SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 12, March 22, 2012

What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?


      sema town hall
      SEMA will visit LaGrange, Kentucky, Friday April 13, from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. for an evening of networking with local industry leaders and SEMA staff.

    SEMA invites industry professionals to the next stop of its 2012 Town Hall tour, where local and prospective members will gather at the Parts Unlimited Inc. facility in LaGrange, Kentucky, Friday April 13, from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. for an evening of networking with local industry leaders and SEMA staff.

    SEMA's Town Hall Meeting initiative launched in 2011 to provide members with the opportunity to learn about the association's current programs and objectives while networking with automotive aftermarket professionals from the same geographic region. These personal interactions provide members the chance to share the business challenges and opportunities they face. They also give SEMA staff valuable feedback that will help identify current benefits to enhance members' business operations and better meet their needs.

    “As a new SEMA member, my experience at the Town Hall Meeting in St.
    Charles [Illinois] was certainly without regret,” said Christine Giovingo of Mecum
    Auctions. “I found the topics discussed by the panel very
    informative. I was able to capture industry-related subjects worth
    discussing within the Mecum organization. Debra [Flicker] provided me with
    knowledge that will allow me to make an intelligent decision as to
    which SEMA committee to join. Lastly, what an honor it was listening to
    the legendary Vic Edelbrock tell his story and how he has impacted the
    industry for so many years.”

    So far, SEMA has visited Scottsdale, Arizona; Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tacoma, Washington; and St. Charles, Illinois, hosting successful small gatherings of members in those regions.

    For more information, contact AJ Carney at 909-978-6697 or

Breaking News

    • John Kilroy, with 21 years’ experience at PRI as editor, associate publisher and vice president, continues to lead PRI.
    • SEMA plans to maintain hardcore racing identity and heritage of PRI Trade Show and PRI Magazine.


    • PRI founder Steve Lewis to focus on son’s racing career.


    Performance Racing Industry (PRI), producers of the motorsports business magazine and trade show, finalized plans to be purchased by SEMA. The transaction is set to close in late March 2012.

    With 20-plus years of publishing and management experience at PRI, John Kilroy will serve as vice president/general manager of PRI and assume day-to-day operations for the group. All the operations, employees and offices will remain intact at PRI’s current location in Laguna Beach, California. 

    "Steve Lewis launched the PRI concept a quarter-of-a-century ago, as an organization totally dedicated solely to the racing industry," said Kilroy. "It was Steve’s dream that PRI continue to serve the racing community and to ‘nest’ PRI with an organization that clearly understands PRI’s heritage and the role we play in how the racing industry conducts business. We are pleased to have found that strategic partner in SEMA."

    Lewis, founder and current CEO of PRI, will now be able to dedicate his time and energy to pursue his lifelong passion for motorsports, which includes management of his Nine Racing midget team and supporting the racing career of his son Michael—2011 Formula 3 Italia Rookie of the Year.

    “We carefully considered all our options, and SEMA was the obvious choice to carry on the legacy of the PRI brand," said Lewis. "SEMA is financially sound and has an experienced management team. They bring a long-term outlook to the table, as well as exceptional insight into the trade show business overall. I have no doubt that the PRI brand will continue to deliver value to the racing community, and I know John Kilroy and the current management group will keep the basic business themes that have been established as they continue to work out of the current location here in Laguna Beach that has housed the PRI family for all these years,” he said.

    Many current and past SEMA Board of Directors have been involved with PRI through the years as exhibitors and advertisers and bring a keen understanding of how the two organizations complement each other.

    “We’re very excited about the continuation of the great business offerings for the performance and racing community from this acquisition,” said Scooter Brothers, SEMA Chairman of the Board. “Having worked with the folks from PRI for many years, I know the show and magazine are appreciated and used by the racing industry to further their marketing efforts, and that racing entrepreneurs look upon the PRI Trade Show as a unique event and a valuable voice. The transition will preserve and protect that voice, and the show’s unique character and authenticity. We look forward to the PRI team carrying on the legacy and traditions of Steve Lewis.

    "We also want to thank Steve Lewis for all he's done for the racing industry and for creating PRI," added Brothers. "PRI Magazine and the PRI Trade Show have played a key role in the growth of the racing industry over the past 25 years, and we look forward to its continued success."

    SEMA President Chris Kersting said, “The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show and magazine are great complements to the SEMA mission: they help their customers' businesses to succeed. SEMA looks forward to providing the PRI team the resources and support to continue delivering great value to the racing and performance segment.”

    Founded in 1963, the SEMA trade association provides services and resources to businesses in the automotive specialty equipment industry. Members include manufacturers, distributors, retailers and marketers of products that enhance the styling and functionality of cars, trucks and SUVs. In addition to producing the premier automotive accessories trade show, where more than 100,000 individuals come to do business, SEMA offers education, research and several publications specifically targeted to the industry. The association also represents its members with a legislative advocacy group.

    The 25th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show takes place November 29–December 1, 2012, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. It features exhibits by 1,100 racing companies in 3,100 booths, requiring 700,000 sq. ft. to house the event. 38,000 buyers will attend from across the U.S. and 72 countries.

    For more information, visit or

  •   SEMA General Membership Meeting
      All SEMA members
    are eligible and encouraged to attend SEMA's general membership meeting Tuesday, April 3, from noon–1:00
    p.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room S232.

    SEMA conducts a "general meeting of the membership" each year highlighting the events, benefits
    and programs that the association provides.

    All SEMA members
    are eligible and encouraged to attend.

    This year's meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 3, from noon–1:00
    p.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room S232. The Las Vegas Convention Center is located at 3150 Paradise Rd., 
Las Vegas, NV 89109.

    The meeting is
    being held in conjunction with the SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit, which
    provides tips to exhibitors on how to maximize their Show investment.

    For more information about the general membership meeting or have
    questions about the event, contact Arlene Wood at

  •   automotive aftermarket research, automotive accessories research

    Auto enthusiasts from around the country participated in the association's Opinion Leaders Program (OLP) and provided their opinions about the products and vehicles at the 2011 SEMA Show. A comprehensive report discussing the details of the program is now available on the Market Research page of SEMA’s website. 


    More than 2,000 auto enthusiasts from around the country applied for the opportunity to attend the 2011 SEMA Show and participate in the association's research and grassroots marketing efforts. Known as the Opinion Leaders Program (OLP), the 2011 SEMA Show marked the program's third consecutive year.

    OLP participants were selected for their connection to grassroots car culture, such as car clubs and forums, and many are active social media bloggers on the performance automotive business. Each attendee was asked to provide a review of the Ideas Alive! New Product Showcase and to spread the word to friends and online followers about the great products they saw at the 2011 SEMA Show.

    A select group of the OLP participants were recruited to take part in focus group sessions to explore various factors related to their love of cars and automotive customization. The participants represented interests from racing to restoration to off-road. To gain another perspective on vehicle customization, an additional session—conducted online—was comprised of people from the general population.

    A comprehensive report discussing the details of the focus-group sessions is now available on the Market Research page of SEMA’s website. The report is free for SEMA members and can be purchased for $200 by non-members. Download a copy of the 2011 SEMA Show Opinion Leader Program report.

  • In 2004, legislation was enacted to repeal California’s rolling emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older and replace it with a law requiring the lifetime testing of all ’76 and newer model-year vehicles. This year, a SEMA-supported bill has been introduced in the California Senate to exempt all motor vehicles prior to the ’81 model year from the emissions inspection requirement. The bill will be considered in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee March 27, 2012. 

    More information is available. For details, contact Steve McDonald at

Business Tools

  •   automotive scholarship, automotive scholarships

    Through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), the association helps prepare the next generation of the automotive workforce for today's competitive market through financial assistance for students attending various universities, colleges, and/or vocational schools in the United States. In fact, the fund has yielded more than $1.5 million in scholarships since 1984.

    Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The application, available online at, requires college transcripts and letters of recommendation.

    SEMA's Education Institute (SEI) recently interviewed 2010 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund recipient Ryan Brimhall, who graduated with a double Bachelor's degree from Weber State in Automotive Field Service Technology and Technical Sales. He is currently working as a store manager for O'Reilly Auto Parts.

