SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 29, July 19, 2012

What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

  •    collector car
    SEMA Congressional Affairs Director Dan Sadowski presenting Senate Resolution 452 to American Collectors Insurance CEO Jill Bookman, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chairman and Chief Administrator Ray Martinez, and ARMO Chair and American Collectors’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Laura Packard.
       collector car
    Collector cars on display at Steele Rubber Products in Denver, North Carolina. 
    State Representative Jason Saine (R-NC), Eric Saltrick, vice president of marketing at Steele Rubber Products, State Senator Chris Carney (R-NC) and Matt Agosta, president, Steele Rubber Products.
      collector car
    “Drive Your Collector Car to Work” staff event at Source Interlink Media’s Tampa, Florida, office.

    On July 13, 2012, SEMA members joined with SEMA staff and thousands of enthusiasts to celebrate the third annual Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD). Nearly 200 official events were held in the United States, Canada and Australia to commemorate the day, designated by a SEMA-requested U.S. Senate Resolution 452 sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).  

    The U.S. Senate Resolution recognizes “that the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.” Lawmakers in several states and Canada followed the Senate’s lead. New York, New Mexico, Idaho, West Virginia and Hawaii, along with the Canadian Province of Manitoba adopted their own resolution commemorating the day.

    The official events included car club cruise-ins, open houses at SEMA-member companies, specialty shows at automobile museums and “drive your collector car to work” displays. Scores of other unofficial events included car shows, picnics and cruise-ins.

    Collector Car Appreciation Day is supported by SEMA and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils. A detailed summary of the events held across the nation the nation is available on the SEMA Action Network (SAN) website.

    Photos from Collector Car Appreciation Day celebrations are being collected and will soon be posted to an online album available through the SAN website. Send your photos to SAN Director Colby Martin at with “2012 Collector Car Event Photos” as the subject line. Please include the event's details (name, date, city, state) in your message. 

    SEMA-member company representatives joined SEMA staff for the association's third annual CCAD event. 


    Drivers of more than 30 vehicles gathered at the third annual CCAD celebration at the SEMA Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.



Breaking News

  • Boost your presence at the 2012 SEMA Show by taking advantage of the following SEMA News advertising special. When you purchase a series of three, four-color ads (sized 1/3-page or larger) in SEMA News, you'll receive a fourth ad of the same size for free!

    This offer includes the following SEMA Show-themed issues:

    • September—The SEMA Show Prep issue
    • October—The SEMA Pre-Show issue featuring a new products preview and educational programs at the SEMA Show
    • November—The SEMA Show Directory with on-site bonus distribution and the Special Catalog & Product Showcase
    • December—2013 Trends and Business Technology issue

    Space reservation and ad material for the September issue is due July 23. Schedule your advertising today by contacting Motor Media Inc. at 818-248-4449 or e-mail or

  • The council awards call for nominations will go live starting the week of July 23 and remain open through August 17, 2012. Please keep an eye out for the “call for nominations” e-mail that will provide you with the process, criteria and nomination information. SEMA and the councils strongly encourage all qualifying members to participate in this worthy process.

    Every year during the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the councils host their industry awards and recognition receptions to honor those who have made significant contributions to their respective industry segment throughout the year, and recognize those individuals who, through their body of work, have helped reshape our industry.

    As we look to the future, it is important that we pause and thank those who have led by example, and those who have paved the path to a better tomorrow. Contact Arlene Wood at with any questions.

    Get involved, it matters.

  •    powersports
    SEMA's Manufacturer Kiosk Program is only open to manufacturers of powersports products who are already exhibiting in one of the SEMA Show's 11 other sections.

    SEMA will once again offer the Manufacturer Kiosk Program in the Powersports & Utility Vehicles section of the 2012 SEMA Show. The kiosk program is only open to manufacturers of powersports products who are already exhibiting in one of the SEMA Show's 11 other sections. It's an inexpensive, turnkey approach to showcase your powersports product line to the right buyers in the right place.

    For only $499, you can buy a kiosk that will be located in the Powersports & Utility Vehicle section in upper South Hall, while maintaining your primary booth in the Show. The kiosk will display your branding and marketing materials to the more than 15,000 powersports dealers and retailers interested in powersports products. You even have the opportunity to place a motorcycle, dirt bike, UTV, ATV or side-by-side right in front of your kiosk, showcasing your product the way it is intended to be used.

    The kiosk program is a great opportunity to increase awareness and efficiently market your powersports products to powersports dealers and retailers in the most logical and appropriate area of the Show.

 But don't wait, kiosk availability is limited. Reserve your kiosk today. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Mitchell at 702-216-5851 or

    Here's what a couple of exhibitors who participated in the program at last year's Show had to say:

    “The Powersports Kiosk offered us an easy and affordable way to showcase Avon Motorcycle Tyres at the SEMA Show. I would highly recommend it to those in the industry who want to test the waters and get their name in front of more than 100,000 attendees.”

    —Don Sneddon, Avon Motorcycle Tyres NA

    "The Powersports kiosk was a great tool for introducing our new powersports product line at the SEMA Show without having to buy an entire separate booth. We found the kiosk to be very useful and powerful in a 'self-contained unit.' Great idea for someone to broaden their footprint at the Show overall."

    —Brian Paravicini, AIRAID Filter Co.

  •    nv
    A manufacturers’ measuring session will be held for the new Nissan NV200 Cargo Van, August 23, 2012, in Novi, Michigan.

    Nissan LCV Aftermarket Engineering will hold a manufacturers’ measuring session for the new NV200 Cargo Van, August 23, 2012, from 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. in Novi, Michigan. Lunch will be provided.  

    The number of attendees is limited, so if you are interested, please send an e-mail prior to August 14, 2012, to Lynn McNeill-Haugwitz at Include your company name plus the names, phone numbers and e-mail address for each person who will attend.  

    If you have any questions, please contact Lynn McNeill-Haugwitz at 248-488-4861.

  • jeep
    Jeep Jamboree USA will provide several historical international Jeeps
    for display in the Off-Road Success Center, including this ’47 CJ-2A Fire
    This British ’44 Willys Special Air Services Jeep will also be displayed in the Off-Road Success Center. Photo Credit:
    Jeep Jamboree USA.

    Calling all dealers, jobbers, installers and other specialty-equipment industry enthusiasts attending the 2012 SEMA Show. Located in booth #30147 in the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas
    Convention Center, where other truck, SUV and off-road equipment is
    showcased, the new Off-Road Success Center, presented by OMIX/Rugged Ridge, provides business owners and decision makers who want to be in the dynamic Jeep and off-road lifestyle market an area to exchange ideas, learn new concepts for success and network with other like-minded people.

    Hosted by several third-party experts within the industry, as well as leaders from OMIX, the Off-Road Success Center will offer twice daily educational seminars where experts will discuss their first-hand experiences and formulas for success. Additionally, the Off-Road Success Center will include one-on-one consultations, demonstrations and free print materials (seminar dates and times to follow) on these business-impacting topics. A range of vehicles illustrating the rich history of the industry will also be on display, including vintage models provided by Jeep Jamboree USA and OMIX.

    “We’re incredibly excited to sponsor this new area and help facilitate the knowledge of the benefits of growing a business that targets Jeep and off-road enthusiasts,” said OMIX President Al Azadi. “When I started my Jeep parts and accessories business 20 years ago, this knowledge was only available through the process of trial and error. Now we can finally share experts’ knowledge, and help other business owners and entrepreneurs be even more successful.”

    Each seminar will be facilitated by OMIX personnel and led by industry specialists, who will share best practices, tips and tricks for maximizing sales and operational and marketing strategies within the off-road industry. Examples and case studies will also be presented. Planned seminars will include:

    • Recession-Proof Your Truck BusinessLifestyle Sells!

    Learn how to diversify your truck business and cash in on the passion of Jeep and off-road enthusiasts.

    Facilitated by OMIX Director of Engineering and OEM Sales Matt Stanesic and hosted by SEMA Market Research Manager Gavin Knapp.

    • CA$H, the Fuel of Your BusinessHow to Effectively Create Cash From Your Operations.

    Imagine having a surplus of cash to drive your business. Put this presentation on your SEMA schedule now because we will teach you how to create positive cash flow. You will also learn a new, simple and extremely effective growth model that will amplify cash creation.

    Facilitated by OMIX Vice President Brandon Seadorf with key speakers, including a sales growth expert and logistics expert.

