|Visit PRO's website.|
By Ellen McKoy
In the years since the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) first burst onto the industry scene, it has taken the lead in providing valuable tools and resources to its members. But, to understand how and why PRO came to be, calls for a look at where it began—and how far it has come.
Originally known as customizing, restyling emerged as an outgrowth of the soft-trim industry as new suppliers entered the market in the ’70s and ’80s. Among the first products introduced into the market were body-side moldings, vinyl pinstripes and graphics, sunroofs, ground effects and roof treatments.
Throughout this period, considerable variation existed in product quality, fit and finish, durability, reliability and warranties. There were also varying levels of experience and expertise among installers. As vehicle manufacturers upgraded their offerings and provided extended warranties, they began to look more closely at—and express concern about—the quality of aftermarket products installed at the dealer level.
These issues raised concerns within in the restyling industry, but there was no unified representation devoted to addressing the needs of the restyling market. While SEMA was generally viewed as being the only organization that represented specialty-equipment businesses, it was also perceived as having little experience in the restyling segment, as most of its efforts were then focused on the performance industry.
Flash forward to April 1988. The owners of Razzi Ground Effects organized a meeting with key industry players to discuss a course of action. The group included representatives from 23 companies: a handful of installers, Nat Danas of Auto Trim & Restyling News and several manufacturers, including ASC Inc., E&G Classics, Webasto, Cars & Concepts, 3M and Dee Zee, among others. Together, they created a stand-alone organization for accessory manufacturers known as the Automotive Aftermarket Restyling Manufacturers (AARM).
AARM had three primary objectives:
- To bring the industry together and speak with a united voice.
- To address OEM concerns by establishing product-quality guidelines, improving manufacturer warranties and creating a code of ethics.
- To support installers and restylers through improved product quality, training, installation instructions and other resources.
AARM members soon recognized the need to expand membership to also include restylers and installers. The name was changed in 1989 to the Professional Restylers Organization.
By this time, the restyling industry had become a major force in the marketplace—and had captured SEMA’s attention. But PRO was hard-pressed to maintain its momentum as a standalone organization. Members asked Nat Danas to approach then-SEMA President Chuck Blum about merging PRO into the association. PRO became a SEMA committee in the spring of 1990.
PRO was the second niche-market group to become a SEMA committee, joining the Street Rod Market Alliance (SRMA). The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) was later added to the committee roster. In 1993, the SEMA Board of Directors approved the council concept, and ARMO, PRO and SRMA [now the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)] were elevated to council status.
For more than 20 years, PRO has developed effective strategies and programs to meet the special needs of its members and provide a valuable forum in which to address industry-specific issues. PRO has much to offer forward-thinking companies, and the council continues to benefit from member input and participation.
To learn how you can get involved and take advantage of the benefits, contact SEMA Council Director Zane Clark via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accelerate Sales and Profits with Vehicle Accessorization
Does your current business model include dealer accessory sales? Would
you like to expand your portfolio by selling to new- and used-car
dealers? The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)—a
SEMA council—has developed several business-critical tools that can
help you do just that. Below is an excerpt from PRO’s “Fast Track to
Accessorization” flyer that is provided free to PRO members and geared
toward helping dealer principals better understand how accessories can
increase their sales and profitability.
“Things are looking up. Customers are easing back into the market,
sparking slow but steady sales growth. But a measure of uncertainty
lingers. Fuel prices are spiking. Inventories are tight. Light-duty
truck sales are soft. Now more than ever, dealers need to find new ways
to maximize gross profit on every vehicle they sell and gain a
competitive edge with products that drive up sales and keep customers
coming back for more.
It’s all about implementing innovative strategies to attract new buyers
and create high-margin profit centers throughout your dealership. And
now is the time to discover untapped opportunities to dramatically
increase sales and profits—and earn your share of a multi-billion-dollar
market—through vehicle accessorization.
Consider the facts:
- Vehicle accessorization is big business; call it restyling,
customizing or accessorizing. The specialty-equipment industry generates
$28.6 billion-a-year in direct retail sales. And a notable 40% share of
the total market—$11.09 billion—comes from sales of auto and truck
accessories. High-profit personalization products your customers want
and that you could be selling.
- Accessories influence vehicle purchases; it’s a fact. Consumers who
see accessories on display at new-car dealerships are more inclined to
purchase a specific model simply because it’s been customized. Even more
impressive: accessories influence more than one million new-vehicle
sales each year.
- Consumers spend big bucks on accessories. Style-conscious consumers
willing to pay a premium for personalized vehicles typically spend
$1,000 to $3,500 per vehicle annually on accessories after the sale.
That leaves a lot of money on the table. Money they should be spending
at your dealership.
