SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 47, November 25, 2010

What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

  • After months of inaction and missed opportunities, the United States Senate is prepared to take up legislation to remove the 1099 reporting requirement which was included as a revenue-raising provision with the health care law. The “Small Business Paperwork Relief Act” would remove the requirement entirely. Unless this takes place, businesses will be required to issue 1099 reporting forms to all vendors from whom they buy more than $600 of goods or services in any year, beginning in 2012. The law’s intent is to identify and collect taxes on sources of income that businesses have not declared. SEMA contends that it will fail to collect much under-reported income, but it will succeed in punishing small-business taxpayers that already comply with U.S. tax law. The “Small Business Paperwork Relief Act” is scheduled to be considered on November 29, 2010.

    In a letter dated July 28, 2010, SEMA President Chris Kersting joined the business community in calling for the removal of this burdensome and time-consuming requirement from current law. SEMA has worked with several small-business coalitions, including the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), to remove the provision. Please contact your United States Senators (click here to find your senators) in support of this repeal to ensure that small businesses can continue to remain focused on recovery and growth.

    For more information, please contact Dan Sadowski, SEMA congressional affairs manager, at dans@sema.org.

Breaking News

  •   SEMA Cares
      Proceeds from the auction of the WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang—first introduced at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas—at Barrett-Jackson will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp children's charities.

    The WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang introduction at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas was a success. Parked in front of a life-size banner that simulated a live Barrett-Jackson auction, the vehicle was a hit with its mean road-race-themed body kit and bright yellow paint. The deal has also been sweetened for the vehicle’s next owner—the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show and Auction January 17–23, 2011, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Swisstrax has donated the WD-40-themed blue-and-yellow modular flooring that appeared under the Mustang at SEMA, and O’Leary’s Truck Service will transport the Mustang, free of charge, in an enclosed truck to its new home anywhere in the lower 48 states.

    You can check out the Mustang before the Barrett-Jackson auction at the San Diego International Auto Show, December 30, 2010–January 2, 2011, and race a virtual version of the vehicle in "Nitto 1320 Legends," an online racing game and social network with more than 1.5 million registered members. All proceeds from the vehicle's auction will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp children’s charities.

    Click here for information on how to race the WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang in "Nitto 1320 Legends."

  • SEMA manufacturing members are invited to get up close with the Juke, Nissan's all-new crossover. This compact ride features a 1.6L 4-cyl. Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) turbo engine that packs 188 hp at 5,600 rpm. SEMA manufacturing members can take the tape to the new Juke on December 8, from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (PST), in Diamond Bar, California.

  •   tv special
      Check out an exclusive tour of the 2010 SEMA Show in a SPEED TV special premiering Sunday, December 19, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

    Thousands tune in regularly to watch television hosts Matt Steele, Bruno Massel, Kevin Byrd and Bryan Fuller modify cars and trucks on national TV. The four experts will take viewers on an exclusive tour of the 2010 SEMA Show in a SPEED TV special premiering Sunday, December 19, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

    Watch as they set out to uncover the hottest automotive accessories and newest trends. The four men divide and conquer to bring viewers an entire hour filled with highlights from the premier automotive trade show in the world.

    Check your local listings or click here to verify the air dates and times. Then, set your DVRs for the SPEED Channel and be prepared to take notes on the newest products and trends hitting the market.

Business Tools

  • Are you hunting for a new job? The “Positions Available” section in the
    SEMA Member Classifieds lists more than 50 job openings around the
    country. Highlighted this week are some of the latest sales positions
    available for various levels.

    Regional Sales Manager: A company is seeking a regional sales manager based in Mexico who has five years sales experience in the automotive aftermarket. The candidate will work in a home-based office and act as a consultant to all customers, determining customers needs and providing solutions.  

    Regional Sales Manager: There is an opportunity for a regional sales manager for a position based west of the Mississippi. Candidates must be based in Mississippi and have five years of outside sales experience in the automotive aftermarket.

    Sales Manager: American Eagle Wheel for a sales manager for its Kansas distribution center located in Kansas City. Individuals must have exceptional customer service skills, proven sales performance in the aftermarket wheel industry and strong sales, presentation and communication skills.
     

     

  •   webinar
      Chuck Udell, senior partner with the Essential Action Design Group,
    will present the session, “Sales Strategy: Creating Your Competitive
    Advantage,” on Thursday, December 9.

    It’s a tough marketplace, and every sale counts. How do you gain a competitive advantage? One important component is your sales strategy. SEMA will conduct an informative webinar session that will explore the anatomy of a sale and specific actions you can take to improve and measure your sales process. Whether your company has a defined sales strategy or you want to develop an improved process, this session is for you.