    • Data is the EngineHow to Obtain, Understand and Simplify the Loading of Effective Product Data.

    Are you frustrated with missing, inconsistent or ineffective product data? Imagine having a process that reduced the time spent cleaning and loading product information. Learn how to simplify your team's understanding of data, implement seamless load processes and grow your sales through clear product communications for your consumers.

    Facilitated by OMIX Director of Purchasing Gonzalo Manotas and led by SEMA Data Co-op CEO Jon Wyly.

    • Dealerships Dealt A Winning HandHow Jeep and Truck Dealerships Win Profit in the Aftermarket.

    Imagine creating increased consumer pull onto your lot and converting a higher-profit sale. Learn how to use aftermarket accessories to ignite the enthusiast in your consumers, pulling them to your showroom and enjoying increased sales and profits.

    Facilitated by OMIX Business Development Expert Ray Weaver with case study testimonials by a Jeep dealership who has successfully adopted this approach.

    • Bricks vs. ClicksHow Do Brick-and-Mortar Stores Profitably Compete With Online Retailers?

    Does your blood boil when your customer says, ‘But I can get it cheaper online?’ Learn tips and tools to successfully complete each sale without compromising margins while building customer loyalty. Learn to identify, effectively communicate and capitalize on the great value you offer that no website can. Personal relationships, trust and technical know-how still rule.

    Facilitated by OMIX Director of Sales Steve Trudeau with a key retail sales expert.

    • Dare to DreamUse Your Passion to Increase Sales in the Jeep and Off-Road Market.

    Leveraging personal strengths, interests and passion is a formula for success, especially in the growing Jeep and off-road market. No matter how you approach the market, via online, mail-order/catalog, as an installer, storefront or dealership, success can be achieved. Hear OMIX Founder and President Al Azadi’s personal story and learn how you can leverage your own expertise to a higher degree from an expert management consultant.

    • Social Media: Find, Connect and Engage CustomersBuild Relevant Content and Consumer Advocates to Achieve Greater Success.

    Social media is here to stay and it is changing the way we communicate and interact with consumers. Learn how to leverage a strategy and the tools effectively to become more successful and relevant in the market.

    Facilitated by OMIX CMO Sue Otten, featuring the social media case study of legendary off-road enthusiast Dave Doetsch, builder of award-winning Jeepzilla and Black Widow, with a soon-to-be-confirmed social media expert.

    “Off-road products and services are a significant and growing source of income for a lot of businesses,” said SEMA President and CEO
    Christopher J. Kersting. “We applaud OMIX-ADA for adding this innovative training program as part of their presence on the floor of the SEMA Show.”

    Further information on the seminars, including confirmed experts, dates and times of each seminar, will be published in the coming weeks. The Off-Road Success Center, presented by OMIX/Rugged Ridge, is located in booth #30147 in the Truck, SUV and Off-Road section of the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. For additional information on the 2012 SEMA Show please visit

  • The ’13 Dodge Dart compact sedan SEMA Measuring session will be held
    Wednesday, July 25, 2012, from 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at QEK in Auburn
    Hills, Michigan. The deadline to register is Monday, July 23.

  •    menzler
    John Menzler, SEMA's 2011 Person of the Year, will be the official starter of the 2012 Pinewood Drag Races, presented by eBay Motors.

    SEMA Cares is pleased to announce that John Menzler, SEMA's 2011 Person of the Year, will be the official starter of the 2012 Pinewood Drag Races, which will take place at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Convention Center, July 27, 2012. Menzler is an enthusiastic SEMA supporter, and his spirit is sure to increase the participation in the drag races as well as the fierce competition. Even better, Menzler continues to call out the SEMA councils, which are sure to compete for top dog at the Pinewood Drag Races. 

    “The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)—the 'real' car and racing councils—have challenged all other councils to show up and 'run what you brung,'" said Menzler. "Don’t be the council on the sideline bragging how you could have tree’d them or built a better car. Sponsor or build a car, and prove it!”

    The Council Cup is an open-class event and heats will be held during the reception. The top three finishers in those heats will compete in the final race at the opening of the Gala. Owners of all cars and trucks who have paid to race in any class with council affiliation are eligible for the Council Cup qualifying races.

    Held in conjunction with the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, the SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races, presented by eBay Motors, take place Friday, July 27, 2012, at 12:00 p.m., at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Convention Center in Pomona, California. There is no better location for Pinewood Drag Races than Pomona—home of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and Auto Club Raceway.  

    Proceeds from the races will benefit the Childhelp and Victory Junction charities. Childhelp assists abused and neglected children by providing counseling and programs in a safe and secure living environment. Victory Junction provides the camp experience for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses who otherwise would not be able to go.

    Sponsoring a SEMA Cares Pinewood car is easy and rewarding. Please help a child in need today.

  • This is your last chance to purchase tickets and join the hundreds of leaders and professionals from the
    specialty-equipment industry to honor noteworthy icons and volunteers
    during the 2012 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser,
    Friday, July 27. The event will be held at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel
    & Conference Center in Pomona, California, located just down the
    road from the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Business Tools

  •   hyundai
    The all-new ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport was available to SEMA-member manufacturers last week for parts development.
    Travis Ginter of K&N Engineering showed up to the Measuring Session to create a new lifetime replacement air filter for the vehicle.
    Jared Dominguez and Cameron Quiroz of Westin Automotive were looking to develop a grille guard for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
    Jesus Zepeda of Prestige Autotech Corp. measured the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for custom wheel development.

    Sixteen manufacturers turned up to measure the all-new ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport during last week's SEMA Measuring Session at Hyundai Motor America – Service Center, in Fountain Valley, California, who were eager to obtain the specs needed to prepare parts for a vehicle that is projected to be a hit with enthusiasts.

    “Hyundai is placing an increased emphasis on accessories and encourages SEMA members to develop accessories for both the two-row Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe,” said Mike Nino, manager, accessory planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai anticipates significantly higher sales for the all-new Santa Fe, especially for three-row models. Lastly, Hyundai accessory revenue per unit sold is higher for its CUVs than for any other class of vehicles, and we expect Santa Fe application rates to be at above historical average levels.”

    The ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is equipped with either a 2.4L GDI DOHC 16-valve, four-cylinder engine that produces 190 hp, or a 2.0L turbo GDI DOHC 16-valve, four-cylinder engine that puts out 264 hp. Each is mated to a 
six-speed automatic transmission. A panoramic sunroof and power tailgate are available options. According to Hyundai, an extended-wheelbase, seven-passenger version will be available in early 2013.

    Travis Ginter, product coordinator for K&N Engineering, attended the ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Measuring Session to see if K&N could create a replacement to the OE air filter. “After removing the OE air filter, I ran the OE part number through our database to see if we had an existing product for the vehicle, which in this case, we didn't,” said Ginter. “After I found out if the air filter was new, I took measurements and photos of the air box and air filter design, and then ordered the air filter and air box. We will now start development of a new lifetime replacement air filter for the ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe line.”

    Measuring Sessions have also been a valuable part of SEMA’s Tech Transfer program, which 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.

    The next SEMA Measuring Session features the ’13 Dodge Dart compact sedan. SEMA is also importing the Toyota HiLux to the United States as part of a new program to provide SEMA
    members access to vehicles that are popular overseas but not sold
    in the United States. Four Measuring Sessions will be held in various locations, including two at SEMA's headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

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

    ’13 Hyundai Santa Fe Measuring Session Participants:

  • SEMA News—July 2012

    By Mike Imlay

    Winning POP Displays

    Breaking Down the Basics

      Aftermarket Business, Automotive Business, Car Stereo Retailers, Off Road Retailers
    MacNeil Automotive Products won the 2011 SEMA Show New Product Award for its TechFloor retail display. Giving consumers an immediate, intuitive experience of product is vital to POP success.

    We’ve all seen them—on the showroom floor, on the retail shelves, at parts counters. Point-of-purchase (POP) and related merchandising displays compete for our attention daily. But do they really work? How are they created? And why should manufacturers consider adding POP/merchandising displays to their marketing mixes?

    “They’re the last three feet of closing a sale,” said Jim Redfield, CEO of Griffin Chase Oliver Inc., a specialist in merchandising display production. “That’s the bottom line.”