    Brimhall shared some thoughts about why he chose a career in the auto industry and offers advice for students applying for scholarships and for those just starting out in the automotive industry.

    SEMA Education Institute: What company do you work for? What is your title and area of responsibility?

    Ryan Brimhall: I currently (and temporarily) work for O'Reilly Auto parts as a manager. Throughout my schooling, I worked on and off in retail parts. Working in retail auto parts provides a relatively flexible schedule and easy hours for someone attending college. When I was notified that I was a recipient of the SEMA scholarship, I could not have been more happy.

    At the time, I was working for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in Torrance, California, as a product quality and service support intern. Although this was a paid internship, I was experiencing the real-life cost of living, and the money toward school was a huge financial burden lifted off my shoulders. As the internship came to a close, I was pondering whether or not I should take out a student loan or credit card to pay the next semester of school, but thanks to the scholarship I received, I didn't have to.

    I have since completed school (I graduated from Weber State University with a double Bachelor's degree in Automotive Field Service Technology and Technical Sales in December 2011) and have been taking a short break as I search for my next career opportunity.

    SEI: Why did you choose to pursue a career in the automotive industry? Was it because of your enthusiasm for street rodding? A family hobby that inspired you?

    Ryan Brimhall:
    I chose a career in the automotive industry because it's something I have always been interested in. I guess you could say cars are in my blood. I remember as a teenager, I used to send in for automotive manufacturer brochures. After reading various magazines and brochures, I would cut them up and hang the pictures on my walls. I eventually ended up with a 20-ft. collage of photos between two walls in my bedroom.

    From there, my father encouraged me to go into the automotive program in high school. Coincidentally, Layton High School had one of the best automotive programs in the state of Utah at the time and is closely affiliated with Weber State University. I had two great teachers (Tom Housley and Robert Griffiths) who helped my education take off. I entered and participated in several automotive competitions and ended up winning a one-year tuition waiver to Weber State University upon high school graduation.

    SEI: Do you plan to continue your higher education?

    Ryan Brimhall: I have graduated with a double bachelor's degree major in Automotive Field Service technology and in the Technical Sales program. Although I am finished for now, I may consider going for a Master's degree in business, management or education. I truly enjoy learning and would go to school the rest of my life it was financially feasible or practical.

    SEI: What advice would you give to a student applying for scholarships now?

    Ryan Brimhall: Two words: DO IT! I was unsure about even applying for the scholarship from SEMA. At first, it seemed like a whole lot of work to fill out all the required forms, get letters of recommendation, and write a few papers. But, it paid off! I am fortunate enough to have gotten the scholarship, and, in hindsight, it was really almost no work at all to apply.

    My advice is to apply for all the scholarships you can. Many students are lazy, forgetful or don't even bother to complete scholarship applications. I have seen students get scholarships time and time again while attending college just because they filled out a few scholarship requests. Also, some of the documents used for scholarship applications, such as the recommendation letters, are great for applying for jobs as well. For the students that don't believe, it's just that easy. Just look at me as an example!

    SEI: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to pursue an education/career in the automotive industry?

    Ryan Brimhall: I would say great choice in your education or career. The automotive industry is fast paced and dynamic. The automotive industry is changing rapidly and with so many emerging technologies, you will have a million different ways you could go with your career. You will never be bored with the possibilities in the automotive industry, just take a look at what the SEMA Show has to offer and realize that's only a fraction of the industry. You don't necessarily have to know what you want to do in life, but if you have a passion for automotive, at least you'll know you'll have a career in an industry that you love.

  • The ’13 Mazda CX-5 SEMA Measuring Session will be held March 28, 2012,
    from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at Mazda's North American Operations, Western
    Region Training Center in Irvine, California.

  • 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. Here are some of the latest classifieds posted to the website.

    • American Eagle Wheel Corp., located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is hiring an aggressive outside salesperson with exceptional communication skills, strong sales experience and the ability to multi-task. Proven sales performance in the Texas and surrounding markets and 3–5 years' experience in the automotive wheel/tire market are required.
    • Spyder, located in City of Industry, California, is hiring a technical support person to provide outstanding customer service. The successful candidate must have a sound understanding of data entry and order processing administration, experience supporting sales professionals and strong phone and computer skills. Familiarity with aftermarket performance lighting fitment is required.
    • Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), located in Lancaster, California, is hiring an R&D manager to develop products to bring to market in the next 6–24 months and work with
      ACT manufacturing to ensure design for manufacturability, performance
      and cost objectives. The qualified candidate will possess a B.S. in mechanical engineering from
      an accredited institution, 7–10 years' experience in mechanical
      product design and product redesign for cost and reliability and 3–5
      years prior project or team management experience.
    • J.E. Pistons, located in Huntington Beach, California, is hiring a technical salesperson with solid knowledge of internal combustion engines and the racing/high-performance automotive industry. This position will be responsible for receiving customer calls and providing product specifications, pricing and delivery; writing up customer orders; and providing problem resolution and trouble shooting to customers over the telephone.

    More automotive job listings.

  •   SEMA News February 2012
      Boost your branding efforts by participating in the 2012 SEMA News Product and Catalog Showcase featured in the June issue of SEMA News.

    Generate buzz for your products and services by participating in the 2012 SEMA News Product and Catalog Showcase featured in the June issue of SEMA News.

    The offer builds on the success of the 2011 Product & Catalog Showcase, and the association provides more boost to your branding efforts by keeping the participation price the same as last year.

    The Product and Catalog Showcase remains one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise in the SEMA News magazine, helping members reach more customers specific to the specialty-equipment market.

    Provide a four-color image of your new product or your catalog cover, along with about 75 words of text, and we'll build a 1/6-page ad for you. The cost is $250. Space is limited, so don't delay. View the online version of the 2011 SEMA News Product & Catalog Showcase, featured in the November 2011 issue of SEMA News.

    To get started, contact Motor Media at 818-248-4449 or e-mail

New Products and Technology

  •   future vehicles, Scion FRS
      Scion considers its upcoming FR-S a sport coupe for driving enthusiasts. Several specialty-equipment manufacturers got hands-on with the new vehicle during last week's SEMA Scion FR-S Measuring Session. 
      future vehicles, Scion FRS
      Representatives from Airaid used different tools and scanners to gather engine data.
      future vehicles, Scion FRS

    Yehoram Hofman of Hofman Design uses his time with the car to measure hood clearance and to see what Scion is using to drive the FR-S.


    Dozens of manufacturers got their hands on Scion's new FR-S during last week's SEMA Scion FR-S Measuring Session at Toyota's headquarters in Torrance, California. With two FR-S models on racks, and additional models available for interior and underhood measurements, manufacturers broke out tapes and scanners to grab the data and specs needed to get parts ready for a vehicle that is sure to be custom-friendly to aftermarket enthusiasts.

    "As a brand, Scion has been a valuable partner to SEMA and its Tech Transfer Program, and has released several models that have sparked the imagination of enthusiasts and customizers across the country," said Bill Wolf, SEMA senior director of OEM relations. "With the release of the FR-S, Scion's appeal to the aftermarket remains, and I'm positive that the specialty-equipment community will provide additional flavor to the new car."

    The SEMA Tech Transfer program grants SEMA manufacturing members access to vehicle CAD files provided directly from participating OEMs. The intent of the program is to help streamline production by minimizing or completely eliminating the necessity for reverse engineering. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Scion are currently participating in the program. SEMA Measuring Sessions and Tech Transfer Program are functions of SEMA's OEM department.

    In addition to access to upcoming vehicles, SEMA Measuring Session participants can also ask questions of the participating OEM staff to learn more about the vehicles, the automaker's marketing plans, the intended audience and more. For the FR-S session, Scion Accessory Operations Manager
 Korey Tsuno was on hand.

    "FR-S is a vehicle that brings the sport back to the car and is the perfect fit for driving enthusiasts," said Tsuno.

    With a release date of late spring, Tsuno expects to see an array of aftermarket products available, some of which were hinted at during the measuring session.