    Chuck Udell, senior partner with the Essential Action Design Group, will present the session, “Sales Strategy: Creating Your Competitive Advantage,” on Thursday, December 9. An industry veteran, Udell is the former president of University of the Aftermarket (of Northwood University), and was responsible for working with a team of key industry leaders to develop Leadership 2010, the University of the Aftermarket’s Executive Development Program. His webinar presentation will include:

    • How to differentiate your company, your products and your services.
    • How to determine opportunities to add value to your customer’s business—the internal and external obstacles to this process and how to steer around them.
    • Implementing your competitive position to produce results and customer loyalty.
    • How to ensure financial return of expectations using best practices and case-based approaches to avoid the “no-profit zone.”
    • Discuss the “clarity of measurement.”

    An effective sales strategy is a powerful change tool that creates a competitive advantage and delivers improved business results. Join Udell on Thursday, December 9, from 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (PST), as he conducts this informative session.

    This webinar is powered by the SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC). Participate live or download the webinar when it’s convenient. And remember: SEMA webinars are free to SEMA members and only $29 for non-members.

    Follow this link for more information on this webinar and to register.

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

  •   blogging
      Use blogs to build brand loyalty and trust. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools in creating a successful business venture.

    You don’t have to be a geek or techie to understand social media; all you need is a passion for your job, according to Rick Calvert, CEO and co-founder of BlogWorld and New Media Expo, who hosted the SEMA webinar entitled, “Connect With Customers on Blogs: What You Need to Know.”

    “During the 2000 presidential elections, bloggers who were just as passionate about the news and politics as I was were having these amazing discussions online,” Calvert said. “The same thing happened after the events of 9/11 and for about five years, I spent several hours a day reading and commenting on blogs.”

    Calvert’s epiphany hit him one day when he was stuck in traffic on his way home from work while listening to a news program on the radio. The host said something that made him call into the show, and at the end of the conversation, the host suggested that Calvert should start his own blog. Calvert went home that night and within five minutes he did just that.

    “It was that easy; anyone can do it,” Calvert said. “I started contacting other bloggers whom I liked and respected and asked them for some advice, and not only did they contact me back, but they also linked to my blog. Over time, more people started contacting me, and companies wanted to advertise on my blog. I was surprised to learn a blogging tradeshow didn’t exist. So in 2006, BlogWorld was born, and in 2007, we hosted our first show with 1,500 attendees. This year, our show will have more than 4,000 attendees with a combined audience of more than 250 million people.”

    The Social Media Explosion

    Social media is the simultaneous reinvention of radios, newspapers, magazines, televisions, movies and books. Social media grows exponentially faster because it’s all of these mediums combined.

    “It’s a fundamental shift in the way people communicate with each other, and our business practices have to change in order to keep up with this shift,” Calvert said.

    Facebook has more than 300 million users today, which is larger than the total population of the United States, and tops Google with the most weekly traffic, according to Calvert. In contrast, it took radio 38 years to get to 50 million users. Ninety-six percent of millennials have joined a social network.

    Engage Yourself

    If you’re worried about starting a blog because people will say bad things about you, if you have a terrible product, they’re already saying bad things about you. The best strategy is to be engaged. Have a blog, be on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where people are having discussions about your company, products and industry and engage in that conversation. If you have a great product, people will say nice things about you. Before blogs and social media, if a customer had a good experience, they might write you a letter of thanks, but this was always a one-on-one experience where no one else could see it. When this happens via social media, everyone sees what that customer says about you and how you respond to that customer.

    “If you have a bad product, social media can’t save you,” Calvert said, “but if you have a great product, if you treat your customers well and you are passionate about what you do, social media is the best friend you will ever have because everyone will know how great your product is and how you interact with your customers.”

    Bloggers are like guitar players, according to Calvert. Almost all of us have played a musical instrument at some point in our lives. Most people aren’t very good at it; they get frustrated and quit over time. These people are at the bottom of the pyramid. Then there are people who keep playing, and they get better. They play in a garage band with their friends or for some extra money at weddings. There are also people who make a living out of it. Las Vegas is a great example of this; the place is full of musicians who play for a living, but they aren’t famous. At the top of the pyramid are those most-influential musicians who are rock stars. Likewise, some bloggers are real journalists; it’s what they do every day. Others are rock-star journalists who have their own fan base.

    Drive Traffic to Your Blog

    For companies just starting out and introducing a new product, to get your name out there, start a blog that talks about the problems your product solves. Reach out to people individually to tell them you just started and ask for their feedback. It takes time, but slowly build relationships with them.

    To drive traffic to your blog, post good content. Write about and post videos of what people need because they want value. For instance, if you’re selling brake pads, talk about the types of materials that make a difference in performance. So, when your community is ready to buy, they’re going to buy from you because you’ve already given them value for free. Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements, according to Calvert. Newspapers as they exist today are dying. They must either learn to adapt or die.