    Founded in 1978, Griffin Chase Oliver sees itself as a “hired gun” for manufacturers who are looking to create sophisticated displays but know they don’t have the expertise to produce them. In short, the company orchestrates complicated display production from concept all the way to fulfillment, engaging outside designers, fabricators and other vendors as required for each project and working closely with manufacturers through every phase of development, including budgeting, timeline management and test runs.

    “You can do all the advertising you want in print or broadcast or normal media, but the best they can do is get a customer into a store where the products you’re touting are being sold,” said Redfield. “Once a customer is in the store, though, they’re at the mercy of whatever promotion there is most attractive.

    “If I see heavy advertising for Product A, and it’s enough to take me from here to Pep Boys or wherever, and I get into the store looking for Product A but adjacent to it is Product B [with] a nice-looking display that touts all of the benefits of that product, at that point I have a decision to make. If the job has been done right for Product B in terms of messaging, I’m going to buy Product B. The irony is that Product A spent $50,000 last month, let’s say, to put ads in all of the relevant media to attract people to the store, and Product B leeched right off that.”

    In other words, Redfield believes that if a manufacturer is going to put money into promoting a product at retail, the best place to put it is in a POP/merchandising display. Once you’ve produced a display and wrestled enough room on the retail shelf or floor to put it up, it sells for you like a billboard next to the freeway, Redfield concluded.

    “You don’t have to further invest in that display,” he said. “It’s there and selling for you until hell freezes over.”

    Jason Hutchens, marketing director at UnderCover Inc., a leading manufacturer of truck bed covers, is also a true believer in the power of POP/merchandising displays. He says that his company spends approximately half its marketing budget on them.

    “We place more value in displays and really supporting the hard retail stores than any other type of marketing we do,” he explained.

    From Elaborate to Simple

      Aftermarket Business, Automotive Business, Car Stereo Retailers, Off Road Retailers
    UnderCover’s Lux tonneau cover display incorporates an actual working model of the product in miniature, along with pertinent literature to create true consumer interaction.

    To that end, UnderCover recently completed production of an elaborate merchandising display showcasing its Lux line of tonneau covers. The display features a half-scale working tonneau—a direct representation of the fullsize unit that customers would buy, down to the materials, hardware, shocks and LED lighting. That part of the display was built in-house using the same manufacturing procedures employed for the real product.

    Similarly, the display’s framework was partially fabricated in-house, while the print work was outsourced. The completed project allows retail customers to operate the model cover to see what it will do for their trucks.

    “I think one of the biggest things is having a product that the consumer can touch and feel—that’s representative of what they’re actually going to get—and a good, powerful graphic to grab their attention and draw them into it,” said Hutchens.

    Shannon Price, account manager for Empire Packaging and Displays, a leading manufacturer of corrugated cardboard POP/merchandising displays, agrees that getting consumers to directly experience a product is the principal goal. She explained that effective POP/merchandising displays both complement and work with product packaging to attract customers.

    “The average consumer is an impulse buyer,” she said. “If your packaging is more eye-catching, it is more likely to be picked up. Once it’s in their hands, it’s more likely to go into their basket than not.”

    Price said that her company takes a variety of factors into consideration in creating the perfect POP/merchandising display. How eye-catching is the display versus the packaging? Is the packaging attractive? How consumer-friendly is the display? Where in the store will the display be located? All of these things will have an effect on enticing consumers to touch, feel or otherwise experience the product being showcased.

    In that regard, Price said that simple displays composed of less elaborate materials such as corrugated cardboard can be highly effective. In fact, cardboard displays hold a number of advantages. Often less expensive, they can be produced much more quickly than metal or plastic displays. Plus they weigh less for shipping and can be more easily disposed of or recycled at the end of a campaign. However, said Price, you don’t want just a throwaway display.

    “You want a lot of use out of that display,” she said. “A lot of people think corrugated displays are for one-time use. They’re not. They’re sustainable. They’re not as sturdy as metal or plastic displays, but they can be built very sturdy, where they can last through several uses.”

    Read the rest of this story online in the July 2012 issue of SEMA News.
  •   SEMA Data Co-Op
    The goal of the SEMA Data Co-op is to enable any manufacturer to take control of their product data, maintain its compliance to standards and provide a seamless means to distribute that data to approved data receivers of their choice in the most affordable way possible.

    Receivers in the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) are asking for your product data by name to grow their sales! Join now and get started for free, including on-boarding and validation of your data files to industry standards.  

    Join the more than 90 companies that are already engaged in the free SEMA Data Co-op beta phase and get started on the path to data independence!

    The SDC is a technology and service initiative created for the benefit
    of SEMA-member companies, with the mission of encouraging and enabling
    the development, safe storage and universal export of industry product

    The SDC has doubled its capacity for the beta phase running through September and now has spots available for suppliers and receivers interested in getting a head start in providing or receiving data through the Co-op.

    Through the development and operation of key business tools and processes, the SDC will enable any manufacturer to take control of their product data, maintain its compliance to standards and provide a seamless means to distribute that data to approved data receivers of their choice.

    Participating suppliers receive free help-desk support, data validation, secure storage and data exports to receivers of their choice through the beta phase, and are first in line to "go live" with the production system later this year. Receivers get a free custom requirements study and unlimited data exports designed especially for their specific needs.

    Join the industry leaders who have already started the beta process and help make the SEMA Data Co-op the central source for SEMA market product data!

  • 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.

    • Keystone Automotive Operations, located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is hiring a bilingual (French/English) customer service agent for incoming call response and order entry. Customer service and call center experience are preferred.
    • Weld Racing, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is hiring a technical sales rep to help the company grow its truck, trailer and dually product lines. Wheel
      sales experience is not required, but the successful candidate will have
      industry experience, preferably in related areas (lift kits,
      suspension, tires, etc.), and be familiar with trends in lifted trucks,
      towing and off-road.
    • THMotorsports Inc. is hiring a work-at-home salesperson with 1–2 years of automotive performance parts and accessory sales experience (classic/modern performance and truck preferred). This position requires answering all inbound phone calls and e-mails, ensuring customer satisfaction.
    • Westin Automotive, located in Irwindale, California, is hiring a product development engineer responsible for exterior truck and commercial accessories design, from concept through release to manufacturing facilities. The successful candidate will have B.S. in mechanical engineering and 2–3 years' experience or internship in automotive aftermarket accessories.

    More automotive job listings.

New Products and Technology

  •  spy

    Caught undergoing testing near the Nürburgring, this lightly camouflaged prototype of the future S63 AMG features a larger air intake, a high-performance braking system and AMG wheels. Delivered by the pro shooters at Brenda Priddy & Co., it remains unknown yet what engine will be used.

    The team speculates that the most likely option is a 5.5L V8 turbo for the S63, and a bi-turbo variant of that very engine for the S65—both mated to a seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission.


    Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.

Law & Order

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comments on a technical report that suggests new ways to regulate motor-vehicle lighting equipment. The report notes that the lighting standard—Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108—was developed in 1968 and has been incrementally changed during a time when there have been dramatic changes in lighting technology. The report evaluates potential new ways to test to a performance-based standard for which the main goal is to reduce crashes and injuries by adequately increasing vehicle conspicuity and illuminating the roadway. 

    The report specifically considers approaches to include whole-vehicle testing for headlighting, asymmetrical headlighting, adaptive forward lighting, headlamp test voltage, sensitivity of headlamps to vertical aim, luminance of signaling and marking lamps, masking of front turn signals and reliability of photometric testing. Comments are due by September 10, 2012. 

    For more information or to receive a copy of the report, please contact Stuart Gosswein

People, Places, & Racing News

  •    foust

    Tanner Foust hits the dirt at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 
Photo: Jakub Nitka/

    Tanner Foust Leads Global Rallycross Championship
    Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust has a strong lead in the Global Rallycross Championship points after a big race weekend that saw an estimated 45,000 fans in the grandstands at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday.

    Foust scored the No. 1 position in qualifying last Friday and then won Saturday's first heat race to bypass the last-chance qualifier and advance directly to the 10-car final. He lined up on the first row of the grid for the race alongside Rockstar Energy and Ford teammate Brian Deegan and rival Travis Pastrana. Foust got an early lead but stalled as he got a bump coming over the pit-lane crossover section, and he was forced to battle traffic for the remaining laps. He clawed his way back into podium contention but crossed the line in a close fourth place, behind Deegan.

    Foust's result was enough to keep him in the lead of the championship standings with 62 points. He is now 12 points ahead of closest challenger Samuel Hubinette, who finished second last weekend.