    "It never ceases to amaze me how quickly aftermarket manufacturers can identify new-product opportunities," continued Tsuno. "For the FR-S, companies were pretty specific—cold air intake, chassis and suspension products and, of course, wheels and tires."

    However, Tsuno feels the sessions themselves are also valuable just for getting a feel of the aftermarket's initial impression of a car.

    "I keep my ears open to hear what companies think of the styling, what's under the hood and other aspects of a vehicle's design," he shared. "In fact, I had a great conversation about the FR-S and its potential with one of the clutch manufacturers who attended the session simply to view the car."

    Read more about the Scion FR-S through Motor Trend's coverage of the session.

    The next SEMA Measuring Session features the 2013 Mazda CX-5, the 155hp, five-passenger SUV. The event takes place March 28, at Mazda's North American Operations in Irvine, California.

    For additional information on Measuring Sessions, Tech Transfer and additional programs available through SEMA's OEM Relations department, visit

    Scion FR-S Measuring Session Participants

    The companies below signed up for the Scion FR-S Measuring Session

  •   fiat 500

    The Abarth is a sport version of the recently introduced Fiat 500 and has 59% more horsepower and 70% more torque than the standard


    Taking dead aim at the driving enthusiast community, Fiat trotted out a sport version of the recently introduced Fiat 500. Legitimately tuned for the track, the Abarth (pronounced “ah-bart”) edition has 59% more horsepower and 70% more torque than the standard model.

    “With the addition of a turbocharger to the 1.4-liter engine, advanced intake technology including FIAT’s exclusive MultiAir system, a heavy-duty five-speed manual transmission and other internal refinements to the powertrain, the ’12 Fiat 500 Abarth transforms the Fiat 500 into a high-performance precision driving machine that every enthusiast will appreciate,” said Mike Vincent, platform manager for the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

    The engine also benefits from twin intercoolers and upgraded thermal capacities, forged rods and forged crank. The Honeywell turbo operates at 18 psi; premium fuel is recommended, but not required.

    The 500 Abarth also boasts driveline and suspension upgrades, including bigger brakes with 11.1-in. rotors, stiffer springs and bars and P-zero tires on 17-in. forged wheels. Three-mode stability control can be switched off for track use and 10% faster steering and a 15mm lower stance are part of the package.

    According to Fiat spokesman Tim Kuniskis, the Abarth was designed to be fun on the track, but not punishing on the street.

    The Fiat 500 was the recipient of the SEMA Award at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, making it the “Hottest Sport Compact of the Year.” The award is based on a count of vehicles in exhibitor booths—a measure of how the aftermarket performance industry embraces a new model.

  • future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, Volkswagen XL1

    No concept here—These photos delivered by the team at Brenda Priddy & Co. show a pre-production Volkswagen XL1 ripping through ice conducting cold weather testing.

    In January, Volkswagen confirmed that it would build a limited number of the long-awaited 1L car—likely to be named the XL1—and here are some first spy shots that prove VW is serious about the timeline. The XL1 was the third iteration of the Volkswagen 1L car, first shown in concept guise at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show. The two older concept cars had been shown to the public in 2002 and 2009 (then called L1).

    Priddy says that these pictures clearly show the production version and the concept that had been previously shown. According to VW, when the XL1 hits the road in 2013 it will be capable of achieving a combined fuel consumption of approximately 1 liter (.26 gallons) per 62 miles—or 235 mpg!

    Like the L1, the XL1 uses a two-cylinder turbo-diesel. Displacing 800 cc, it is rated at 47 hp and 121 Nm of torque, and transmits power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed DSG transmission. The electric motor pitches in with 27 hp and 100 Nm of torque, and can work in parallel with the diesel or drive the car independent of it.

    The concept-car XL1 had a curb weight of 795 kg and a drag coefficient of 0.186. Just 23.2% of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron; the drivetrain weighs 227 kg.

    The XL1's length and width are similar to the Volkswagen Polo, with a length of 3,970 mm and width of 1,682 mm. However, the car is much lower with a height of only 1,184 mm, and has a coupe-like roofline, reducing interior volume. The design incorporates gullwing doors, with the interior seating layout using a staggered side-by-side arrangement similar to a Smart Fortwo, rather than the previous versions' tandem seating. Performance credentials include a governed top speed of 74.6 mph, with 0 to 50 mph in 32 seconds.

    future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, Volkswagen XL1

    Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.

Law & Order

  • The U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) has issued final duty rates for certain steel wheels from China that are being sold at less than fair value in the United States. The subject wheels range from 18 to 24.5 in. in diameter and include rims and discs whether imported as an assembly or sold separately. The wheels are typically used in commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, trailers, etc.), but passenger car wheels within that size range fall within the scope of the investigation. 

    Last year, two U.S. auto wheel manufacturers submitted petitions claiming that at least two dozen Chinese producers and exporters were “dumping” the wheels in the U.S. market. Calculations for the final dumping margins range from 44.96% to 193.54% ad valorem and countervailing duties range from 25.66% to 38.32% ad valorem. 

    For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at

  • The United States Senate passed its version of legislation to fund highway construction and other transportation projects for the next two years. SEMA supports the bill’s maintenance of current funding levels in order to address the nation’s aging infrastructure and provide states with more spending flexibility. The legislation also would dramatically increase fines for vehicle or equipment recalls and include mandates to address distracted driving, unintended acceleration and pedal placement, expand the availability of early warning data and require installation of event data recorders. 

    SEMA contends that current civil penalties are already higher than those imposed on manufacturers for many other types of consumer products and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is already addressing the other issues. The legislation has been sent to the House of Representatives, which is attempting to draft its own bill for a five-year plan. The draft bill currently does not include the auto safety provisions. The government’s authority to fund highway programs expires at the end of March. Congress is expected to pass a short-term extension while the House drafts its version of a bill. 

    For more information, contact Dan Sadowski at

  • Legislation that originally sought to provide legal registration to hobby vehicles with a clear title, required safety equipment and in good working order was passed by the Wisconsin Senate and House and now moves to Governor Scott Walker for his signature and enactment into law. Due to opposition from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the bill was amended to now only affect former military vehicles. 

    Several pro-hobby provisions of the bill with application to all hobby vehicles were eliminated. While the amended bill does not solve the many problems associated with registering a hobby car in Wisconsin, it does provide incremental improvement to the rules governing former military vehicles and is still worthy of our support. 

    More information is available. For details, contact Steve McDonald at

  • A bill to provide a cap on property taxes paid by owners of antique and classic motor vehicles was vetoed by Governor Early Ray Tomblin due to a technical issue. The bill had been amended and approved by the West Virginia State Legislature with a new $5,000 assessed value for all of these cars. Previous versions of the bill contained an assessed value provision of $1,000. Generally, the bill vetoed by the governor benefited antique and classic vehicle owners whose cars are worth more than $5,000. However, it would have penalized most antique and classic vehicle owners whose cars are worth less than $5,000. The Legislature chose not to call an additional vote on the bill in an attempt to override the veto. 

    For details, contact Steve McDonald at

  • In 2010, SEMA-supported legislation to extend the emissions inspection exemption to vehicles five model years old or newer was signed into law, subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Previous law only exempted vehicles four model years old or newer. The EPA has now incorporated revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to include the extension of the new vehicle inspection exemption from four years to five years. This action acknowledges the relatively minimal environmental impact of the vehicles targeted for this exemption and that it is senseless to test newer vehicles, the results of which demonstrate no significant air quality benefits.  

    For details, contact Steve McDonald at

  • SEMA is supporting Michigan legislation requiring retail dealers that offer gasoline for sale to label those pumps dispensing ethanol-blended gasoline with a notice that indicates the grade of gasoline and the percentage of ethanol contained. Under current Michigan law, gasoline that contains 10% or less ethanol is not subject to the labeling requirement. The bill provides that a person who violates the labeling requirement is liable for a civil fine up to $1,000 for each day the violation continues.  

    More information is available. For details, contact Steve McDonald at

Global Update

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce is hosting a webinar next Tuesday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) designed to maximum U.S. company sales with international buyers at trade shows.