Consumers buy appearance and performance enhancements, mobile
electronics and custom wheels and tires. They’ll buy them from you if
you have them, or from somebody else if you don’t.
If you are a PRO member and would like to order copies of the “Fast
Track to Accessorization” flyer or would like to learn more about
getting involved in PRO, contact Zane Clark at 909-978-6696.
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? PRO Is!
Be sure to follow PRO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/pro and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
PRO Column in SEMA Member News
Read PRO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit ARMO's website.|
Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products accepts the 2012 ARMO Person of
the Year award from ARMO Chair-Elect Dennis Roberts of Distinctive
Interiors. This and other awards were presented during the 2012 ARMO
Industry Awards Reception at the SEMA Show.
ARMO presented its Industry Recognition Award to Carlisle Events at the 2012 ARMO Industry Reception, held Tuesday evening, October 30, in the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Hilton) during the 2012 SEMA Show. The Industry Recognition Award, as the name implies, recognized individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the restoration industry.
“We don’t give out this award every year,” said ARMO Chairman Alex Tainsh of Parts Unlimited Interiors. “It is reserved for truly outstanding service to the industry. We felt it high time that the folks at Carlisle Events be recognized in such a manner. Spring and Fall Carlisle are two of the largest gatherings of restoration companies and enthusiasts in the world. Over the past 30 years they have also added “specialty” events to their annual calendar, focusing on particular brands, such as GM, Ford, Chrysler, Corvette and light trucks. They give 100% to everyone who exhibits, shows a car or comes through the gate as an attendee. We present this award to their entire staff, but want to especially thank former ARMO Select Committee member Jim Vinarski, Carlisle Events director of business and event development. Jim was instrumental in bringing the ARMO New Products Showcase to Spring Carlisle and continues to be an eager volunteer to the council.”
The following awards were also presented during the ARMO Industry Reception:
Jeff Moses Scholarship Award
Michelle Perez of Skyline College
ARMO Person of the Year
Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products
ARMO Business of the Year
ARMO Industry Recognition Award
ARMO Reception Sponsors
ARMO thanks the following companies who sponsored the ARMO Industry Reception. We couldn’t do it all without their help:
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? ARMO Is!
Be sure to follow ARMO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/armo and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
ARMO Column in SEMA Member News
Read ARMO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit HRIA's website|
SEMA’s Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) council will hold its annual Long-Range Planning meeting and industry discussion, Friday, January 25, at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona, California. HRIA purposefully scheduled the meeting to coincide with the end of the Media Trade Conference and the start of the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show in order to provide a convenient and cost-effective venue for participants.
The meeting is open to all HRIA members and those interested in learning more about council activities and initiatives. “The importance of this meeting cannot be overstated,” said HRIA Chairman and Executive Vice President of Vintage Air Rick Love. According to Love, “This venue provides the industry the rare opportunity to come together and openly discuss what SEMA and HRIA can do help each of our businesses succeed and prosper.”
The feedback and input offered by those in attendance will help guide the strategic direction of the council over the next several years, and the meeting itself provides a great opportunity to connect with industry friends and peers.
The meeting kicks-off at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and is followed by a networking lunch from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? HRIA Is!
Be sure to follow HRIA on all of your favorite social networking sites.
To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/hria and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
HRIA Column in SEMA Member News
Read HRIA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit TORA's website.|
The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) and the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently launched an innovative, online product training program—the SEMA Product Training Center. A joint effort between TORA and SEI, this new program allows manufacturers to efficiently and effectively provide product training to hundreds or even thousands of resellers throughout the industry for what they might spend to reach only a handful using traditional means. At the same time, it provides resellers with an effective, efficient and consistent method of educating their sales staff. Sign up and participation is open to all resellers, free of charge.
The SEMA Product Training Center is designed to be easy to use and includes simple enrollment. For more information or to sign up for a training module, visit the SEMA Product Training Center.
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? TORA Is!
Be sure to follow TORA on all of your favorite social networking sites.
To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/TORA and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
TORA Column in SEMA Member News
Read TORA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit MPMC's website.|
The 2013 MPMC Media Trade Conference begins Tuesday, January 22. Media may still register for up to 42 face-to-face meetings with MPMC-member manufacturers. The event takes place at the Embassy Suites Orange County North in Santa Ana, California, January 22–24, 2013. The complete list of 100 exhibiting manufacturers is found on the media registration form. Media prioritize each exhibitor by indicating “Must Meet,” “Ok to Meet” or “Do Not Meet.” This minimizes the chance of a media getting scheduled with a company that may not fit their audience or readership. Register now.
For more information visit www.sema.org/mpmc.
MPMC Chairman Vic Wood of Hedman Performance (center) is flanked by the 2012 MPMC Hall of Fame inductees (left to right): Keith Dorton, Ron
Funfar, Jim Cozzie and Chris Thomson.