    Before he returns to U.S. competition, Foust will once again turn his attention overseas where he is currently third in the competitive European Rallycross Championship rankings. Foust will run back-to-back ERC races in Belgium (August 4–5) and the Netherlands (August 11–12).

    Brian Vickers’ virtual garage includes his Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota Camry.

    NASCAR Star Brian Vickers and MyClassicGarage Team Up for Race Weekend at Lenox Industrial Tools
    MyClassicGarage—an online resource and tool for car
    collectors—and NASCAR driver Brian Vickers teamed up during the
    LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race when MyClassicGarage
    became the primary sponsor of Vickers’ racecar during his fourth career
    start of the 2012 season last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor
    Speedway in Loudon. To kick-off race weekend, Vickers claimed his
    personal, virtual garage on the MyClassicGarage website. Called
    the Sheriff’s Shop, Vickers’ virtual garage includes his vintage ’66
    Corvette and the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota Camry.

    Dave Brown and Karl Chicca scored a win for the Hawk Brakes/San Rafael Mitsubishi at the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship.

    Brown/Chicca Make It Three Different Teams in Three Races This Season
    The team of Dave Brown and Karl Chicca managed to score a win for the Hawk Brakes/San Rafael Mitsubishi at the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship, June 17, 2012, at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California. Brown became the third driver to score a win this season in as many races. Robert Thorne crossed the line in second place but was later disqualified for avoidable body contact. Scoring second place was Felipe Cabezas who has not finished worse than fourth this season in his TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3. Taking the last podium position was Pete Bovenberg who has had a terrible season this year in the MBO Motorsports Honda Civic.  

    Thorne qualified on pole in his Auto Parts Warehouse Volvo C30 alongside the Mitsubishi of Brown. At the green, Brown used the all-wheel-drive grip of the Mitsubishi to jump to the lead and never looked back. He led every lap of the race and won comfortably.

    Cabezas prevailed in opening stage of the race and managed to pull away without any problems. Bovenberg has had a rocky season with a 15th-place finish and an eighth-place finish.   

    In the GT class, Ken Kurtz used his V8 engine to muscle his way to a victory in his Yokohama/TPIS Pontiac Firebird. Robin Riner’s R&D Builders Ford Mustang finished second and kept his points lead. Dave Levey finished third in the LIC Motorsports Subaru WRX STi in his first USTCC race.

    The teams will compete next be at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, August 18–19, 2012. 

    Team Bully Dog Wins Pro Street, Logs New Personal Best
    The most recent long haul on the National Hot Rod Diesel Association’s (NHRDA) Pro Street circuit had Team Bully Dog winding their way through the north woods of Minnesota to Brainerd International Raceway.

    The team discovered a fault in the race truck’s transmission during the test and tune on Friday and after helping another team get running, they sacrificed some sleep to get it fixed. After the late night, Team Bully Dog's Jarid Vollmer took to the track, competing in both his own Pro Street class as well as the Pro Stock class.

    Vollmer first qualified for Pro Stock, clocking a 9.46-second quarter-mile at 152.81 mph. He followed this up with a Pro Street qualifying run of 9.57 seconds at 149.46 mph. In the Pro Street finals, Vollmer chased down a personal best of 9.38 seconds at 153.54 mph, winning that class. A nitro issue during the Pro Stock finale pushed Vollmer’s time back to a 10.78 at 91.22 mph, and resulted in some minor engine damage.

    B-Spec cars have been running both Pirelli World Challenge and SCCA Club Racing this season. Photo: Mark Weber/SCCA

    Pirelli World Challenge, SCCA Announce Partnership for B-Spec Shootout at National Championship Runoffs
    Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and Pirelli World Challenge have announced the “B-Spec Shootout Presented by Pirelli World Challenge” at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs as part of the subclass of the Showroom Stock C race. Top finishers in the race can win cash and entries into the Pirelli World Challenge Championships Touring Car-B class for the 2013 season.

    While not an official SCCA National class in 2012, B-Spec will run within the Showroom Stock C race, Thursday, Sept. 20—the opening day of four days of National Championship races at Road America.

    As part of the partnership with Pirelli World Challenge, winners will receive $3,000 and have all 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B entry fees waived, with $1,500 going to the runner-up and $500 to third place. The second- and third-place finishers will also get a two-race entry fee and a single-race entry fee waiver for TCB in 2013, respectively.

    In addition, The B-Spec Shootout will get a full post-race podium celebration, coverage on and during the live Runoffs broadcast on The streaming web program will include a piece on the birth of the B-Spec concept and the successful debut season of Touring Car B in Pirelli World Challenge.

    The B-Spec rule set was developed by the SCCA to allow drivers to use the same car in a number of platforms, including SCCA Club Racing and the Pirelli World Challenge, with minimal changes. Already this season, Joel Lipperini has run a SafeRacer National Series race at Lime Rock Park, then driven overnight to finish second in the Pirelli World Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the same weekend.

    As part of the program, each B-Spec competitor in SSC will run special Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec Shootout numberboards. Numberboards and numbers for each side of the car will be supplied by SCCA. Drivers may run any SSC-eligible tire brand and may also run for that brand’s contingency program.

    For the third time this year, both Scott-Eklund Racing 600 bhp, 2L, 16-valve Saab 9-3s made it to the final.

    Scott-Eklund Racing Secures First GRC Podium
    Scott-Eklund Racing secured its first podium in the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) with a fighting second place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Saturday July 14. 

    American Samuel Hubinette, driving the Eneos Motor Oil-backed Saab 9-3, finished second in his qualifying heat to advance into the final for the fourth time this year and, after a battle with Travis Pastrana, crossed the line more than a second adrift at the flag. After a strong finish both in Charlotte and Texas, the result puts 41-year-old Hubinette into second place overall in the points table.

    For the third time this year, both 600 bhp, 2L, 16-valve Saab 9-3s made it to the final. Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal Andy Scott recovered well from a broken right rear wheel in qualifying to line up on the second row for his heat. 

    A great start for the Dumfries fisherman allowed him to battle for the lead going into the tight first corner, but a hit from Ken Block on the descent from the first ramp jump saw Scott sidelined with steering damage.

    The Scott-Eklund Racing team made rapid repairs to the Scott Trawlers-backed Saab 9-3 to allow him to take up a place in the Last Chance Qualifying race, from which the top four would advance into the final. With limited time between the restarted heat and the LCQ, a full repair could not be carried out, with Trawlers taking up position with the steering not fully fixed.

    Despite that handicap, the British Rallycross vice champion progressed through the field well, taking the long jump on the opening lap and steadily moving up the order to take fourth to put him into the final alongside his teammate Hubinette.

    At the start, Hubinette made a good getaway and was immediately pushing hard for the final podium spot. He drew alongside Pastrana to move ahead as they entered the crossover, but as the pair ran nose-to-tail, Hubinette was tapped from behind and forced wide, allowing Pastrana through and into the lead, which he held to the flag.

    A solid drive by Trawlers, with the steering not fully operational, netted a strong sixth place to move him up to eighth place in the points, just 12 points adrift of Hubinette.

       project 1320
    The Quarter Mile Foundation has now recorded 179 pioneer interviews for the PROJECT
    1320 documentary film about the early days of drag racing and the
    performance automotive aftermarket.

    Quarter Mile Foundation Adds 16 More Pioneer Interviews
    The Quarter Mile Foundation’s efforts to capture first-person interviews of many of the surviving pioneers of drag racing were boosted by the addition of 15 more veterans (plus a spouse) at the recent 11th Annual York – U.S. 30 Reunion and Nostalgia Nationals at the York (Pennsylvania) Expo Center, July 13–14, 2012).

    Using facilities within the York Expo Center at York Fairgrounds to record the interviews, the Foundation added a number of East Coast racers, promoters, photographers, journalists and aftermarket figures to the historical record of the sport.

    The interviewees were:

    • Margaret Altizer
    • Arnie (“The Farmer”) Beswick
    • Francis Butler
    • Gordy Foust
    • Dave Hale  
    • Ben Koch
    • Judy (“Miss Mighty Mopar”) Lilly
    • Larry Lombardo
    • Bob (“Beaver Bob”) McCardle
    • Bill Pratt
    • Frank Spittle
    • Jere Stahl
    • Jim Stuempfle
    • Chuck Stolze 
    • Arlen (“Akron Arlen”)  Vanke

    The Foundation expanded the interview of former NHRA Division One Director and York Reunion promoter Darwin Doll, whose interview was shortened at the 2011 event. Additionally, Margaret Altizer, the wife of Gene Altizer (S&S Racing Team), added a wife’s unique perspective of the powerhouse “Gasser” teams in the ’60s, as well as her continued involvement with the team’s strong presence in the today’s drag-racing nostalgia movement.