    Participants will learn the following:

    • How to effectively communicate with buyers and partners from other cultures to turn a show lead into a buyer or channel partner.
    • Understand the varied business and communication practices at trade shows from different parts of the world.
    • What happens after the show; strategies for turning leads into profit.
    • How to present yourself to international visitors at your booth and during networking events.
    • How to avoid "worst practices" for trade shows.

    Speakers will include:

    • Andrew Gately, principal commercial officer, U.S. Commercial Service – China
    • Volker Wirsdorf, senior commercial specialist, U.S. Consulate – Frankfurt, Germany
    • Daniel Crocker, senior commercial officer, U.S. Embassy Panama, U.S. Commercial Service
    • Geoff Sauer, vice president, International Sales Group, Reed Exhibitions U.S.

    More event information is available at

People, Places, & Racing News

  •   automotive aftermarket news, aftermarket news

    Distinctive Industries hired David Alkire as eastern North American regional sales manager. He will focus on customer outreach and relationship- and business development opportunities. 


    David Alkire Named Regional Sales Manager for Distinctive Industries
    David Alkire was appointed eastern North American regional sales manager for Distinctive Industries. According to the company, Alkire will focus on relationship- and business-development opportunities and customer outreach. Most recently, Alkire held key positions at Georgia Marketing and Promotions, and Trim Parts. “We are proud to welcome David to Distinctive Industries,” said Dave Edmondson, V.P. of sales and marketing. “His knowledge of the restoration market, including his background in sales, marketing and management, is significant and a valuable asset to our company.”

    Goodridge Expands U.S. Motorsports Operations
    Goodridge reports that it has quadrupled the size of its Mooresville, North Carolina, facility by acquiring a 17,000 sq.-ft. factory. Goodridge will use the facility—with the address 174 Gasoline Alley—to supply all motor racing parts for the North American market and as a service center for the East Coast, complementing its West Coast U.S. operation in Torrance, California. Goodridge works closely with the NASCAR teams to develop bespoke fluid-transfer products to suit the requirements of high performance race cars.

    Falken Tire Announces Largest-Ever Social Media Campaign, 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Giveaway
    Falken Tire reports that it has launched its largest social media campaign on the eve of the start of the 2012 season of the American Le Mans Series. The campaign focuses on the Azenis product line and will culminate in an aggressive giveaway contest featuring a brand new 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera as the Grand Prize. 

    Awareness for the contest was boosted with the release of a new Falken television commercial on Sunday, March 18, which promotes the Azenis tire line, its motorsports lineage, and a social media tie-in with Facebook and the popular CityVille simulation and social network game. To learn more, visit

      aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news

    Mike Sodomora, owner-operator of Mikes Prestige Detailing, credits quality customer service as one of the reasons that his company has been in business for 28 years. 


    Mike’s Prestige Detailing Celebrates 28th Anniversary
    Mike’s Prestige Detailing,
    a full-service detailing company in Youngstown, Ohio, recently
    celebrated its 28th year in business. The company caters to custom car
    owners, collectors and motorcycle owners, and offers an on-site
    detailing service to exhibitors who bring cars to events such as the
    Barrett-Jackson auction and the Carlisle Corvette Show.  

    “I think customer service is the reason we’ve been around all these
    years,” says Mike Sodomora, owner-operator. “I treat every car like it’s
    my own personal car.” Sodomora adds that another reason for the
    company’s longevity is that Prestige also handles jobs beyond simple
    wash and wax treatments, including overspray removal, smoke odor
    removal, upholstery cleaning and dry steam sanitizing, and offers
    related services like nitrogen gas tire inflation. Mike's Prestige
    Detailing can be reached at 330-793-8589. 

    Yokohama Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Renewal With International Motor Sports Association
    Yokohama Tire Corp. International announced a three-year sponsorship renewal with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The agreement retains Yokohama’s eco-friendly, orange oil-infused ADVAN® ENV-R2 race slicks as the official tire of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama through the 2015 season. The announcement was made in Sebring, Florida, at the season opener for the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series. All Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the popular 15-race series compete on the racing slick that combines orange oil and natural rubber to improve performance characteristics in the tire while using renewable materials.


      The Ford-Cobra-Shelby Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

    Elite Collection of Cobras to be Displayed in the Speed Merchants of Venice Exhibit
    Guest curator Lynn “Mr. Cobra” Park has announced a short list of the extraordinary Cobras to be included in the “Speed Merchants of Venice” 50th Anniversary Cobra Exhibit as part of the Ford-Cobra-Shelby Reunion scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.

    The rare Cobras to be displayed include the following:

    • The first production Cobra kindly loaned by Bruce Meyer.
    • FIA 289 loaned by Park.
    • Recently restored Shelby School of High-Performance Driving car loaned by David Lerian.
    • 427 Comp Car loaned by Anthony Boosalis.
    • 427 S/C loaned by Boosalis.
    • King Cobra loaned by Bill Hartman.
    • “El Cid” Dragonsnake loaned by Park.

    The 50th Anniversary Cobra Exhibit will be part of the inaugural Ford-Cobra-Shelby Reunion, which is open to all Cobras, GT40s, Ford GTs, all Ford, Lincoln, Mercury (FLM) and FLM-powered vehicles, including trucks and Broncos and all Shelby vehicles.

    Proceeds benefit the NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

      Team Falken finished eighth place in the GT class at the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

    Team Falken Perseveres for Strong Finish at Sebring

    The 60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, Saturday, March 17, was a long and hard run for Team Falken Tire.
    The American Le Mans Series GT team spent most of the 12-hour endurance
    race trying to regain ground lost early in the event. Despite the
    setbacks, the team earned an eighth-place finish in the GT class,
    marking the team's first finish of the historic event.

    Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler worked his way through the
    field and joined the top 10 in the GT class in the first hour, running
    37th overall. An hour and 30 minutes into the race, Henzler successfully
    earned the third GT spot. After 40 laps, veteran racer Bryan Sellers took command of the Porsche, rejoining the field at eighth in class.

    The team has much work to do before the Long Beach Grand Prix
    April 13–14. Historically, the team has raced strong on street courses,
    racing the Falken Tire Azenis slicks. Walker and the team will work
    closely with Porsche and Falken Tire to continue to showcase strong
    competition against the more experienced veterans of the American Le Mans Series.

      rob maccachren
      Rob MacCachren won at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, averaging 56.29 mph and finishing the course in four hours, 25 minutes and three seconds.

    FOX Athletes Claim Victory in San Felipe SCORE Desert Series Races
    FOX extended its SCORE Desert Series Baja Trophy Truck winning streak to nine with Rob MacCachren's recent win at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. MacCachren ran the same FOX External Cooling System-equipped bypass suspension, also known as the Cactus Cooler, which helped him win on this course last September.

    Averaging 56.29 mph and finishing the course in four hours, 25 minutes and three seconds, MacCachren’s win came four minutes and five seconds before his closest competitor.

    Another notable victory came from third-generation racer and Class 1600 champion, Luke McMillin. McMillin made his Class 1 racing debut while sharing driving duties with multi-time short course race winner Justin Smith, who, together, took home the Class 1 win and fourth overall finish.



    nhra brown nhra hight nhra edwards
    Brown Hight Edwards

    NHRA HEADS TO SIN CITY FOR THE SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS AT THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: When the NHRA heads to Las Vegas March 30–April 1, defending Funny Car winner Robert Hight hopes to capitalize on his early season success and earn his third consecutive victory this year. Reigning Top Fuel event champ Antron Brown will look to earn his second win of the season, as will Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards, who also won the 2011 event at The Strip. Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock racers will battle on the track all weekend for the most coveted trophy in all of drag racing—the Wally.

