmVille and Mafia Wars, is the release of Car Town, created by Cie Games that aims to satisfy the user’s passion for automobiles while helping automakers and specialty-equipment manufacturers to reach a new audience via social media and online advertising. Cie Games is also the creator of another automobile game called Nitto 1320 Legends.

    In Car Town, players use virtual currency to purchase, customize and collect hundreds of vehicles, including classic cars, ’60s musclecars, trucks, luxury and exotic vehicles, and store them in their customizable virtual garages, which serve as their home base. Owners can take road trips, race against their friends and perform tasks, such as delivering pizzas or servicing their friends’ cars, which earns them the points they need to purchase additional cars or car-related products and services. For instance, players can personalize their vehicles by altering their cars' wheels, tires, chassis, body kits, paint scheme and graphics.

    The game includes banners featuring specialty-equipment manufacturers, such as HRE, which players can hang in their garage, and hundreds of custom template designs for their rides from companies such as K&N. Players can even design and upload their own graphics schemes. SEMA also has decided to get in on the action by launching a template for Racers Against Street Racing.

    Automakers earn a licensing fee each time a player buys one of their virtual cars using cash or points. Cie Games also has partnered with several businesses where players can accumulate points and earn rewards by signing up for offers from companies such as Netflix. Honda will innovatively utilize the game to introduce a custom CR-Z sport hybrid and advertise via a virtual billboard and custom CR-Z showroom before the car is actually available to the public.

    Other Car Town licensing partners include DeLorean, Dodge, Fisker, Ford, General Motors, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lotus, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Ram Truck, Scion, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. According to Justin Choi, president and CEO of Cie Games, Car Town is the first major Facebook game to integrate real-world automotive brands into social gaming play. And, with the popularity of Facebook (which now numbers 500 million global users), Car Town’s reach extends beyond the typical gearhead.

    “The great thing about Car Town is that it opens up our industry and its products to a potential pool of customers who don’t know anything about cars or specialty equipment,” added Tom Myroniak, SEMA vice president of marketing and member services. “If Car Town can expose our industry to even half the audience that
    FarmVille draws, it would be a huge success.”

Spy Shots

  • 2012 Acura TL

    The Acura TL, controversially redesigned in 2009, appears due for a mid-cycle redesign for 2012. Brenda Priddy’s photographers caught the first sightings of a mule with its controversial “Power Plenum” grille tightly masked.

    Modest powertrain enhancements may also be in store, possibly to include Acura’s new six-speed automatic transmission to replace the aging five-speed. Another possibility is that the TL could receive one of the new family of V6s that Honda is working on.

    Sources say that production has been bumped up to September in order to have models available in showrooms by late spring/early summer 2011, which might provide a boost to a model that has seen sales dip 4.5% from last year.

     

     

     

     

     

    2012 Acura TL

    Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.