    The Foundation has now recorded 179 pioneer interviews for the PROJECT 1320 documentary film about the early days of drag racing and the performance automotive aftermarket. The Foundation will film more pioneer interviews at the NHRA’s MAC Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis over the Labor Day weekend.

  •   aftermarket news, automotive aftermarket news, aftermarket business
    As director of marketing for Energy Suspension, Michael Santa Cruz  will oversee all aspects of the company's marketing efforts by developing national brand awareness.

    Energy Suspension Appoints Michael Santa Cruz Director of Marketing
    Energy Suspension announced that it has appointed Michael Santa Cruz as director of marketing. Santa Cruz will oversee all aspects of the company's marketing efforts by developing national brand awareness through print and social media, and manage website redevelopment, budget, product releases, trade, consumer events and sponsorship programs. According to Energy Suspension, Santa Cruz has more than 24 years in the automotive industry and brings a diverse background of sales and marketing experience to the company.

    John Force Featured During PRI Grand Opening Breakfast
    During the Grand Opening Breakfast of the PRI Trade Show, 15-time NHRA
    Full Throttle Funny Car Champion John Force will join Dave Despain for
    live version of the Wind Tunnel TV show that airs on the Speed Channel.
    "The Grand Opening Breakfast is a great racing industry tradition, and
    we're excited to bring Dave back again. He's an outstanding motorsports
    journalist and always brings out the best stories from the special
    guests. Add John Force to the mix, and we're really going to have some
    fun," said John Kilroy, producer of the PRI Trade Show. The PRI Trade
    Show takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 29–December 1,
    2012, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center
    in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit

    New Website for Woodward Dream Cruise
    Woodward Dream Cruise launched a newly designed website that the company reports is easier to navigate and is its first redesign in five years. According to the Woodward Dream Cruise President Greg Rassel, the website,, has a new look and is a more accurate representation of what the cruise is all about: family, fun and remembering the good times. The website will be updated regularly with event changes and fun facts.

    Dee Zee Inc. Acquires Worldwide License Rights of Invis-A-Rack
    Dee Zee Inc. has acquired the exclusive worldwide license rights of Invis-A-Rack. Dee Zee now handles manufacturing, marketing and distribution of this innovative cargo management system. Dee Zee Inc. is a manufacturer of light truck accessories that distributes to all major aftermarket segments, including warehouse distributors, mass retailers, farm store retail chains, eCommerce and big box retailers. Dee Zee will launch this new product line at the 2012 SEMA Show starting October 30, 2012 (Booth# 31037). 


      nhra mopar

    MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS SET TO KICK OFF THE SWING: The traditional three-week NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Western Swing kicks off at Bandimere Speedway with the 33rd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 20–22. The 13th of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series marks the middle of the season and the deal breaker to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship—the NHRA’s playoffs. Drivers in all four categories—Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle—will race to the top of the mountain. The Full Throttle teams travel high and deep into the Rocky Mountains to more than 5,800 ft., where the altitude affects everything from engine tune-ups to aerodynamics, to begin the Western Swing. Crews must make changes to established power-making combinations and battle lack of downforce to tackle the environs. The event is a testament to the skill and adaptability of the racers.

    In addition to the racing action, a host of activities will be held in celebration of the 33rd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. On Thursday, July 19, fans are invited to attend the Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden, Colorado, from 6:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m., featuring a live band, car displays and a driver autograph session. On Saturday before racing, the Go Red for Women Track Walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. to bring awareness to heart disease ( This experience gives fans the chance to walk the same track where NHRA drivers compete at speeds of 300 mph and be joined by NHRA racers. The event is free for all Saturday ticket holders. For tickets, call 800-664-UWIN (8946) or log on to


    GOODYEAR GIVES BACK, JOINS FORCES WITH THE NHRA TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.—exclusive tire supplier of NHRA’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes—is honoring and supporting U.S. armed forces with the launch of the Goodyear Gives Back campaign—a fundraising effort designed to generate support for the U.S. armed forces and their families who make sacrifices to protect Americans’ freedom. A number of initiatives are part of this year’s program, including at-track activities and the launch of To kick off this year’s program, Goodyear is leading the way with its own donation to the Support Our Troops organization.

    During the Goodyear Gives Back event from July 1 through August 31, Goodyear will donate $1 per select Goodyear tire sold to Support Our Troops. In the past two years, contributions generated through the Goodyear effort have amounted to nearly $400,000 in cash and product and have benefited U.S. servicemen and servicewomen directly and through the programs operated by Support Our Troops. This nonprofit nationwide organization works to bolster the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families by delivering more than $20 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, providing positive support at home and kids’ camp assistance and more. Consumers and race fans can get involved in this year’s Goodyear Gives Back campaign by logging on to and bidding on authentic, race-used Goodyear NHRA and NASCAR tires autographed by drivers who used them in races as well as other unique items, including authentic motorsports experiences and memorabilia. All proceeds will go directly to Support Our Troops.


    ERIC MEDLEN NITRO NIGHT PLANNED FOR SONOMA: Infineon Raceway will honor the memory of the late Eric Medlen during the fifth annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner at Stone Tree Golf Club, Thursday, July 28. Medlen, a native of Oakdale, California, in the San Joaquin Valley, won the Funny Car title at Infineon Raceway—his home track—in 2006. He succumbed in March 2007 to injuries sustained from a testing accident. Medlen was a member of John Force Racing. Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Aaron’s/Valvoline Dodge), Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge) and Melanie Troxel (ProCare Rx Toyota) will attend, as will Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas (GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster) and Shawn Langdon (Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster). The event will be hosted for the second consecutive year at Stone Tree Golf Club, which is less than five miles from Infineon Raceway in Novato, providing easy access for fans and race teams. Nitro Night also serves as a kickoff to the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway July 29–31. This year’s event marks the series’ 24th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley and will feature professional competition in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes. To reserve your seat for the dinner, contact Denise Silver, 707-933-3950 or


    MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS, BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, July 20–22: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 13th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points in the battles for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners are Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-664-UWIN (8946) or log on to

    NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS, SONOMA, July 27–29: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 14th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points in the battles for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or log on to

    O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA NORTHWEST NATIONALS, PACIFIC RACEWAYS, August 3–5: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 15th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season in the Northwest, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points in the battles for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners were Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to



    Shawn Langdon in 1997.


    LANGDON READY FOR DENVER, SITE OF SUCCESS SINCE BEING A JR. DRAG RACER: Shawn Langdon is still looking for that elusive first win in Top Fuel, and he really is hoping that it comes at the next NHRA event—the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, as the NHRA returns to Bandimere Speedway, where Langdon and his family have had a lot of success.

    “I’m always excited to go Denver because I won my first NHRA national championship there in the Jr. Dragster class in 1997, so for me, going back to Bandimere Speedway always gives me a special feeling because of all the good memories I have there. Plus, the Bandimere family always puts on a great show; they have a great track, and it’s always an exciting event for me. I was also there when my dad won the Super Gas title in 1985, so it’s just one of those tracks where you just get that special feeling when you roll into the gate.”



    5: JUST FIVE RACES BEFORE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP: With only five races remaining in the NHRA regular season, it is crunch time for those wanting to make the Countdown, especially those on the outside looking in, including reigning Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan, rookie Alexis DeJoria and veteran Tim Wilkerson in Funny Car; Clay Millican and Bob Vandergriff, who are tied for 10th in Top Fuel, and Terry McMillen, who is right behind them; four-time Pro Stock world champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. is in 11th in that category, just four points out of 10th; and rookie Pro Stock Motorcycle rider John Hall and veteran Steve Johnson are looking to earn a berth to the Countdown in the final stretch of the regular season.