    NHRA Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidsons will be featured throughout the race weekend, with exhibition runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The high-powered, nitromethane-fueled Nitro Harleys can reach speeds of more than 200 mph and are always a huge hit with fans. For tickets to the NHRA Nationals, call 800-644-4444 or log on to

    nhra fanfest

    LAS VEGAS FAN FEST TO KICK OFF RACE WEEKEND: More than 25 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series drivers will be at the annual Fan Fest on the Brooklyn Bridge in front of the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, including all seven Don Schumacher Racing drivers and the Summit Racing duo of Greg Anderson and Jason Line. The party starts at 5:00 p.m., with driver autographs from 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The free event will be hosted by Team Full Throttle and include music and giveaways. For tickets to the NHRA Nationals, call 800-644-4444 or log on to

    NITRO GENERATION PACKAGES AVAILABLE FOR SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS: In celebration of the year of the Nitro Generation, the NHRA is offering a limited number of NHRA Nitro Generation Family Packs for the 32nd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 4–6. The NHRA Nitro Generation Family Pack offers a great day of fun and racing action for a family of four, including two adult and two child reserved seats, preferred parking, four hot dogs, four small Coca-Colas and an event program. The NHRA Nitro Generation Family Packs are available in limited quantities and for each day of the event, with Friday priced at $82 and Saturday or Sunday at $114. In addition, the NHRA is waiving the service fee on each Family Pack order, which can be placed by logging on to or calling (800) 884-NHRA (6472). The NHRA Nitro Generation Family Pack must be purchased in advance.


    The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops of the season in Sin City for the fourth race of the season. Defending event winners are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-644-4444 or log on to For media credentials, contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at

    NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, April 13–15: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops of the season in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the only four-wide national event. Winners from 2011 are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-455-FANS (3267) or log on to For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Alex Baca at

    O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRING NATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY, April 27–29: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first stop of the season in the Lone Star State for the sixth race of the season. Winners from 2011 are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jeff Arend (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 281-383-RACE (7223) or log on to For media credentials, please contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at

    nhra tasca   nhra mopar
    ADDING TO THE TEAM: Funny Car driver Bob Tasca announced this
    week that his team has hired veteran tuner Dickie Venables. Venables has
    earned two championships in Funny Car, and Tasca is looking forward to
    seeing what he can bring to the team: “At the end of the day, it’s about
    people. People win championships, not race cars. Dickie has experience
    that will be a valuable asset to our team. I have all the confidence in
    the world in (tuners) Chris (Cunningham) and Marc (Denner), but when you
    have the opportunity to add to your arsenal, you take it. Having Dickie
    onboard can only help.”
      24: The number of years that Mopar has sponsored the Mopar
    Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, making it the
    longest continuous title sponsorship in the NHRA. The Mopar Mile-High
    NHRA Nationals is scheduled to take place July 20–22 and will kick off
    the three-race NHRA Western Swing, which also includes stops in Sonoma,
    California, and Seattle, and a five-race sprint to the start of the NHRA
    Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Mopar also sponsors Matt Hagan
    (Funny Car) and Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock).



    … The lead roles for the hotly anticipated movie “Snake & Mongoose” have been cast and announced. Jesse Williams, known for his work in “Grey’s Anatomy,” will be playing Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, and Richard Blake will play Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen. Award-winning British commercial director Wayne Holloway will make his feature-film directing debut on the project, which he wrote with Alan Paradise. The story details the friendship, rivalry, personal tragedies, triumphs and business successes of “the Snake” and “the Mongoose.”

  • Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
    Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC)
    Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
    Street Performance Council (SPC) Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
    SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) Young Executives Network (YEN)


    ARMO Logo
    Visit ARMO's website.
      armo restoration
      The ARMO New Products Showcase at Spring Carlisle takes place April 26–28, 2012, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

    Calling All New Restoration Products

    ARMO-member companies are invited to register their latest restoration products for the annual ARMO New Products Showcase at Spring Carlisle. The event takes place April 26–28, 2012, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and online registration is now open.

    The ARMO New Products Showcase puts your product in front of 100,000+
    automotive restoration enthusiasts in the country at Spring Carlisle.
    But the product exposure only begins there. Each product is
    professionally photographed while on display. The photograph is posted
    in a gallery on the ARMO website and is also shown in video displays in the ARMO booth and during the ARMO awards reception at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Photographs may also appear in SEMA eNews periodically.

    For only the cost of shipping, your product effectively gets a full
    year's worth of exposure. This is available only to ARMO members and is
    included with the annual ARMO membership fee. Don’t miss out, register your restoration product now. 

    ARMO Licensing Guide Now on SEI

    ARMO members may now access the ARMO Trademark Licensing Guide online. Previously available only in hard copy, the Guide is now located on the ARMO education track on the SEMA Education Institute (SEI).

    ARMO Licensing Overview:

    Ever wonder how a company gets a restoration product officially licensed
    by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) carmaker? ARMO members can
    now find introductory information from three OEMs, including preliminary
    application forms, in one document.

    Obtaining a trademark license is one of the few remaining processes that
    cannot be accomplished "online" or with a simple application. OEM
    carmakers are very proud and protective of their trademarks. There are
    many steps involved in order to display an "Officially Licensed" logo on
    your product. Just finding out where to begin can be a daunting task.

    The Trademark Licensing Overview provides ARMO-member companies with the
    information they need to begin the oftentimes lengthy process in one
    handy reference document. Ford, GM and Chrysler have supplied contact
    information, application forms and general process overviews. While the
    Overview is not a complete guide to trademark licensing, it does provide
    you with information necessary for all those important first steps.

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read ARMO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.

    Back to Top

    HRIA Logo  
    Visit HRIA's website
      hria pinewood
      HRIA is looking for top hot-rod builders to participate in the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge.

    Calling All Hot Rod Builders

    HRIA is sponsoring the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge and looking
    for top hot-rod builders or custom vehicles to take part in this charity
    event. Builders will be given small blocks of wood to complete their
    own unique and one-of-a-kind pinewood race car. All cars will be raced
    at the annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Races and then placed on display at the
    annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. In addition, the cars will be placed on
    eBay for auction, with all proceeds going to two great children’s
    charities—ChildHelp and Victory Junction Camp. To participate, contact
    Eric Saltrick at or 704-483-9343 for more information.

    Hot Rodder Highlight: Melanie Rushforth, Rushforth Wheels

    Melanie Rushforth started her business—Rushforth Wheels—approximately five years ago in Tacoma, Washington, and, like many others within the automotive aftermarket industry, she enjoys the people she meets at shows and other venues. With the help of the Internet, she has also built many relationships through Rushforth Wheels’ online forums.

    Rushforth’s current project vehicle is a ’64 Buick Skylark. It's the ultimate love story. Rushforth and her husband were looking for a project and found this ’64 Skylark on The car had everything they wanted and the original owner lived about a mile from their front door. Like a dream come true, the Skylark was at its new home that afternoon. Today, you might see Rushforth, her husband and the car that was meant to be theirs from the start taking a cruise on the beach.

      hria rushforth
      Melanie Rushforth

    However, Melanie’s true passion is late ’40s/early ’50s trucks, which she would use to transport her dogs and bikes and play in style.

    On a personal note, Rushforth spends much of her time volunteering with non-profits and in the rotary. She is also an officer on the Board of Tacoma Community College and was named a 40 Under 40 in 2009 and a 2010 Woman of Influence in the Puget Sound.

    Rushforth and her husband share their excitement for the industry with their 16-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. Even though they travel a lot for work, it’s not nearly enough for pleasure. “If everyone we knew bought wheels from us, I’d make a point to spend more time on the beach in a tropical location,” she said.

    SEMA's Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) thanks Rushforth for her continuous support.

    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 webpage and is also
    published as part of the Exhibitor Services Manual. Questions may be
    directed to Stuart Gosswein (

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read HRIA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

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

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    LTAA Logo  
    Visit LTAA's website.  

    LTAA Technical Resource Available on SEI

    LTAA is pleased to announce the launch of an LTAA education track for the SEMA Education Institute (SEI). LTAA members may now reference and download a number of technical resources from the new LTAA learning track that were previously available in hard copy only. Now, LTAA members have the information at their fingertips via an Internet connection.

    Resources currently available are:

    • LTAA Pickup Truck Bed Dimensions – pdf
    • LTAA Keyless Entry Connection Guide – pdf
    • LTAA CHMSL Wiring Connection Guide – pdf
    • Why Paint Colors Vary – video

    “This is very exciting for the Council,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive. “These reference tools are always appreciated by installers and counter people in the field. SEI provided us a solution that keeps the tools as an LTAA-member benefit and makes for quick and timely updating of data. LTAA members received an e-mail recently with instruction on how to access their account on SEI. I encourage all members to get familiar with this LTAA education track because this is only the beginning—I promise you!”