    Word of Mouth

    Treat bloggers the same way you would treat traditional media outlets, but don’t send them press releases. Blogs should serve as your home base, and you should direct traffic from Facebook to your blog. It’s where you create your contact and add the greatest amount of value to your customers. Blogging is an ongoing thing, and you want people to relate to you as a human and not as a company. One quality blog post a day or even a week is better than 10 lousy blog posts per day.

    “Build brand loyalty and trust,” Calvert said. “It’s word of mouth on steroids. Once you start doing this effectively, your customers are going to sell for you in a way you could never do yourself.”

    For more SEMA webinars, click here.

New Products and Technology

  • Chrysler 200

    With the Chrysler 200 sedan just starting to roll out, Chrysler engineers have started working on the next variant—the 200 convertible. Spy shooter Brenda Priddy and her team snagged these photos of a soft-top 200 prototype out for a very brisk test run.

    Priddy said that the engineers in this test car made a fast getaway once they spotted the cameras, which surprised the team considering they didn't think it was any secret that the 200 convertible was coming, especially with Chrysler announcing its forthcoming debut at the New York Auto Show in April 2011.

    Sporting a traditional soft-top and two less doors, Priddy says the 200 convertible will feature a 2.4L 4-cylinder or the 3.6L, Pentastar V6. The latest word on transmissions is that six-speed dual clutch will join the lineup on the upper-end models.

    Watch for the Chrysler 200 convertible to hit dealer lots in the summer of 2011.

    Chrysler 200
    Photo Credit: Brenda Priddy & Company

Law & Order

  • In comments to a proposed inspection regulation issued by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, SEMA supported a provision that would exempt vehicles registered as exhibition vehicles from OBD II requirements. Under state law, an exhibition vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle which is maintained solely for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades and other functions of public interest and which is not used for the transportation of passengers or property on any highway, except to attend such functions. SEMA also recommended that the exhibition vehicle definition be expanded to include a vehicle used for personal recreational travel not to exceed 2,500 miles per year.

    SEMA also sought clarification on a section of the proposal that would require the inspector to reject a vehicle if the ball joint wear exceeds manufacturer’s specifications. The proposal does not make clear whether it is referring to the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the ball joint, be it a Tier I original-equipment supplier or an aftermarket product. Further, the proposal gives no objective criteria by which an inspector can deem a specific ball joint to be sufficiently worn as to constitute an inspection failure. Since vehicle manufacturers use different designs of ball joints from a variety of suppliers, the degree of wear allowable can vary from vehicle to vehicle and model year to model year. It is therefore necessary to refer to a given ball joint manufacturer’s service specifications to determine replacement status of joints not fitted with wear indicators. For additional information, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

  • Through its Congressional District Site Visit Program, SEMA arranged for two U.S. representatives to meet with SEMA members, tour their facilities and see firsthand the positive economic impact our industry has on local communities. SEMA-member Egge Machine Co. and Speed Shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, hosted Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA). SEMA staff also traveled to Elkhart, Indiana, to help coordinate a visit with Congressman Joe Donnelly (D-IN) at the Midwest headquarters of Truck Accessories Group (TAG), parent company of Leer and other brands.

Global Update

  • The U.S. government estimates that less than 1% of U.S. small businesses currently export, even though there’s huge demand for high-quality, American-made products. SEMA members as a group appear to fare better as a percentage of those that engage in exporting, yet many SEMA-member products are finding their way into overseas markets, often through their U.S.-based warehouse distributors or in response to ad hoc requests from overseas customers and in the absence of a deliberate policy on how to maximize their bottom line through a deliberate effort.

    “My guess would be that about 75% of SEMA-member manufacturers’ products wind up overseas somehow,” said Wade Kawasaki, president of Exports International. “I think a very small portion — perhaps 20% — have an integrated strategic plan on how that is done and how to expand or structure upon what they have.”

    Given that exporting is an important but underutilized tool to help U.S. companies better weather the current prolonged economic downturn, the U.S. government recently announced a new initiative to assist firms. On March 11, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 12870, the National Export Initiative. It includes an increase in the budget of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in order to expand the number of trade experts available to serve as advocates for U.S. companies. The initiative includes a number of goals, including increasing the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) exporting to more than one market by over 50% and increasing the presence of U.S. SMEs in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India

    For more information about how to jumpstart your export success, contact Linda Spencer via e-mail at lindas@sema.org. She can help you capitalize on the SEMA Show programs aimed at bringing together exhibitors and international buyers as well as obtain distributor lists, information on overseas trade shows and relevant laws, regulations and tariffs.