    ONE SPOT LEFT IN TOP FUEL NHRA TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT: The first six different NHRA winners in both Top Fuel and Funny Car are guaranteed starting spots in the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootouts, but the seventh winner also has a good shot at qualifying for the $100,000 bonus race at Indy, presuming that the points leader after Brainerd has won an event, which is likely, although not guaranteed, at this point in the season. With one position left in Top Fuel and only four races remaining, it begs the question of who will be the potential seventh qualifier for the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Qualified drivers in Top Fuel are Spencer Massey, Antron Brown, Steve Torrence, Morgan Lucas, Tony Schumacher and David Grubnic. Qualified drivers in Funny Car are John Force, Robert Hight, Mike Neff, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Johnny Gray. The seventh winner in Funny Car is Jeff Arend. The eighth and final position in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will be chosen by a fan vote that goes live August 20, followed by a weighted lottery August 29.

  • 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)

    LTAA Logo  
    Visit LTAA's website.  
    Looks like Christmas in July as Bob Smeigh and the gang at RV 4 Wheel Drive & Performance Automotive get ready for the Jeep Build at the Carlisle Truck Nationals, August 3–5. Products from LTAA-member companies will be installed on a ’12 Jeep Rubicon in front of a live audience during the event.

    LTAA Readies for Carlisle Jeep Build

    An added feature to this year’s LTAA New Products Showcase event at the Carlisle Truck Nationals is a live vehicle build-out. Technicians from LTAA-member retailer RV 4Wheel Drive & Performance Automotive in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, will transform a ’12 Jeep Rubicon from stock to fully modified and accessorized, right in front of the thousands of light-truck enthusiasts attending the event.

    LTAA thanks the following companies for participating in the project: Airaid, Bestop, Cepek, Daystar, Flowmaster, GoRhino!, Hella, Hellwig, Mickey Thompson, N-Fab, Putco, Rampage, Rolling Big Power, Skid Row, Skyjacker, Stratec, Superchips, Superlift, Timbren, Warn, Weathertech and Westin.

    LTAA-member companies can have their hottest new light-truck products on display in front of thousands of enthusiasts at the Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, August 3–5, 2012. Melanie White of Hellwig Industries says, “The New Products Showcase is one of my favorite benefits of LTAA.” In 2011, Hellwig sent four products to Carlisle. Will your company be in the tent with Hellwig this year?

    New Products Tent Filling Fast

    Have you registered your hottest new light-truck accessory for the LTAA New Products Showcase (NPS) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, August 3–5? If not, you should do so right away at LTAA NPS Registration. The New Products tent is rapidly running out of space, and you don’t want to be left out of this premium LTAA-member benefit. An added element for 2012 is the “Stock to Show” Jeep build-out, utilizing LTAA-member company products exclusively. Attendees at the build will be directed to the New Products tent to see more LTAA-member company products. Attendees in the tent will likewise be directed to the Jeep build to see LTAA-member company products installed live on a ’12 Jeep Rubicon.

    What are members saying about the LTAA New Products Showcase?

    “The New Products Showcase is one of my favorite benefits of LTAA,” said LTAA Chair-Elect Melanie White of Hellwig Industries. “This is our third year participating, and it just keeps getting better. This year there will be a Jeep on-site that will be turned from a stock vehicle into a fully customized rig by the end of the weekend—and all in front of an audience. As a manufacturer, we get to exhibit our new products in front of truck enthusiasts for the weekend for only the cost of shipping the product. A professional picture is taken of the product that lives on the LTAA website in a gallery and is shown in the LTAA booth at the SEMA Show as well; it’s a bargain for the amount of exposure.”

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.

    Back to Top

    ARMO Logo
    Visit ARMO's website.

    Why ARMO?

    Is your business involved in the restoration segment and not yet an ARMO member? In addition to direct access with its 275 restoration company members, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) provides a number of other benefits, including education and outreach for small businesses in the restoration market, product exposure through an annual New Products Showcase and collective support of the restoration hobby.

    Top Reasons to Join ARMO:

    • Networking Opportunities: The primary strength of ARMO is its member companies. The organization provides multiple venues for ARMO members to interact and share ideas through its long-range planning meetings, new-products mixer at Spring Carlisle and the ARMO awards reception at the 2012 SEMA Show, as well as discussion groups on MySEMA and social media websites.
    • Education: The annual ARMO education seminars at the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show bring industry leaders and experts together to share their real-world experience with small-business owners, providing tips and insights to help them grow their businesses. The ARMO Restoration Trademark Licensing Guide provides ARMO members with the basic forms needed to begin the process of getting products licensed by an original-equipment manufacturer. The licensing guide is available through the SEMA Education Institute.
    • Supporting Hobby Growth: ARMO recognizes the importance of the individual hobbyist to the industry and supports Collector Car Appreciation Day activities across the country. Every April, the ARMO New Products Showcase puts member company products directly in front of 100,000+ restoration enthusiasts each year at Spring Carlisle. In addition, ARMO’s “Take a Kid to a Car Show” (TKCS) program strives to get children involved in automotive hobbies at an early age. The interactive TKCS website provides information on how to get involved for kids and adults alike.

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

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.

    Back to Top

    HRIA Logo  
    Visit HRIA's website
    Bubba from Bubba’s Rod & Customs working on his Pinewood design.

    Rodders Gear Up for Pinewood Builders Challenge

    Twenty hot-rod and custom car builders have signed up to participate in
    the annual HRIA Pinewood Builders Challenge. Each builder will create a
    one-of-a-kind Pinewood car that will be raced at the Pinewood Drag Races, presented by eBay Motors, in Pomona, California, July 27, 2012. After being raced, the cars will be placed on display in the SEMA Cares booth at the SEMA Show in November and auctioned on eBay during the Show. All proceeds from the Pinewood car auctions will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp
    children's charities. This year, top builders participating in the
    challenge include Troy Trepanier, Rich Evans, Ringbrothers, Jesse
    Greening, Tim Strange and Troy Ladd.

    Complete list of builders to date:

    B Rod Or Custom   Larry Burchette
    BS Industries   Bodie Stroud
    Bubba's Rods & Customs   Tom Lloyd
    Fast Lane Hot Rods   Dave Lane
    Goodguys   Ed Capen
    Goolsby Customs   Josh Hennning
    Greening Auto Co.   Jessie Greening
    Hollywood Hot Rods   Troy Ladd
    Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle   Kevin Tulley
    Johnny's Auto Trim   John Martin
    Kaucher Kustoms   Keith Kaucher
    Lokar Inc.   Jeff McClure
    No Joke Upholstery   Noah Howard
    Performance Coachworks   Derrek Johnson
    Rad Rides by Troy   Troy Trepanier
    Rich Evans Designs   Rich Evans
    Ringbrothers   Mike Ring
    Spankys Hot Rods   Mike Cooper
    Spitzer Concepts   Mike Spitzer
    Strange Motion   Tim Strange
    Street Vizions   Derek White

    To participate, contact
    Eric Saltrick at or 704-483-9343 for more information.

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

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

    Back to Top

    MPMC Logo  
    Visit MPMC's website.  
      mpmc hof
    The first four members of the MPMC Hall of Fame were inducted in
    2010. From left, Jeep Worthan, John Menzler, Scooter Brothers and,
    accepting for Amy Faulk, Chris Fairless. The first step toward being a
    member of the MPMC Hall of Fame is a nomination. If you know anyone who
    deserves a place alongside these and other legends of our industry,
    please submit an online nomination now.

    Nominations Now Open for MPMC Hall of Fame

    The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) is now accepting nominations for its 2012 Hall of Fame. MPMC Hall of Fame nominations will be open through August 3, 2012. When nominations close, a special task force will evaluate the nominations for compliance with the award criteria. When final nominees are selected, the task force then utilizes a scoring system to determine the inductees. The honorees are formally inducted during a breakfast ceremony on Friday morning at the PRI Show in Orlando, Florida.

    Founded in 2010, the MPMC Hall of Fame permanently acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution to the MPMC and/or the motorsports manufacturing segment of the aftermarket. Past inductees to the MPMC Hall of Fame include:

    • 2010: Amy Faulk, Scooter Brothers, Jeep Worthan, and John Menzler
    • 2011: Chuck Blum, Todd Gartshore, Rick Rollins and Nate Shelton

    There are so many individuals deserving of a place in the MPMC Hall of Fame. But first, they must be nominated. If you know of anyone who meets the award criteria, please take a moment to submit a nomination on the MPMC Hall of Fame Nominations form.

    If you have any questions, contact MPMC staff liaison Jim Skelly at 909-978-6690 or

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

    Back to Top

    MRC Logo  
    Visit MRC's website.  