MPMC Inducts 2012 Hall of Fame
MPMC inducted its Hall of Fame, Class of 2012, during a breakfast presentation on Friday morning, November 30, at the PRI Show in Orlando, Florida. While the inductees were announced earlier in the year, the official ceremony is held for the PRI Show.
“There are many members of our motorsports and performance community at the PRI Show,” said MPMC Chairman Vic Wood of Hedman Performance, “who are not at the SEMA Show, or if they are [at the SEMA Show], they are already committed to some of the other myriad events going on that week. We are grateful to everyone at PRI for the way they have embraced this event.”
Jim Cozzie, Keith Dorton, Ron Funfar and Chris Thomson were inducted as the MPMC Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Congratulations!
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MPMC Is!
Be sure to follow MPMC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mpmc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
Take a Friend to a Race Fan Page
The MPMC Motorsports Awareness campaign, highlighted by the Take a Friend to a Race program, now has its very own Fanpage on Facebook. If you’re not a fan yet, you should be!
MPMC Column in SEMA Member News
Read MPMC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.
|Visit MRN's website.|
SEMA’s Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) exists to address and
identify opportunities for the professional agent and representative in
order to help their business succeed and prosper. Underyling the
business-critical relationship between the rep, manufacturer, wholesale
distributer and retailer is the commitment to professional development
and sales expertise that support mutually profitable partnerships. Below is practical advice on the Five Keys to a Highly
1) Why do you want to have your best year ever?
Before you take on any endeavor, you have to know why you’re doing it.
This one factor will determine whether or not you are successful. What
are you capable of if you set your mind to it? Pretty much anything,
right? So, in order to wake up every day driven and motivated to do what
must be done to achieve your goals and dreams, you must have powerful
reasons for doing so. Find your "why" in positive reasons for achieving
your goals and negative consequences if you don’t. The start of all
great achievement is a burning desire in your heart and soul that simply
must be fulfilled.
2) Have goals and a plan.
You’ve heard it a million times, but this is still the biggest factor
that the most successful people on the planet attribute their success
to. So, if you haven’t done this yet, do it! The top 3% of people on the
planet have goals, a plan for their achievement and they work on those
goals every day. They are worth more in financial terms than the other
97% combined. You don’t need a huge list of goals in each area of life
with elaborate plans for their achievement; in fact, the simpler you can
make it, the better. At a minimum, pick one major professional goal and
one major personal goal, put a simple, straight-forward plan together
and take action on both goals daily.
3) Do what you must do.
Now that you know why you want to have your best year ever and you have
goals and a plan; it’s time to get to work. Not tomorrow, not later
today… now! The most successful people are people of action. They don’t
put things off and they rarely hesitate once they have decided upon a
4) Stop making excuses and giving up control of your life.
Over the years, I’ve heard every excuse as to why people don’t achieve
their goals. I’ve heard reasons related to health, emotions, past
traumas and negative events. People blame the economy, other people and
bad breaks growing up. I have two words of advice: stop it! Assuming you
are reading this right now and comprehend it, you have no excuses.
5) Follow Winston Churchill’s advice.
You remember his advice, right? “Never, never, never give up.” Another
saying is, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” If you hang in
there long enough, you’ll make it. Life is simply a game of deciding
what you want, developing a plan to get it, taking daily action on that
plan, seeing what works and what doesn’t and adjusting your approach
until you get to your destination. Even a ship is off course 99.9% of
the trip; the captain simply continues to get feedback and course
corrects until the ship lands safely in harbor.
You can do, be and have anything you want, but it’s going to take hard
work and sacrifice. The question isn’t, "Can you have your best year
ever?" The questions are: Are you willing to put in the time, effort,
energy and money that’s necessary? Are you willing to give up the
excuses and other crutches and pay the price for success?
Have a sales question? E-mail Chapin at email@example.com.
Chapin’s specialty is helping salespeople and sales teams double their
sales in 12 months. He is an award-winning sales speaker, trainer and
coach, a No. 1 sales rep in three industries and the primary author of
the gold-medal winning Sales Encyclopedia. In his 24+ years of
sales, customer service and management experience, he has thrived in
some of the toughest markets and economies.
What Does It Mean to Be a Sales Professional?
SEMA’s Manufacturers' Rep Network (MRN)
hosts a discussion group on Linkedin for professional reps and sales
agents. Recently, MRN asked the question, “In one word, what does it
mean to be a sales professional?”
The list as submitted by members of the Linkedin group includes:
Join the conversation; join MRN at www.sema.org/li-mrc. For more details on how to get involved or to learn how professional reps and agents can help your business, contact Zane Clark at 909-978-6696.
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MRN is!