  • The Chinese State Council has launched a six-month campaign to enforce laws against counterfeited and pirated goods at the production and distribution levels. The special intellectual property rights (IPR) campaign is focusing on product areas subject to high levels of infringement, such as music and video products, mobile phones and auto parts. The crackdown is scheduled to last until March 2011 and will target commodities such as pirated publications, DVDs and computer software, along with violations of trademarks and patents. The national effort will concentrate on 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shanghai. For more information, check out China's Special Campaign to Combat IPR Infringement.

    Protecting the intellectual property rights of members is a top SEMA priority. Visit www.sema.org/ipr for more information about patents, trademarks and copyrights, and links to previous SEMA articles and webinars on this subject. SEMA is also part of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP), a business alliance with more than 700 members that works with government, industry, the media and consumers to combat counterfeiting. For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein.

People, Places, & Racing News

  • MPMC Logo  
    Visit MPMC's website.  

    MPMC Hall of Fame Breakfast at PRI

    MPMC will induct the first four members of its Hall of Fame at a breakfast ceremony at the PRI Show in Orlando, Florida. The ceremony will take place on Friday, December 10, from 8 a.m.–9 a.m. in room S320 of the Orlando Convention Center. The 2010 inductees to the MPMC Hall of Fame include: Amy Faulk, Scooter Brothers, Jeep Worthan and John Menzler. Industry colleagues, media and friends and family of the inductees are invited for coffee and a continental breakfast before the ceremony, and to chat with and congratulate the inductees afterwards.

    “I know we moved this ceremony once already,” said MPMC Chair-Elect Vic Wood of Hedman, “but we really want to have it someplace where the maximum number of industry colleagues can attend. These four people are very important to our industry and our council, and they deserve all the recognition we can give them."

    SAVE THE DATE! MPMC Long Range Planning

    The MPMC Long Range Planning meeting will take place on Monday, January 24, 2011, at the Embassy Suites LAX South, in El Segundo, California, in conjunction with the 2011 Media Trade Conference. This will be an afternoon meeting, so that exhibitors arriving on Monday morning for the Media Trade Conference may attend. Exact times and room location will be announced shortly. The LRP is open to all MPMC members, not just Media Trade Conference exhibitors.

    “We traditionally hold this meeting on the Friday after the Trade Conference, but it ends up being a Trade Conference debriefing,” said Fickler. “And many exhibitors fly out on Friday morning anyway. We want to try it on Monday this year and concentrate on long-range planning. We’re hoping that more exhibitors can attend with this arrangement, since they all arrive on Sunday or Monday anyway.”

    Media Registration Now Open

    Media may now register for the 2011 MPMC Media Trade Conference. The online registration form is available 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. Media attendees may attend as many as 42 pre-scheduled meetings with MPMC-member manufacturers over the three-day event. Attendance is free to media and lunch is provided each day along with a media reception on Tuesday evening of the event.

    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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.



    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.


    ARMO Logo  
    Visit ARMO's website.  

    ARMO Presents Industry Awards at Annual Reception

    ARMO presented its Industry Awards at its annual reception in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel during the 2010 SEMA Show.

    Dennis Gage, host of the popular television show “My Classic Car” and longtime restoration enthusiast, emceed the event, which featured some of the top companies involved in the restoration industry.

    ARMO congratulates the following award winners:

    • 2010 Restoration Event of the Year: Year One’s Chip Foose Braselton Bash
    • 2010 ARMO Business of the Year: Classic Automotive Restoration Specialists
    • 2010 Person of the Year: Jim Barber
    • 2010 ARMO Hall of Fame Inductee: Jeff Leonard of Classic Industries
    • 2010 ARMO Hall of Fame Inductee: Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media

    Thank you ARMO Sponsors!

    The annual reception is only possible each year through the help of ARMO's sponsoring companies. The council extends thanks to the following sponsors of the 2010 ARMO Industry Awards Reception.

    • Auto Custom Carpet
    • Carlisle Events
    • Hemmings Motor News
    • TrimParts
    • Parts Unlimited Interiors
    • Dynacorn Classic Bodies
    • Auto Trader Classics
    • Classic Industries
    • Hagerty Insurance
    • Source Interlink Media
    • Steele Rubber Products
    • American Autowire
    • Bryn Dana International (Color Bond)

    ARMO Long-Range Planning Meeting

    Mark your calendar for the annual ARMO Long Range Planning Meeting, Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in Indianapolis. This is the Wednesday of Hotrod & Restoration Show week in Indianapolis. ARMO hopes that many members who are already planning to attend the show will find it convenient to add one more day to their itinerary in order to attend this very important meeting. Exact times and location coming soon, watch SEMA eNews and the ARMO website for updates.