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

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

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

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

    For information about MRC, contact 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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

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

    Back to Top

    SBN Logo  
    Visit SBN's website.  

      sbn build
    Theresa Contreras of L&G Enterprises will lead the paint/body team during each phase of the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women.

    Team Finalized for SEMA Mustang Build Powered By Women

    The all-female build team is now finalized for the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. Starting in July at Source Interlink Media’s Southern California headquarters, the team of technicians, enthusiasts and industry personnel will work together to customize the ’13 Ford Mustang GT donated by Ford Motor Co.—the title sponsor of the project.

    The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) assembled more than 30 women for the team to install 50-state-legal, street-legal aftermarket parts provided by SEMA-member manufacturers and suppliers on the Mustang GT. The team will transform the vehicle into the winning black-chrome, satin luxury Mustang concept known as “High Gear,” which was designed by Jennifer Seely of Ford and chosen by Source Interlink magazine readers and fans in June. The completed vehicle will be auctioned off on eBay Motors with proceeds being donated to the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.

    Kellie Colf, SBN assembly coordinator and president of Colf Creative Resources, said, "I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team of women. There are SBN members coming in from all corners of the industry, with all levels of expertise and it’s amazing to witness. The best part is that I get to work with other like-minded female gearheads, build an amazing car and help fund scholarships for future industry leaders all at the same time!"

    The following women from the SBN will lead their respective teams during each phase of the build in El Segundo, California. For more information about the women behind the project and the manufacturers supporting them, visit and follow the build at and

    Powertrain Team: JoAnn Bortles, Crazy Horse Custom Paint, Waxhaw, North Carolina 

    The SEMA Mustang Build was the brainchild of JoAnn Bortles after she participated in a successful all-female motorcycle build. Bortles has more than 30 years of experience as an award-winning custom painter, airbrush artist, welder/fabricator, photojournalist and is the author of six books. In addition to having owned a Mustang repair shop in the early ’80s, she is one of the first women to own and operate a custom paint shop in the United States.

    Paint/Body Team: Theresa Contreras, L&G Enterprises, San Dimas, California

    With a background in graphic design, Theresa Contreras’ vast experience includes vehicle design concepts and renderings, with a specialty in custom painting. She’s been featured numerous times in paint tech articles and recently participated in an episode of “Car Warriors,” where she was the first female team leader. During the competition, Contreras led her team to victory with their ’70 Chevrolet C-10.

    Undercarriage Team: Mollie Lewis, All in the Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Mollie Lewis has been in the automotive/diesel service and repair industry for 25 years. Her certifications include: EPA Certification Refrigerant and Reclamation and Handling, MOOG Alignment Certification and No Code Diagnostic Strategies. As an ASE-certified technician, Lewis is well equipped to lead the team of women who will install the aftermarket exhaust, suspension, wheels and tires.

    Interior & Stereo Team: Kristin Cline, Cie Studios, Long Beach, California

    Kristin Cline’s automotive experience began when she acquired her first classic car more than six years ago. Cline is comfortable working on various years/makes/models of vehicles and maintains her own blog about the automotive hobby at She is also a founding member of the Gasoline Girls car club where she shares her knowledge and encourages other women to get their hands dirty in the garage.

    Quality Inspection Team: Jennifer LaFever, RoushYates Racing Engines, Mooresville, North Carolina

    Jennifer LaFever has been in the automotive industry for several years and has earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and attended Universal Technical Institute for automotive technology and motorsports. LaFever’s expertise is in component inspections, mathematical calculations and diagnostics with a strong understanding of electronics.

    The SBN Vehicle Build Task Force is comprised of Task Force Chair Rose Kawasaki (Exports International), Project Vehicle Coordinator Sherry Kollien (Ford Motor Co.), Assembly Coordinator Kellie Colf (Colf Creative Resources), PR/Media Coordinator Camee Edelbrock (Schiefer Media Inc.) and Product Coordinator Susan Carpenter (JR Products). Advisors include Mike Spagnola (Street Scene Equipment), Joel Ayres (Bedslide/Takit) and Marla Moore (Hypertech).

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    SPC Logo  
    Visit SPC's website.  

    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 July/August issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Bryan Harrison.

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    WTC Logo  
    Visit WTC's website

    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 July/August 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

    Ernie Manansala

    YEN Member Spotlight: Ernie Manansala, Tribe Agency

    This month's Young Executives Network (YEN) Member Spotlight features Ernie Manansala, CEO of Tribe Agency. At 30 years of age, Manansala has 10 years of industry experience. We recently spent some time with Manansala, discussing a variety of
    topics that we thought would be of interest to fellow SEMA YEN

    Tell us a little about yourself and what you do. How long have you worked in the industry?

    I started at 19 years old as the marketing manager of König Wheels. It was a perfect time for me to be a part of that company. We had the best line of wheels that year, and the founder of König believed that based simply on my creative passion, I could help bring the brand up to the awareness level that he wanted.

    How did you get your start and what positions have you held at what companies as you progressed to your current position?

    I have been on and off in the industry for about 10 years now. The reason I say that is because we launched NOS Energy Drink, which now plays a major role in the automotive industry. In reality, it truly is a beverage company that had many learning experiences after we were acquired by Coca Cola, where I remained for a few years to bring the brand to the top-five energy drinks in the nation.

    We understand you’re quite the gearhead and have built a number of cars during your time in the industry. Do you have a favorite amongst the cars that you’ve owned?

    Yes, I will admit I’m a “gearhead,” but not so much as a builder or mechanic, but more of a designer and driver. I have always hand-drawn cars and eventually started rendering. People began to see the ideas that came to life as the renderings became cars that debuted at the SEMA Show. I would always come up with renderings to show my brother and his feedback alone was enough for me then.

    Do you have any bucket-list builds?

    Working in the field, I met my best friend and mentor, RJ De Vera. He gave me the “Car Crazy” illness and now nothing is safe! I have designed themes for a variety of cars, from the Mitsubishi “i” to the Nissan “GTR”—totaling about 17 builds for the SEMA Show and our clients. All of them are near and dear to me because when I look back at each car, I remember a time in my career that really helps me understand where I am today and what I can achieve for tomorrow.

    I drive a BMW 525i and I love it; it really suits me at the moment. Although, I am the guy who drives a company car every day, from the Fiat 500 on Monday, Mitsubishi Evo on Tuesday, to our Outlander Sport, ’93 Mazda RX7, my ’98 Toyota Landcruiser (my zombie evacuation machine), ’88 Mazda RX7, ’93 Lexus SC 300 (2JZ) and lastly, the most precious to me, my NSX. I have a few more cars that I want to have for my personal collection, such as a yellow Acura Integra Type R, a Toyota Corolla “86,” Nissan s15, Nissan GTR R34 and Toyota Supra. I’ve got a thing for that generation of cars. Last on my current list is a Porsche 356. I just need to get it!

    Let’s change gears and talk a bit about your experience at NOS Energy Drink. You were in “on the ground floor” when they were developing their brand and presence within our market. What was that like?

    It was nothing like it seemed to be. It was a lot of hard work and learning. I think back and wonder, “Would I ever change anything?” The answer is no. Just imagine waking up every day feeling so happy to be who you are and loving what you do. However, like with any job, there were challenges, chief among those for me was facing the reality of having millions of dollars at stake. Every move and thought I made was always being monitored. Loving your job is everything and that’s all I needed to commit to my job. The outcome of my hard work and dedication is that NOS is currently the No. 1 energy brand in Coca Cola’s portfolio and NOS is the purest brand in the market in both the automotive and beverage industry today.

    We understand that you’ve recently started your own marketing agency, Tribe, which provides marketing services to the automotive aftermarket and the action sports industry. In what way was the experience building your own company different from your time at NOS? Any similarities?

    I was only 22 years old when we started NOS. I was a loose cannon back then. All jokes aside, I was offered a job at Facebook shortly after NOS, but I didn’t really know what I wanted at the time. I never thought I would leave NOS or Coca Cola, but I felt like there was a missing link. I've always been told that I am a creative thinker and artist, and I never really thought about it until my friend Mark Arcenal made me think otherwise. He helped me understand that “creativity” is a crucial part of any business and is also the heart and soul of a company. This really put things into perspective. I declined the job offers that I had lined up, including an opportunity at Facebook. My head hunter hated me.