Be sure to follow MRN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mrn and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
MRN Column in SEMA Member News
Read MRN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit SBN's website.|
SEMA's Young Executive Network (YEN) and the SEMA Businesswomen's
Network (SBN) will hold their annual industry networking mixer in
conjunction with the MPMC Media Trade Conference, January 24, 2013, from
7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., at the bar in the Embassy Suites Santa Ana – Orange County Airport North. This event is a great opportunity to meet
and network with fellow emerging industry professionals, young
executives and auto businesswomen in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to SEMA's Senior Manager of Councils, Bryan Harrison, at BryanH@sema.org
or 909-978-6691. You don't have to attend the MPMC Media Trade
Conference to attend the event. We look forward to seeing you there!
SBN Members Map Updated
Fellow SBNer Susan Carpenter has been working hard in updating the SBN members map, including adding new members and member location changes.
This map serves a great purpose. It allows SBN to find fellow members in our area so we can make connections year round. So check out the SBN members map and get to networking!
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SBN is!
Be sure to follow SBN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/sbn and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
SBN Column in SEMA Member News
Read SBN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit SPC's website.|
Be sure to follow SPC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/spc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
SPC Column in SEMA Member News
Read SPC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit WTC's website|
Be sure to follow WTC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/wtc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
WTC Column in SEMA Member News
Read WTC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
|Visit YEN's website
SEMA's Young Executive Network (YEN) and the SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) will hold their annual industry networking mixer in conjunction with the MPMC Media Trade Conference, January 24, 2013, from 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., at the bar in the Embassy Suites Santa Ana – Orange County Airport North. This event is a great opportunity to meet and network with fellow emerging industry professionals, young executives and auto businesswomen in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to SEMA's Senior Manager of Councils, Bryan Harrison, at BryanH@sema.org or 909-978-6691. You don't have to attend the MPMC Media Trade Conference to attend the event. We look forward to seeing you there!
YEN Member of the Month—Derrick Johnstone, Alliance Sales
It is customary for the YEN Member Spotlight to showcase the life and career of a young, up and coming YEN member, but let’s face it, we work in an industry that thrives on breaking norms and thinking outside the box. With that in mind, this YEN Member Spotlight focusses on Derrick Johnstone of Alliance Sales, who’s odometer has rolled over the 40-year limit for YEN. Johnstone continues to stay involved through SEMA's Manufacturer’s Representative Network (MRN,) where he is a current Select Committee member. We had an opportunity to talk with him at the 2012 SEMA Show and find out what this former YEN member is all about.
Johnstone was pretty much born into this industry, as his father (Dave Johnstone), was instrumental in the Vancouver drag-racing scene, and is a 2012 inductee of the Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneer Society (GVMPS) as a racer, car builder and car show producer. From an early age, Johnstone can remember weekends at the track or in the garage learning how to cram more horsepower under the hood. It’s safe to say that racing is in his blood, so it should come as no surprise that right out of high school he went to work as a counterperson at Cal-Van Auto Supply—a speed and performance supplier who was also inducted into the GVMPS as a supporter in 2003. Racing and hot rodding are still his passion, as he just finished a full resto-mod on a ’49 Chevy wagon that he used to race 22 years ago. He also recently purchased a stock eliminator ’66 Impala.
Aside from racing Johnstone says that his favorite part of the industry is the people. His current role as partner of Alliance Sales—a rep agency in Western Canada—enables him to work with people in all facets of the aftermarket. For Johnstone, joining YEN was a no-brainer as it gave him an opportunity to meet and network with a variety of industry professionals. He spent 10 years as a YEN member and has formed many long-lasting relationships as a result. YEN became a stepping stone for him to the MRC (now MRN), as he wanted to continue his involvement with the SEMA councils. MRN enables him to monitor and influence the issues that impact his sector of the industry.
Johnstone believes that fluctuating gas prices are the No. 1 biggest challenge facing the industry. He says the next five years will be pretty much status quo, but he sees a strong push for fuel economy in the next decade. While economic uncertainty in general is a large concern for most Americans, Johnstone pointed out that the Canadian economy wasn’t hit as hard and seems to have rebounded faster. He says truck accessories are hotter than ever right now. The Canadian market is an important piece of the puzzle for so many manufacturers, but with a culture so similar to the United States, it is important to have Canadian representation because of their proximity. Who better to understand the costs, logistics and exchange rates than someone who lives there?
This second-generation hot rodder is truly a YEN success story and further proof that YEN is truly a stepping stone to bigger things for the future leaders of this industry.
YEN Member of the Month Spotlight
Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA
website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections
or to make a nomination, visit www.sema.org/yen.
Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? YEN is!
Be sure to follow YEN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/yen and use the links in the top right-hand corner.
YEN Column in SEMA Member News
Read YEN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.
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.