Southern Hospitality

SEMA News—March 2020

FROM THE HILL

By Christian Robinson

Southern Hospitality

U.S. Representative Ted Budd Visits Hotchkis Sport Suspension

  From the Hill
During his tour of the relocated Hotchkis Sport Suspension facility, U.S. Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) was able to take a joyride in the famed Hotchkis ’70 “E-Max” Challenger. From left: Ron Thiel, Rep. Ted Budd and John Hotchkis.
   

Nobody likes moving. You carefully pack everything you own—and some items you didn’t realize you owned—and trust that they will survive the journey to their new home intact. It’s one of the more tiring and stressful endeavors in the human experience. Now imagine relocating your business across the country in the matter of just a few weeks. That’s exactly what the team at Hotchkis Sport Suspension did over the summer of 2019. Fortunately for them, their local elected officials were eager to welcome them with open arms.

If you’re a fan of classic American musclecars, odds are you are familiar with Hotchkis Sport Suspension and the parts it manufactures. Included in the company’s product offerings are suspension handling kits for cars, trucks and SUVs, including fabricated trailing arms and caster/camber plates, coil springs, anti-sway bars and strut tower braces. The business model is simple: If you own a classic car but want it to ride like a modern German sports car, Hotchkis Sport Suspension is a company you can turn to.

For more than two decades Hotchkis Sport Suspension called the Los Angeles area home. It was the birthplace of its founder and namesake, John Hotchkis. However, by the summer of 2019, the company found itself relocating to the Silicon Valley of American motorsports: Mooresville, North Carolina.

From the Hill
A car enthusiast in his own right, Rep. Budd was eager to welcome his district’s newest residents: Hotchkis Sport Suspension.
 
   

In Congress, Mooresville is represented by U.S. Representative Ted Budd (R-NC), whose 13th District spans five counties between Statesville and Greensboro. Before hearing the call to public office in 2016, Rep. Budd helped to manage his family’s landscaping supply and janitorial businesses and owned a gun shop and indoor shooting range. Rep. Budd received his MBA not far from home at Wake Forest University and went on to earn a master’s degree in leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary. A car enthusiast in his own right, Rep. Budd was eager to welcome his district’s newest residents.

“Late last year, I got a chance to visit with the good folks at Hotchkis Sport Suspension in Mooresville, tour their facility, and test some of their fine handywork,” Rep. Budd said. “They recently relocated to our community from California, and we’re glad to have such a successful business in our area.”

  From the Hill
During Rep. Budd’s tour of Hotchkis Sport Suspension’s new home, he was able to see firsthand how the company manufactures its products.
   

During Rep. Budd’s tour of Hotchkis Sport Suspension’s new home, he was able to see firsthand how the company manufactures its products and even got a sneak preview of its plans for the 2019 SEMA Show. Rep. Budd was joined on his tour by other local elected officials, including Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins. The outing concluded with a question-and-answer session that focused on issues impacting small businesses, such as the lack of adequate facilities for the locally expanding industry. Last, but certainly not least, Rep. Budd was able to take a joyride in the famed Hotchkis ’70 “E-Max” Challenger.

“Last spring, I had the opportunity to meet with Rep. Budd and his team in Washington to talk about the business issues facing SEMA-member companies,” Hotchkis said. “Being a car guy, he was very interested in the challenges facing SEMA companies and enthusiasts. When I let him know that my company was moving from California to his district, he was excited to visit. During our tour, we spoke about the RPM Act, low-volume replica cars, and preserving the right to drive our modified cars and trucks. I was thrilled to spend time with an elected official who really understands our industry. SEMA companies need more representation from cars guys like Congressman Ted Budd.”

For more information on planning your own Congressional District Site Visit, contact Christian Robinson in the SEMA government affairs office via email at christianr@sema.org.

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