    There are a lot of great business people in the world today, but there are only a few “creative” people who can ensure that everything comes full circle. Designers only design to see the end “look.” On the other hand, I’ve always looked at the bottom dollar because I was so invested into every department at NOS and CCE. Brands today are missing out on transitioning to the new and realizing that the old just isn’t efficient after a while. You learn a lot being a part of and working at one of the largest companies in the world and that’s what I took out of being at NOS. I had to both view things from 10,000 feet in the air and roll up my sleeves at ground level every day. This meant that I did not just contribute creatively, but I also managed the business and was the grunt of every company decision and operation. Tribe is simply that—a group of people who are a part of something with one thing in mind—“building brands.” At the moment, we are known as the “social media intelligence” agency, but overall, we are just your everyday marketers, packing a punch with some powerful creative spirit, comprehensive strategies and ideas for the end consumer.

    How have the experiences at NOS and Tribe and now working for your clients affected your business outlook on the market and how companies go to market with products and services?

    The difference is crazy. NOS was a $2.99 item with huge volume, and now we are working with clients with a six-to-seven-figure MSRP value. My biggest thing is that brands need to be O.P.E.N.—On demand, Personable, Educating and Networking.

    These are the core fundamentals that we preach to our clients and friends. Our clients and friends understand why and how O.P.E.N. works and because of their understanding we have seen ROI increase for both our clients and brands that we own today.

    How important is brand identity to companies today and what advice regarding branding would you give to someone developing a business within our industry?

    I’ve been asked this question a lot and it relates back to my time at NOS. At the end of the day, NOS, at its most basic element, is sugar water. It’s all about branding and who has the coolest juice in that market. Essentially, branding becomes king with your product and helps set it apart from everything else on the market. Every company needs to adapt to today’s ever-changing market and consumers, which is no easy task. With branding, you should always keep an O.P.E.N. mind, whether it’s an agency or anyone with a fresh thought. Put your money back into the company where it belongs, and invest in adapting to ideas and “creatives.” Focus on outputting great work and the rest will follow.

    Building a new brand, revitalizing a brand or maintaining a brand? Which excites you the most and why?

    Building, revitalizing and maintaining a brand all excite me equally because branding and brand management is my overall passion. Coming up with creative ideas to meet ROI, embrace communication, compete against another brand or answer any statements that start with “how do we?” always make me push myself and my team to limitless boundaries. In the end, when you see what you have accomplished with a brand, you see your ideas come to life and you feel a sense of achievement that’s really like nothing else. I often find myself thinking, “Wow, a computer, note pad and a crazy dude with the right ideas can really accomplish a lot,” and that moment is when it’s worth all the hard work.

    Are any of these more challenging than the other?

    Yes and no. Honestly, it’s more the people behind the brands. I was brought up by some of the most brilliant and complying mentors anyone could ever ask for and with that being said, learning how to work with your team and being willing to adapt to changing environments and moving targets is key. Brands that don’t adapt to changes or challenges are the brands that we tend to stay away from. Any brand can be a challenge, and all brands have challenges. The key there is to see each challenge as an opportunity. NOS energy drink had so many challenges to overcome, but now it is one of the top-five energy drinks in the nation. I know that any brand can be brought to life as long as it has the right people doing the right things to market the brand.

    What would you say are some of the common challenges and pitfalls faced by emerging brands in today’s marketplace?

    Being satisfied with status quo. Brands today, just like their employees, have to be willing to learn new things and grow. Before NOS, I was just a graphic designer by trade. When I joined NOS, I forced myself to learn sales, field marketing, branding and more. I learned to look at things in new ways. At that time, I was ready to do anything to see the business grow, but I think when you can roll your sleeves up and do the hard work yourself, there is nothing you can’t get through.

    Another pitfall today is that people aren’t building proper ROIs for their social media efforts. It’s not just about the number of fans; it’s how you interact with them and how they interact with you. For the automotive market, social marketing is really nothing new to us; it’s just the tools that we have to use are changing. When NOS started, we did nothing but focus on local events, MySpace (new at the time) and, more importantly, forums and online communities. Social Media marketing today isn’t something that you have never seen before, it’s just been reincarnated to a more powerful monster of interconnected communication outlets on the web that are at your control now more than ever before.

    If a company were to do nothing else to build or develop their brand this year, what one thing would you say should not be missed with regard to strategy?

    Again it would be O.P.E.N.—On demand, Personable, Educating and Networking. You will see that this will apply to everything that you need to have your company stay afloat throughout the highs and lows.

    Build it and they will come. Seems like this has been a mantra of our industry since the early days. Is it enough today for a company in the aftermarket to have a really great product or service?

    It’s certainly a good start. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing and a good product, but also understand that the digital realm allows you many benefits over traditional marketing techniques with regard to speed of communication and measuring your return all while establishing and growing your brand in your customer’s eyes. Impressions used to be the hot thing in marketing. Now everything is about a “Like” because “Likes” are for everyone and you can make an impression on that one person behind that one “Like.” “Liking” something is also easy for a consumer or fan to do. It takes less effort than writing an e-mail or dialing a phone. It allows your brand to put out an idea or an offer, or simply communicate with your customers and receive instant feedback about what they think. Due to this fact, there will be no more wondering if your traditional media ads will reach the viewers it was targeting and waiting behind a computer hoping for an e-mail or sitting by your phone wondering if it will ever ring. Instead, you are in control of your brand and business, and the social media communities now build the ROI with real-time feedback from your customers, allowing you to be more agile and adapt at speeds never before possible.

    Are there any specific advantages that you feel the younger people in our industry may have when it comes to dealing with branding in today’s marketplace?

    Yes, 100%. I just turned 30 and I feel it already, but I really do believe that this generation will be the leaders of tomorrow. I think today’s YENsters have a different mindset than the Baby Boomers. We understand how much and how quickly change affects us today, and we understand how it is possible to make something out of nothing overnight. NOS took seven years to sell to Coca Cola; Facebook is only nine years old, Groupon is only six years old and Instagram is only one year old. This shows that technology and speed is on our side. If you don’t believe me, I am living proof. I never thought I would come out to the public with this, but just like the late Steve Jobs, I didn’t finish school. I jumped right in to the industry and hit the ground running. What choice did I have? I feel that my generation’s tech savviness combined with ever-changing technology and a drive to succeed and push ourselves to new limits have taken myself and my team to the heights that we’ve achieved today. YENsters can use those same benefits to their advantage.

    Any disadvantages?

    Not really. The only thing that I can foresee is the lack of experience, which only comes with time and the advice of good mentors, so don’t discount the older members of the industry completely! There’s still a lot you can learn from them.

    What’s the best piece of business/career advice you ever received?

    “Focus on quality and the rest will follow” – My mentors.

    Who do you go to for business advice?

    Well, I don’t think it’s fair to give away all of my secrets, but the people I go to for business advice change from time to time; there isn’t one set person. My family plays a huge role in my life. It’s said you should not mix business with family, but without my family I wouldn’t be who I am today. I always go to them for advice because they are the reason why I work so hard. Also, I wouldn't be anywhere without RJ De Vera and Mommy B & C’s help and advice. Carl Sweat, my former president at Coca Cola, because he always makes me see things 10 years ahead of time. Victor C at ID agency, because he's always pointing me in the right direction. For my agency life, Marc Arcenal at, because he keeps my creative passion burning. My little brother Mark, because no one knows me better than him and, lastly, my team at Tribe—they are the heartbeat in everything I do.

    Any parting thoughts or advice that you’d like to share with your fellow YENsters?

    I tend to be honest and sometimes not politically correct, but I think that when I say that SEMA may seem like the “cool kids club” to those on the outside looking in that it may ring true to some. But in all honesty, the people of SEMA and the people in YEN and those relationships have taken me, my companies and clients to places we never thought would be possible. So believe in your YEN members and SEMA leaders because they are the purest people in the industry and have the right resources and knowledge in their corner for the industry at all times to help you achieve your dreams. Get involved, and make those contacts.

    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 July/August 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

  •  spy

    Caught undergoing testing near the Nürburgring, this lightly camouflaged prototype of the future S63 AMG features a larger air intake, a high-performance braking system and AMG wheels. Delivered by the pro shooters at Brenda Priddy & Co., it remains unknown yet what engine will be used.

    The team speculates that the most likely option is a 5.5L V8 turbo for the S63, and a bi-turbo variant of that very engine for the S65—both mated to a seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission.


    Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.