    Learn more about the LTAA education tools.

    Not yet an LTAA member? Download an application or contact Jim Skelly at or 909-978-6690 for more information.

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read LTAA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.

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    MPMC Logo  
    Visit MPMC's website.  

    How MPMC Membership Can Benefit Your Motorsports Business

    Does your company manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events? The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)—a SEMA
    council—provides a number of benefits to its more than 200 member

    Benefits include access to a best practices reference guide dedicated to
    common manufacturing business questions, contact information for more
    than 200 fellow motorsports parts manufacturers and an opportunity to
    have three days of 30-minute meetings with editors from print and
    electronic media.

      mpmc, motorsports

    MPMC members produced the “Business of Engine Building” seminar at the
    2011 PRI Show in Orlando. From left to right, veteran engine builders
    Tracy Dennis, Keith Dorton, Ron Hutter, David Reher, Scott Shafiroff and
    Carl Wegner answered questions from moderator Alan Reinhart. Have an
    idea for another seminar topic? Join MPMC now and help make it happen!


    Four Reasons to Join the MPMC:

    • Business Guidelines Manual: Written, produced and designed
      specifically for performance product manufacturers, the manual addresses
      the many challenges faced by manufacturing companies like yours.
      Definitions, resources, options, examples and even sample documents are
      included in the various sections. Each section is written and formatted
      for quick and easy referencing. Topics include bar coding, catalogs,
      counterfeiting, electronic data exchange, freight policies and much
      more. The manual is available for download or viewing, but only to MPMC
      members, through the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) MPMC Education Track.
    • Media Trade Conference: Another opportunity unique to MPMC, and available only to MPMC-member companies, is the MPMC Media Trade Conference (MTC).
      The MTC brings 100 MPMC manufacturers together with 200+ editorial
      staff from national and international media for three days of 30-minute,
      face-to-face meetings to discuss editorial content. Space is limited
      each year to 100 manufacturers, selected via lottery, but only MPMC
      members have the opportunity to participate.
    • Industry Outreach: MPMC members work with other industry
      contacts to produce seminars, panel discussions and events for the
      benefit of not only fellow manufacturers, but the shop owners and
      consumers who ultimately use their products. This past year at the PRI
      Show in Orlando, Florida, MPMC hosted a two-hour discussion in which six
      of the most renowned engine builders in the country shared their
      business experiences with an audience of 150+ shop owners and aspiring
      engine builders.
    • Networking: MPMC hosts various events throughout the year to
      further promote relationship building. A networking breakfast at the
      U.S. Nationals and a Hall of Fame Breakfast at the PRI Show are examples
      of how MPMC works to bring manufacturers together with media and other
      industry colleagues. In addition to meetings with the media, the Media
      Trade Conference also offers two evening receptions, lunches and break
      periods that present myriad networking opportunities.

    MPMC is the only SEMA council dedicated specifically to manufacturing
    companies. If you are not already a member, there is no better time
    to join than right now. Membership is only $100 annually and an application is available on the MPMC website.

    Contact MPMC’s staff liaison Jim Skelly at for more information.

    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 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 January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

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    MRC Logo  
    Visit MRC's website.  

    Why Using a Manufacturers' Rep May Be the Right Move for Your Company

    Here are the top 10 reasons why your company should use a rep:

    1. Results Driven. Our success is your success. Reps are highly motivated to sell your products because they make money when you sell products.
    2. Cost Effective. Better utilize your time and resources. Minimize the labor and travel expenses of hiring your own employees.
    3. Territory Expansion. You get the instant benefits of territory and customer knowledge that takes years to learn.
    4. Relationships. Reps already know companies with whom you want
    to do business. Take advantage of strong, pre-existing relationships
    that have been cultivated through trust and action.
    5. Quick. Hiring a rep is quickest way to get results and to get your “feet on the ground” selling.
    6. Access. Your products and services will have better exposure with your customers because reps are already doing business with them.
    7. Sales Calls. Focused and increased face-to-face time with your customers equals greater sales.
    8. Training. Field training and professional development sets
    reps apart. Reps will educate your customers about the features and
    benefits of your programs and services.
    9. Feedback. Get instant and accurate feedback on your products and programs.
    10. Industry Knowledge. Receive an insider’s perspective that allows you a clearer understanding of the “ins and outs” of your industry.

    Interested? Want to know more? The SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC) can answer your questions and share more reasons why hiring an Independent sales rep may make sense for your company.

    A Message From MRC Chair Wade Cobb

    The MRC council has been chipping away at what our Long-Range Planning
    session of 2010 identified as a need—benefits for our membership! MRC
    recently put a program together with TeleNotes,
    offering our members a business tool to elevate their company’s ability
    to capture data and reporting. We are also continuing to work on travel
    programs, possibly offering an “MRC” rate at our industry events, such
    as PWA and the SEMA Show, with select lodging. We also recognized the
    need to reach out to our general members and non-members to determine
    what it is they need from MRC.

    In February we conducted an online survey to 3,500 rep agencies
    associated with SEMA to find out more about reps and how MRC can
    maximize its efforts as a council to provide you with benefits. Thanks
    to all who took the time to respond; it’s the only way we can build a
    better MRC. Just as any council or association, it’s imperative to get
    the feedback from members on what works or needs to be fixed. As we move
    on reviewing the data MRC has been able to obtain through the survey
    and the information from our LRP, the council will continue to put
    action plans in place to address the concerns.

    Looking to continue the efforts put forth by our members, MRC attended
    the MPMC Media Trade Conference held in Los Angeles this past January
    with the purpose of representing MRC to the manufacturers present. MRC
    Chair-Elect Chris Fairless and I had an MRC room all three days of the
    event, conducting meetings with members interested in utilizing reps and
    showing them the value of using rep agencies. We provided each
    exhibiting company with an MRC brochure and offered the MRC DVD for
    additional information. Both Chris and I were very pleased with the
    event, realizing this was a first for MRC and a great opportunity given
    to MRC by MPMC to explore the venue and take away ideas to build even
    better programs for coming events. We truly wish to thank Kyle Fickler
    and Vic Wood of MPMC for working with us during the MPMC Media Trade

    We look forward to working with other industry segments to continue
    educating our fellow industry members on the benefits of utilizing a rep
    agency as their sales force. Your thoughts and comments are welcome any
    time. We need to hear your voice, so please speak out!

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MRC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MRC, contact Zane Clark.

    Back to Top


    PRO Logo  
    Visit PRO's website.  

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    PRO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read PRO's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

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

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    SBN Logo  
    Visit SBN's website.  

    Connect to the Fastest Growing Committee—the SEMA Businesswomen Network

    The SEMA Businesswomen Network (SBN) welcomes both women and men who work for a SEMA-member company to join the committee. Along with the benefit of joining a community of prominent industry leaders, members in the SBN offers several distinct advantages:

    Networking: The SBN offers access to more than 300 members, largely composed of women who understand the challenges and advantages for working in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Via exclusive invitations to SBN mixers at industry events and SBN events at the SEMA Show, such as the Speed Networking Breakfast, members have the opportunity to network with key influencers in the industry.

    Recognition: Established in 1994, the SBN Awards have become the premier honor for recognition of industry veterans who have volunteered their personal and professional time to contribute to women in the automotive aftermarket. Also, through SBN’s Member of the Month (MoM) spotlight, select women are highlighted for acting as trendsetters in the industry. MoM spotlights receive the honor of being featured in SEMA eNews with a subscription of more than 150,000 recipients, along with a feature on the SEMA website.

    SEMA Show: The SBN offers members the ideal opportunity to become actively engaged in SEMA via volunteering time to help with SBN-sponsored events. Events featured throughout the week include the Speed Networking Breakfast, Café SEMA, and the Gear-up Girl, which act as a great medium to enhance professional growth, networking and business leads.

    There is no cost to join SBN, just many opportunities to meet other women in the industry who are as equally committed to professional growth as you are. Join the SBN now!