    ARMO Seminars at Hotrod & Restoration Show

    ARMO will once again host two seminars on Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the Hotrod & Restoration Show. “The Art of Selling” (presented by Dick Dixon) and “How the Internet Can Improve Your Business” will be the topics. Exact times and locations to be announced, but mark your calendar and stay tuned to SEMA eNews and the ARMO website for updates.

    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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.


    HRIA Logo  
    Visit HRIA's website.  

    Have You Registered a Patent or Trademark? Your Competition Has.

    Protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of its members is a top SEMA priority. The process begins when companies register their patents, trademarks, and copyrights with government agencies in the United States (and other countries). Registration is a key to establishing legal rights.

    To assist its members, SEMA has created a webpage called Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights, explaining the different types of IP, including protecting new products (utility patents) and product designs (design patent), identifying the source of the product (trademarks), and protecting product brochures or website designs (copyright). It also contains information on how to register IP along with links to seminars, webinars and SEMA News articles.

    With respect to enforcing IP rights at the SEMA Show, the association has developed an effective policy for pursuing infringement allegations. SEMA’s IP enforcement policy is posted on the IPR web page and is also published as part of the Exhibitor Services Manual. Questions may be directed to Stuart Gosswein (stuartg@sema.org).

    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 November/December 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.  

    Inaugural LTAA Fall Nationals at SEMA Show

    LTAA’s annual Industry Awards Reception took on a whole new look at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas by hosting a Pinewood Drags competition. Reception attendees rented Pinewood race cars and raised almost $1,600 for Victory Junction!

    The cars were all built last year by children at a Childhelp center in Virginia, and LTAA Select Committee member Tom Brooks was gracious enough to cart them to Las Vegas for this event.

    An eliminations ladder was kept updated on the wall so that competitors could keep track of their entry, and LTAA Chair Elect George Lathouris of Keystone kept the crowd engaged as the “track announcer.” When the graphite dust had cleared from 72 cars (graphite is used to lubricate the wheels of the Pinewood race cars), Steve Bralier of Undercover emerged as the first ever LTAA Fall Nationals “Top Eliminator”. Steve capped off the evening by donating his first place prize of a $100 American Express debit card to Victory Junction.

    Congratulations and thank you Steve, and congratulations and thank you to all of the LTAA Fall Nationals participants and spectators. If you missed this inaugural event, don’t worry; plans are already under way for the 2011 Fall Nationals!

    Thank You LTAA Fall Nationals Sponsors

    LTAA thanks the following member companies for sponsoring the LTAA Fall Nationals Industry Awards reception. We could not have done it without your support!

    • BDS Suspension
    • Truxedo
    • DeeZee
    • American Technology Components
    • BedRug
    • Keystone Automotive Operations
    • Extang
    • Undercover
    • Truck Covers
    • Hella
    • Jim Wrobleski & Company Inc.
    • K & N Filters
    • Meyer Distributing
    • Weathers Auto Supply
    • Weather Tech

    LTAA Presents Industry Awards

    Even though the LTAA Fall Nationals kept the assemble crowd excited, LTAA also presented and congratulated the following LTAA Industry Award winners.

    • 2010 LTAA Hall of Fame Award: Tom Brooks of Truckin’ Thunder
    • 2010 LTAA Retailer of the Year: Chux Trux
    • 2010 LTAA Chairman’s Award: Chris Ripper
    • Best Product Over $500: Invis-A-Rack, Cargo Management System
    • Best Product Under $500: Putco, LED Day Liner

    If you haven't already, like us on Facebook.

    What's the Value of Being an LTAA Member?

    New Products Showcase – Put your product in front of one of the largest gathering of truck enthusiasts in the country at the Carlisle Truck Nationals.

    Networking – LTAA mixer at the Carlisle All Truck Nationals, Annual Long-Range Planning meeting and access to LTAA members and light truck industry professionals around the world.

    Tools and resources for the retailer and installer – Pickup Bed Dimensions Sheet, Keyless Entry Wiring Pickup Points Reference Sheet, Why Paints Don’t Match DVD and more.

    Education – and LTAA-specific learning track on the new SEI from SEMA, coming soon!

    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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.


    MRC Logo  
    Visit MRC's website.  

    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 November/December 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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

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


    SBN Logo  
    Visit SBN's website.  

    You Ought to Be in Pictures!

    The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network committee is a great resource of minds. All ladies in the specialty-equipment industry can join the SBN, so pass the word around to your colleagues and friends! We are encouraging all new and existing SBN members to log-in to the MySEMA portal to update their profile with a photo so we get to know each other's faces before the SEMA Show.

    And don’t forget to turn your notifications settings “ON” so you can stay in “the loop.” Want to know more about the SBN? Interested in becoming a member?

    Want to get involved in the industry but don't know how? We have an app for that! Go to www.SEMA.org, click on the Leadership tab, click on Council/Committee, click on SBN and join! Don't delay—get involved and join now. You are just a few clicks away! We look forward to "seeing" everyone!

