The Future of ICE: Hedging Your Bet With Investment in EVs
Have you run a die-hard internal combustion engine-(ICE)-centric business for years? Are you concerned for the future? While the ICE isn’t going away tomorrow, it’s critically important to consider new growth opportunities and how to take advantage of them. Hear a panel of aftermarket business pros discuss innovation, their journey from the ICE to electric vehicles (EVs) and the bright future that lies ahead.
Radial Equity Partners
Doug Evans has been in the specialty automotive aftermarket for more than 40 years. After a brief stint in the media department of Young and Rubicam, a desire to be closer to all things automotive moved Doug to Petersen Publishing Company where he remained for much of the next three decades. Doug’s responsibilities included all aftermarket facing verticals in racing, performance, restoration, street and off-road truck, motorcycle and marine. Brands included: Hot Rod, Car Craft, Four Wheeler, Street Rodder, Low Rider, Circle Track, Motorcyclist and many others. Doug also held positions as Director of Business Development for Bonnier Corporation, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Luken Communications, Interim President and CEO of Crower Cams and Equipment and Interim President and CEO of Legendary Group and Coker Tire. Doug is currently a Senior Advisor at Radial Equity Partners focused on investments in vehicle aftermarket companies. Doug has volunteered for SEMA for more than 25 years in various positions including Chairman of the Board 2015-2017 and three terms as a SEMA Board Member. He served three terms on the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), served as chairman of SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC) for over ten years and was longtime chairman of the Save the Salt Coalition. Doug has been active in expanding SEMA’s youth outreach via programs such as SEMA’s Car Camp, and the Young Executives Network (YEN) Launch Pad and is an advocate for women in the industry, facilitating the first all- women’s car build by SEMA Business Women’s Network (SBN). Doug has been recognized with several industry awards, including the SEMA Person of the Year Award, ARMO Hall of Fame, SBN Athena Award, and he is a member of the prestigious SEMA Hall of Fame. Doug is also a recipient of the Lee Iacocca Lifetime Achievement Award for the automotive industry. Doug and his wife, Robin, reside in Jacksonville, Florida and enjoy gourmet cooking, boats, collector cars and trucks.
AEM Electronics/AEM EV
Kirk has been in love with the racing and performance market segments since birth. Assisting his father to build his own race engines at the age of four, helped him develop a solid knowledge base at a young age. He learned how things work, how to make them faster and equally important, how to keep things together for the length of the race. Kirk started his own race-prep/performance business at the age of 22, went on to be US Director of GReddy Performance Products and finally settled at AEM Electronics in ’98. Over the years Kirk has had the opportunity to participate in many forms of motorsport and applies that experience to his day-to-day always looking for ways to improve things. Kirk's professional career has offered him a unique prospective in being relate to both the enthusiast and the business owner and understanding how to meet both their needs with products that continue to evolve with the markets. A founding member of SEMA's Import Performance Committee which evolved into the Sport Compact Council, he is proud to be considered one of the pioneers of the Tuner market. In recent years Kirk has turned the majority of his attention toward the EV motorsport and conversion markets with the goal of creating products that will serve this emerging market segment as well as connecting Tuners to the EV market, thus further expanding the performance aftermarket as a whole.
Vice President of Marketing
Turn 14 Distribution Inc
Daryl Sampson is the Vice President of Marketing at Turn 14 Distribution. He joined the company in 2009. Daryl draws upon his upbringing on the island of Trinidad, his prior work experience, and the perspective of living in New York, California, and now Pennsylvania to shape the forward-thinking initiatives that are the backbone of the company's marketing. During his tenure at Turn 14 Distribution, the company has been on the cusp of several industry-leading marketing programs, including initiatives across the disciplines of print, digital, and social media, event marketing, and motorsports sponsorship. Each program has one goal–promoting Turn 14 Distribution and its capabilities. As he likes to state, "My job is simple: to make sure that even though you may not have done business with us, you've at least heard of us at some point."
Alex Parker is owner of Redline Detection, the SEMA 2020 Manufacturer of the Year. Alex speaks from experience, having built a business from startup to global industry leader in 160 countries. Alex is a judge on SEMA Launch Pad and part of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s business incubator, advocating for independent businesses, hands-on internship, and STEM education in the automotive industry. Alex can be found on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook at AlexParker.Drive.
Reliable Automotive Equipment Inc.
David Gruskos is a lifelong New Jersey resident who resides in Oceanport and has been the President of Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. (RAE) since 1987. RAE, Inc. is a current member of SEMA and has been a pioneer of the latest collision repair trends including training and safety. In addition to being active in the Collision Industry for almost 30 years, Dave has also been on numerous other boards including the Oceanport Planning Board, the Oceanport Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Central Jersey Bank Loan Advisory Board, as well as serving as the Commodore of the Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club. Dave was recognized as one of the 2014 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Persons of the Year” and served as a New Jersey Racing Commissioner. Dave believes we have an obligation to help those who are less fortunate and is therefore actively involved in the local community as well as the Collision Repair Industry, as his true enjoyment and passion is leaving his mark in these areas through education. Dave is also a proud father of two adult daughters and a son.