    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, 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 to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SBN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SBN's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    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,

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    SPC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SPC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    WTC Logo  
    Visit WTC's website

    Wheel and Tire Professionals Discuss State of the Industry at SEMA Headquarters

    Wheel and tire professionals gathered at SEMA Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for an open discussion to help guide the strategic direction of SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC). “The meeting was full of awesome information, especially for someone like me who fields dozens of phone calls from the enthusiast up to the highest levels of purchasing,” shared Blake Warner of Primax Wheel Corp.

      Wheel and tire professionals gathered at SEMA Headquarters in Diamond
    Bar, California, for an open discussion to help guide the strategic
    direction of SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC).

    Much of the conversation focused on continuing concerns revolving around tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), including their lifespan, the servicing of and opportunities for an additional revenue stream. In an attempt to help members better address TPMS, The WTC has made a webinar available through SEMA’s Education Institute (SEI) entitled, "TPMS 101: Identifying and Understanding the Opportunity," presented by Russ Fuller of Revolution Supply Co.

    Other topics included the Wheel and Tire Council's continuing effort to work with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) on wheel testing standard J2530. The WTC strongly supports the standard, but has concerns over the implementation of a conformance and registry program that could potentially increase the cost for aftermarket wheel manufacturers and ultimately extend the scope of the standard beyond it original purpose. At the same time, the WTC recognizes the importance of a voluntary testing mechanism that legitimizes the use thereof and addresses any misrepresentation of the standard.

    Based on the open discussion and in working with the Tire Industry Association (TIA), the WTC has also made it a priority to increase communication to its retail members in order to provide technical and sales training, as well as best practices that help improve consumer awareness. To help accomplish the Council’s agenda, the WTC Select Committee will make a concerted effort to solicit the participation and expertise of its general membership.

    To get involved, please email Zane Clark at or follow the Member Resource Pool link.

    Don't Miss WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting and Industry Discussion February 8

    The WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting and industry discussion will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, from 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. Get feedback and provide your thoughts to industry leaders during the open discussion. Whether you have questions regarding testing standards, increasing sales, vehicle technology or other pertinent issues, come to the open forum and share your thoughts.

    Have you ever wondered how to get more involved in the SEMA Wheel & 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 last 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 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 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 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 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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    WTC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read WTC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

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

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    YEN Logo
    Visit YEN's website

    SEMA YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

    Mark Stek, Marketing Director, Kelderman Air Suspension Systems

    At age 35, Mark Stek, an Oskaloosa, Iowa, native, and Iowa State graduate, currently holds the position of marketing director for Kelderman Manufacturing. Also known to SEMA members as Kelderman Air Suspension Systems, Kelderman is a diverse and unique SEMA-member company that manufactures and fabricates everything, from agricultural parts to air suspension systems for a customer base that is as diverse as their products.

      yen, rampage jackson
      Mark Stek (left) with celebrity client Rampage Jackson.

    A 12-year veteran with Kelderman, Stek grew up around the automotive industry as the son of a hot rodder. He now applies a synergy of his sports marketing/management degree emphasis with his hot-rodding roots to foster relationships with celebrities and bring added value to both his company and his customers. We sat down with Stek to discuss his experiences working with VIP customers and how they may benefit other young executives in our industry.

    How did you get started with celebrity/VIP builds?

    The UFC's Rampage Jackson approached us a few years ago at the SEMA Show. He already had a lifted truck, but really wanted our suspension on it. Once the logistics were worked out, his truck came to our shop in Iowa and we totally transformed it. We created a video for YouTube that showed the build from beginning to end and that has really increased our exposure. Our celebrity clients, so far, all have reached out to us to receive our product.

    What’s the best part about developing this type of business?

    The best part about working with celebrity customers is that it is really a neat experience for all of our employees. When they visit our facility, everyone is eager to meet them and maybe get a picture and/or autograph. The guys we have worked with have been more than accommodating, which makes it a lot of fun.

    What do you find to be most difficult when working with this type of clientele?

    The most difficult part about working with celebrity customers is that their scheduling is very complex. Celebrities are often short on time on a fairly consistent basis. In Rampage’s case, he was training in the U.K. while we were working on his truck. He was coming back to the States for a couple of weeks to visit family, so we had a very small window of time in which the truck needed to be complete and he could visit our facility for the “reveal.” In other instances, you might be dealing with working around the end of a baseball season as was the case with Wes Helms. Being able to meet their schedule and their expectations are very challenging.

    How do you find and cultivate these types of contacts?

    We want the process to be as “organic” as possible. We know there are celebrities out there who like what we can offer, but maybe haven’t heard about us. Informing them about us is important so they can make a decision based on what they want rather than forcing it. We are confident that we have a great product and the satisfaction of our customers really speaks to that. We work closely with our outside PR agency (Martin & Co.) that, when necessary, can use their more appropriate contacts in order to help us develop a relationship between Kelderman and a particular celebrity.

    How do you utilize those relationships and builds in a positive way to impact customer interaction with your brand or products?

    We try to utilize the celebrity status of our customer in as many ways as possible to help promote our company. We had Rampage sign autographs at our SEMA Show booth in 2010. We have also included our celebrity customers in some of our promotional material, ads, website, Facebook, etc., in order to help people associate that celebrity with our brand.

    What benefit does Kelderman receive from working with celebrities?

    The benefit that our company receives from being associated with celebrities is that it increases credibility. When you consider the fact that they are able to have the best of the best and they choose your company, it says a lot. It also allows our products more exposure and the potential customers to associate a product they may be unfamiliar with to someone that they may already be familiar with.

    What advice would you offer to other YENsters looking to reach out to build these types of relationships either on their own or on behalf of their company?

    When doing anything to help grow a company, you must use every resource that is available to you to your fullest advantage. Developing relationships and trust will take time, so be patient.

    Are there any specific advantages that you feel the younger people in our industry may have when working with celebrity/VIP customers?
    Any disadvantages?

    A younger generation in the industry will have more experience with a younger, up-and-coming crowd of celebrities, so that will allow for a better understanding of the market to which that celebrity will appeal to. There is a good chance that a celebrity will be similar in age, so conversations about personal interests, family, etc., will even be easier.

    SEMA Young Executive Insight

    Ed Monte, Director of Sales, MSD Ignition

      ed monte, yen
      Ed Monte

    The consummate “nice guy,” Ed Monte has a reputation in the automotive aftermarket as one of the friendliest, most outgoing and positive people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. Having worked his way up from taking customer service calls to director of sales at MSD Ignition, Monte firmly believes in the value of hard work, maintaining a positive attitude and building relationships.

    Monte grew up in the Southwest and began riding Honda XR dirt bikes as a kid, exploring the desert and learning the terrain—a good primer for a budding desert racer. It also taught him to respect machinery. From there, he became interested in off-road racing, but focused on business in school knowing he’d need a real “day job” to support his passion for racing. After earning his business degree and working for a speed shop that specialized in desert racing, the Texas native got his first job out of college with MSD Ignition.

    Monte was hired as a jack-of-all-trades sales and marketing clerk, when he realized he was able to make a living talking about his passion—cars and trucks. Monte began making friends and building relationships, which grew into sales accounts and long-term partnerships. He worked his way up to director of sales—a position he still holds at MSD. We spent some time with Monte to learn more about his business philosophy—one we believe would benefit SEMA members of all ages.

    When did you first become interested in cars/trucks?

    When I was in school, I worked for a fellow who ran a paint and body shop by day, but went desert racing on the weekends. I’d spend my afternoons at the shop tearing down off-road cars and prepping them for the next trip. I had a limited amount of knowledge, but a great mentor in the shop owner who showed me how to set the welder up and pull a motor out of a VW Bug in 30 minutes. He also instructed me that a $500 Mac 4-ft. torque wrench wasn’t to be used as a breaker bar! I enjoyed the nitty-gritty work because at the end of the day, getting behind the wheel and shaking down our Class 1 car was a treat after doing all the work on it—and I looked forward to doing it the next weekend!

    What was your first project vehicle? What project vehicles do you own now?