    Don’t Be Out of the Loop—Stay in Touch

    The very best way to stay in touch and to read the latest news, discussions and topics posted from SEMA and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is to make sure that your notification settings are turned on in your MySEMA account. Next to your photo on your MySEMA page, at the top right, is a link to the "Edit My Settings" page.

    On the “settings” page, look for the “notifications” tab, where it will ask how you would like to receive your news. Check whichever method is most convenient, but either way, make sure you're in the loop by turning “on” your notifications. Visit http://my.sema.org to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

    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 November/December 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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Angela Lee.


    WTC Logo  
    Visit WTC's website


    Save the Date: WTC Announces Date for Inaugural Conference and Product Showcase

    WTC has announced that the inaugural WTC Conference and Product Showcase will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at the SEMA Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

    The conference will feature three educational sessions comprised of expert panels discussing:

    • Industry-specific sales strategies and profit-building techniques.

    • Using social media and web search tools to drive traffic into your business.

    • New products and industry trends.

    The educational sessions will run concurrently with the Product Showcase that will feature exhibits highlighting new products, business services and equipment. And, of course, there will be some cool cars to looks at.

    As an added benefit for anyone interested in learning more about what SEMA and the WTC are doing for our industry, the council will open up its Long-Range Planning meeting for council members and guests to attend and participate.

    So, mark your calendar, and keep an eye out for registration announcements and more information.

    You can also contact Zane Clark, SEMA council director at zanec@sema.org for more information.

    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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

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


    YEN Logo
    Visit YEN's website

    SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program

    Since 2004, SEMA's Young Executives Network has been dedicated to aiding recent graduates in getting off to a successful start in their automotive specialty-equipment career.

    “SEMA and YEN are believers in higher education,” said Gregory Parker, chairman of the Young Executives Network. “However, with today's higher costs of getting an education, more and more students have to turn to student loans. The new YEN Loan Forgiveness Scholarship Award will now be able to help a previous or current student who has loans they are trying to pay off while working within our industry. Our inaugural scholarship winner, Jaclyn Kilani, worked hard to put herself through school and is now working for a SEMA-member company. We are just glad we are able to recognize and reward her for her hard work, and we look forward to doing the same for other industry peers as we move into the future.”

    Kilani, who recently graduated from California State University with a degree in graphic design, is the marketing director at Dannmar Equipment, a manufacturer of automotive repair products. Of the specialty-equipment industry, Kilani says, “I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. It’s an eclectic marketplace with a very unique audience, and I love the challenge of marketing a company in a non-traditional way. This award came at the perfect time, and it's a tremendous step toward my goal of becoming debt-free. I truly appreciate the privilege.”

    The SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program is dedicated to aiding recent graduates in getting off to a successful start in their specialty-equipment career. SEMA offers a minimum of $1,000 toward outstanding student loans for individuals who are employed by SEMA-member companies. Applications for the next program open in December 2010 at www.sema.org/scholarships.

    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 November/December issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Angela Lee.

  •  

      NHRA Troop Visit
       

    TEAM SUMMIT PRO STOCK DRIVERS VISIT TROOPS OVERSEAS: Just one week removed from the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, former Pro Stock world champions Jason Line and Warren Johnson, along with Pro Stock driver Rickie Jones and legendary Bigfoot monster truck driver Dan Runte, have begun a three-day Thanksgiving Week visit of the KaiserSlautern Military Community in Frankfurt, Germany. The group will distribute 1,500 souvenir gift bags and sign autographs during the visit before heading back home on November 25, Thanksgiving Day. On the first day of the trip the group visited Ramstein Air Force Base, then moved on to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on the second day of the visit and met with troops being treated there as well as doctors and medical personnel working there. “Having served in the Air Force, I know how much it means to have any contact from home, so we’re going to do our best to put smiles on the faces of as many people as possible,” said Line. “I want to thank Summit, the USO and the Army Special Forces Association Chapter 64 for putting this together and feel very honored to be chosen to make the trip.” A blog of their activities will be posted on NHRA.com throughout their visit. To see where their next stop will be and to meet the people and troops they’re working closely with, visit NHRA.com.

      Habitat for Humanity
       

    DIXON, McCLENATHAN, BROWN HELP BUILD A HOUSE WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Just days removed from earning his third NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel world championship, Al-Anabi Racing driver Larry Dixon, along with fellow Top Fuel drivers Antron Brown and Cory McClenathan and Firestone Indy Lights drivers Dan Clarke, Charlie Kimball and Martin Plowman, lent their construction skills to help Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis. During the event, the drivers worked on a home being constructed just north of downtown Indianapolis. The home will be dedicated to Sherry McClure and her family on December 8. McClure and her oldest daughter were there working on the house with the drivers as well. Dixon and McClenathan were charged with helping paint walls on the inside, while Matco Tools driver Brown worked his magic on the power tools outside the home, helping to cut and install siding on the home. Below are quotes from the three Top Fuel drivers on their experience: LARRY DIXON: “This was my first time ever volunteering for a Habitat home. I can’t wait to get involved in the next one. The IMA (Indiana Motorsports Association) asked if I would be interested in helping out, and I am thrilled they did. Great day, but I don’t think I will give up my day job.” ANTRON BROWN: “This was a great day. I am working on a new garage for myself, and it was great to meet Sherry and see how much this home is going to mean to her and her kids. We got so much done in just one day and that was because of the total team effort. The other drivers, Habitat staff, IMA and Indy Partnership all worked together to get a lot accomplished—total team effort!” CORY McCLENATHAN: “To get to meet Sherry and see how excited she is for this home to be built for her and her family made it special,” said McClenathan. “Cold, windy, and it even rained, so it wasn’t the nicest of days to work outside. That is why I stayed inside to paint and let Antron climb a ladder and work on the outside of the house.”

    COMING ATTRACTIONS

    KRAGEN O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, February 24–27, 2011: The 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and 60th anniversary season of NHRA kicks off at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona at the 51st running of this event. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800/844-NHRA or online at NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Public Relations Michael Padian at mpadian@nhra.com.

    HE SAID, SHE SAID

    THE END OF A LEGENDARY DUO: Fifteen-time NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car world champion John Force on the departure of longtime crew chief Austin Coil: “There are highs and lows in life. Winning my 15th Funny Car championship was a high and I received a letter from Austin Coil two days later that was a low in my life. It hurt me. I tried to call him, but he didn’t want to talk. I told him I would respect that. We had 26 great seasons together, and that is what I will remember.”

    INSIDE THE NUMBERS

    5: Only five different drivers in the Top Fuel category and also the Pro Stock Motorcycle category won an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing national event this season, compared to 10 different winners in Funny Car and nine in Pro Stock.

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that zMAX Dragway was the only track in 2010 that Funny Car world champion John Force didn’t win both events at? Force won both the Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals and Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals and the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but only won the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Cruz Pedregon took home the Wally at the fall event at zMAX, the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or visit the NHRA Media Center online.

  • AutoGuide Releases SEMA Show Videos 
    AutoGuide announced its releases of several videos shot from the
    floor of the 2010 SEMA Show. The videos are featured on the company's
    YouTube channel:

    CarDomain Launches New Enthusiast Community Website
    CarDomain
    launched a new site, www.autoholics.com. The new site, which CarDomain touts as a blog of sorts, features content contributed solely by members of the CarDomain community. The company says that the site is ideal to share car show pics, burnout videos, eBay listings and more.

    Suzuki Boosts PR Team With New Hires
    American Suzuki Motor Corp.
    (ASMC) Automotive Operations added two new employees to the Suzuki public relations team—Shamit Choksey and Aaron Zeuli. Choksey joins Suzuki as the product publicity manager for the communications and public relations department. Prior to joining ASMC, he worked as an automotive journalist and producer for “MotorWeek” and had an extensive career working behind the scenes in television as a writer, production/media coordinator and television development assistant. Zeuli joins the PR team as the public relations specialist from within the walls of American Suzuki, where he most recently served as a logistics coordinator and automotive marketing/auto show specialist.

    Bradley David Productions Inc. Changes to MadStache
    Bradley David Productions Inc.
    has changed its name to MadStache Inc., reflecting a change in ownership that took place earlier this year. The new name is a reference to the trademark mustache of Dennis Gage, host of the firm’s flagship television series, "My Classic Car." Dennis became a co-owner of the company soon after its founding in 1994; in January 2010 he became the sole owner. While primarily known for television production with a number of series and specials to its credit, MadStache is a full-service, multi-media company recognized for award-winning commercial production.

    Green Truck Summit Set for March 2011
    The Green Truck Summit, which is jointly produced by the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) and CALSTART, will take place March 7-8, 2011. It is held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show 2011 and 47th Annual NTEA Convention at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Work Truck Show runs March 8-10, 2011, with educational programming beginning on March 7. The Green Truck Summit provides practical, real-world information on green vehicle funding and partnership opportunities, implementation of green fleet programs, carbon footprint and idle reduction techniques, hybrid chassis integration, fuel utilization improvements and more. 

    ASA Tire Systems Names Coast Tire & Auto Service Its 2010 Dealer of the Year
    Coast Tire & Auto Service  received the 2010 Dealer of the Year award from ASA Tire Systems. The award recognizes a customer that has proven to be a strong partner by embracing technology and innovation and assisting ASA in driving the development of its software solutions forward. Coast Tire has exemplified these characteristics. ASA also lauded  Coast Tire’s creative use of customer data to grow sales through business booster activity, its  support of numerous charities and involvement with ASA’s customer advisory council for guiding product development.