    My first “real” project vehicle (not just a driver I fixed to go to class) was an early ’90s version of a Sand Cars Unlimited four-seat buggy. Before long-travel A-arm suspension cars came onto the scene, this was your traditional 112-in. beam axle car with a whopping 1835cc Type 1 VW motor. A small car by today’s standards, it was my next evolution in keeping the dust and dirt flying in my face, and I loved it. I currently drive a ’99 BFG Project Suburban, plus I have a four-seater play buggy, two XR 600s, a CRF450X and a ’72 El Camino loaded with MSD gear I use for car shows and cruises. I also have an F-150 Raptor that’s been to Barstow for the M.O.R.E. Powder Puff.

    You’ve been with MSD for a long time. Why stay with one company so long rather than jumping around?

    At MSD, it’s a pleasure to work with a team of people who enjoy doing what we all do. A majority of our staff has been with the company for a number of years. We represent a company that is well known in the industry for providing quality parts. That makes it easy for me to take the time to travel on the weekends for shows and races. When you work with neat people, it’s a good thing! You spend more hours at work than you do at home in most cases, so you should really find a job that makes you happy and co-workers whom you like to spend time with. It makes it that much easier to do a good job if you love your work.

    You worked your way up from a sales/marketing administrator to sales director. How did you get there?

    When I was first hired, my initial tasks were to fax (yup, remember faxing everyday?) and call our reps with the information we wanted to get out. We were shorthanded in sales and marketing, so basically I helped coordinate everything from inbound purchase orders to grabbing that one last part from shipping to get it out on a Red Label for a race team. Throughout the years, knowing how to get things handled internally helped when I started working more with the reps building account relationships. When things needed to be handled, I was the go-to guy. We pride ourselves on not letting things sit. I always try to help move things along. After a couple years, I started traveling on the show circuit in addition to working some of the off-road events. Once that started, I had the privilege of becoming the person who our accounts and reps could call on, and I try to always deliver. All you have in business is your word.

    What has been your biggest on-the-job challenge, and how did you deal with it?

    Certainly there are several, but I’d say the very first challenge was when I started doing the jobber shows. While I was excited to travel, I was a little apprehensive about how to interact with the accounts. Not so much the public in general; I knew I could answer the consumer questions and also learn. I had freaked myself out by listening to the guys who had been on the road a lot, especially at NHRA events where the customers are only comfortable talking with their “one guy.” I thought the same when I started to do visits with our customers. Luckily, I figured out that all you can do is put your best foot forward and find out “what can I do for you?” You end up proving yourself, as yourself.

    What is your proudest on-the-job moment?

    I’d hate to sound too simplistic, but I’m pretty happy when I’m flying home from the SEMA Show, PRI, or any show or race where I’ve been able to be productive. It’s satisfying knowing you’ve given 100% and a great feeling when that last customer of the day thanks you for a job well done or appreciates the help.

    Monte’s Top 10 Rules for Success in Sales:

    10. Maintaining relationships is priority #1—try to be friendly with everyone you meet.
    9. Always be honest and straightforward with customers, co-workers and yourself.
    8. Know what you’re talking about.
    7. Keep things in perspective—take every problem one step at a time.
    6. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes—“how can I help you?”
    5. Go into every situation with an open mind. Avoid pre-conceived notions.
    4. Don’t be negative; always look forward.
    3. Listen to people and be genuine. Don’t just wait for a turn to talk.
    2. In our market, people don’t “need” our parts; they want them. Explain what you can do for them.
    1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Customers can tell when someone knows their stuff and when they don’t. Whether setting up a booth or talking to a customer, don’t “b.s.” people if you don’t know what to do. Ask. Learn.

    2011 SPC/YEN Awards

    Three significant industry awards were given out at the 2011 SPC/YEN reception—including the YEN Vanguard Award, Young Executive of the Year Award and SPC/YEN Industry Icon award.

    The YEN Vanguard Award was presented to John Hotchkis of Hotchkis Suspension. As a 20-year member of the aftermarket and current member of the SEMA Board of Directors, Hotchkis has inspired, influenced and mentored dozens of young SEMA members. He was an active YEN member, is active on Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and passionate about his work on the board. Specializing in suspension for musclecars (among the first in the industry), he founded Hotchkis Performance in 1992. Since then, he has employed dozens of young people, inspiring them all. He continues to offer internships to students in the engineering departments of several local universities, and many employees whom he hired as teenagers still work for him nearly 20 years later. He recently fought and defeated cancer and he remains an inspiration to us all.

    The Young Executive of the Year Award was presented to Dan Dolan of DiabloSport Inc. Dolan worked tirelessly to promote and grow the YEN membership over the past year. His enthusiasm has been a great asset in getting the general membership more involved in YEN. He has been a positive influence in the performance aftermarket arena. Dolan is the type of person that any company would want to be represented by because of his “can-do” attitude that looks at problems as opportunities.

    The SPC/YEN Industry Icon award was presented to Mike Spagnola of Street Scene Equipment. As the leader of an automotive aftermarket business, Spagnola understands the cost of doing business and the pressures that manufacturers face in all aspects of the industry. Over the past couple of years, Spagnola has served on the SEMA executive committee and governance committee, chaired the SEMA Show committee as well as the SEMA Show ‘n Shine and Gala Fundraiser efforts. In addition, he has been very active in the SEMA Cares committee and has served as the Board of Directors liaison to the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA). He was honored as SEMA’s Person of the Year in 2010.

    Join YEN

    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

    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

    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 and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

    YEN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read YEN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    Join the SEMA Council Family

    SEMA hosts 10 distinct councils and committees that represent
    focused niches within the specialty-equipment industry. These groups
    are comprised of elected volunteers (Select Committee) who guide and
    direct council activities while representing the membership at large.
    Although each council acts independently and represents a different
    segment, they are all focused on the betterment of the industry as a

    The value councils provide SEMA and the industry is beyond refute.
    It is inspiring to witness a diverse collection of company
    representatives, many of which are direct competitors, come together
    and develop educational, training, youth awareness and networking
    events that are, at the core, designed to give back and promote
    business. An equally important council function is to ensure that
    SEMA sustains a pulse on the industry and maintains a
    presence with its members.

    The question is often asked, “Why should my company join a council?”
    The answer is simple. SEMA councils open the doors and provide you
    exposure to industry leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and a
    community of like-minded individuals who share your passion and desire
    to see business succeed and prosper. Once the doors are open, it is your
    responsibility to take advantage of the benefits by becoming actively

    Learn more today

Spy Shots

  • future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, Volkswagen XL1

    No concept here—These photos delivered by the team at Brenda Priddy & Co. show a pre-production Volkswagen XL1 ripping through ice conducting cold weather testing.

    In January, Volkswagen confirmed that it would build a limited number of the long-awaited 1L car—likely to be named the XL1—and here are some first spy shots that prove VW is serious about the timeline. The XL1 was the third iteration of the Volkswagen 1L car, first shown in concept guise at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show. The two older concept cars had been shown to the public in 2002 and 2009 (then called L1).

    Priddy says that these pictures clearly show the production version and the concept that had been previously shown. According to VW, when the XL1 hits the road in 2013 it will be capable of achieving a combined fuel consumption of approximately 1 liter (.26 gallons) per 62 miles—or 235 mpg!

    Like the L1, the XL1 uses a two-cylinder turbo-diesel. Displacing 800 cc, it is rated at 47 hp and 121 Nm of torque, and transmits power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed DSG transmission. The electric motor pitches in with 27 hp and 100 Nm of torque, and can work in parallel with the diesel or drive the car independent of it.

    The concept-car XL1 had a curb weight of 795 kg and a drag coefficient of 0.186. Just 23.2% of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron; the drivetrain weighs 227 kg.

    The XL1's length and width are similar to the Volkswagen Polo, with a length of 3,970 mm and width of 1,682 mm. However, the car is much lower with a height of only 1,184 mm, and has a coupe-like roofline, reducing interior volume. The design incorporates gullwing doors, with the interior seating layout using a staggered side-by-side arrangement similar to a Smart Fortwo, rather than the previous versions' tandem seating. Performance credentials include a governed top speed of 74.6 mph, with 0 to 50 mph in 32 seconds.

    future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, Volkswagen XL1

    Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.