     

  • FIFTH ELEMENT: Jimmie Johnson came from 15 points behind entering the season finale to claim his record fifth-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship Sunday afternoon at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    MEXICAN FLAVOR:
    Gustavo Vildosola Sr. and Jr. became the first Mexican national team to capture the overall title in the 43rd running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race.

    NEW HORSEPOWER:
    Lotus will join Chevrolet and Honda as engine suppliers in the IZOD IndyCar Series during the 2012 season.

    WESTERN CASH: Donny Schatz bagged the $15,000-to-win Western World Championships sanctioned by the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour Saturday night at USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.

    SEALED:
    The Schwanke LS-based Chevrolet sealed engine has been approved as an option for the USAC Western and Rocky Mountain sprint-car divisions next year.

    TECH DAY:
    Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the 100th anniversary Indy 500 Emerging Tech Day May 7, a place for young minds to display innovative renewable technologies for the automotive industry.

    BOUNCED:
    Nico Hulkenberg will not return to the Williams Formula One team next season. Rubens Barrichello has been retained by Williams and will compete in his 19th Formula One season.

    OUT: Austin Coil has left his role as crew chief for 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force at John Force Racing.

    STAFF CUTS:
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Richard Petty Motorsports began its restructuring program Monday, releasing approximately 60% of its work force.

    BACK TO THE OLD: Sundance Vacations Speedway in St. John’s, Pennsylvania., will revert to its former name (Mountain Speedway) after negotiations with Sundance Vacations for a third season under the Sundance banner fell through.

    NEW BOSS:
    World Racing Group will lease Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y., to veteran central New York promoter Eric Kingsley in 2011.

    A FIRST:
    Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung, who serves as a reserve and test driver for the Renault Formula One team, made history over the weekend by becoming the first Chinese driver to take the wheel of an IndyCar during a test with the FAZZT Race Team at Sebring International Raceway.

    SUBSCRIBE:
    National Speed Sport News has been published weekly since 1934. To subscribe to National Speed Sport News for a special industry rate, visit www.nationalspeedsportnews.com.

  • Vic Edelbrock Sr.’s earliest designs were intended to squeeze more power out of that roadster’s flathead V8. By 1958, the company’s inventory stretched far beyond the venerable flathead, but because of its longstanding experience with Ford performance, “it was only natural for them to take an immediate interest in the new Ford engine,” wrote Technical Editor Ray Brock in Hot Rod magazine’s August 1958 issue.

    That “new Ford engine” was the FE series V8 — so named for its Ford/Edsel applications. When the article was written, Edelbrock had already bought an Edsel Pacer and was developing a triple-carburetor manifold for it. Over the course of eight weeks and two lengthy articles, Edelbrock tested some 30 different engine combinations, taking a stock 361-inch Edsel motor from 211 peak horsepower to 342. Edelbrock and his team reworked the ignition, swapped in several different camshafts, added bigger valves and multiple carburetors, mounted headers, and even bored and stroked the block up to 412 inches.

    “The Ford automobile is no longer a lightweight piece of machinery,” Brock wrote in his conclusion, “but we guarantee that the car will jump if some of the information discovered in this story is properly applied.”

  • The 1970 SEMA Show, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in January, had NASA’s accomplishments as an underlying theme. Astronaut Pete Conrad was scheduled to appear at the Show to receive SEMA’s first honorary membership, but he was bed-ridden with the flu. SEMA President Roy Richter, with an assist from Ray Brock, phoned Conrad during the SEMA banquet and read him the words engraved on a special plaque designed to celebrate Conrad's achievements.

Spy Shots

  • Chrysler 200

    With the Chrysler 200 sedan just starting to roll out, Chrysler engineers have started working on the next variant—the 200 convertible. Spy shooter Brenda Priddy and her team snagged these photos of a soft-top 200 prototype out for a very brisk test run.

    Priddy said that the engineers in this test car made a fast getaway once they spotted the cameras, which surprised the team considering they didn't think it was any secret that the 200 convertible was coming, especially with Chrysler announcing its forthcoming debut at the New York Auto Show in April 2011.

    Sporting a traditional soft-top and two less doors, Priddy says the 200 convertible will feature a 2.4L 4-cylinder or the 3.6L, Pentastar V6. The latest word on transmissions is that six-speed dual clutch will join the lineup on the upper-end models.

    Watch for the Chrysler 200 convertible to hit dealer lots in the summer of 2011.

    Chrysler 200
    Photo Credit: Brenda Priddy & Company