THE SHOP

Performance Business - May '13

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ACAT Buys Stake in Oliver Racing Parts Lightweight catalytic converter substrates manufacturer Advanced Clean Air Technologies Global (ACAT), Charlevoix, Mich., has made a significant investment in Oliver Racing Parts (formerly Oliver Connecting Rods), a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based manufacturer of high-performance connecting rods. The first phases of ACAT's investment involved the clean-up of Oliver's balance sheet and eliminating all debt, stated ACAT CEO Moch Joseph A. Moch, in a press release from both companies. "Oliver Racing Parts complements ACAT nicely," Moch said. "Both companies are dedicated to manufacturing well-engineered, high-quality performance products for original equipment and aftermarket use, and both are made in the USA. It's a great fit." The second phase of ACAT's investment is expected to occur over the next six to 12 months, bringing machinery and new equipment upgrades to convert Oliver's operation into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Plans also call for Oliver to hire four to eight additional full-time employees and expand the company's product line of high-performance connecting rods, the release noted. "ACAT's investment will keep our company moving forward," said Bruce Baldwin, founder of Oliver Connecting Rods. "This enables us to build up inventories and ensure product availability. Our product line will expand to cover the growing market for premium high-performance connecting rods, and Oliver will have the resources to solidify our position as one of the world's best connecting rod manufacturers." Mickey Thompson Celebrates 50 Years Founded by Mickey Thompson and friend Gene McMannis in 1963, Stow, Ohio-based Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels is celebrating 50 years in business in 2013. "This is an incredible milestone for our company," said Ken Warner, vice president of sales and marketing. "We want to celebrate this achievement and commemorate this anniversary by honoring both our history and the future of our company." Thompson and McMannis started the company with a vision of designing, manufacturing and testing high-performance tires—a legacy that remains the backbone of the company today, noted a company press release. "Our company continues to focus on product development to meet the changing needs of the vehicle and racing landscape," Warner said. "Today's drag racing vehicles are faster, higher horsepower and lighter weight than ever before, and short-course off-road vehicles are custom-built for unique track conditions and course demands. Every vehicle and racing application requires specialized tire and wheel designs, and we remain dedicated to providing excellent products to meet those needs." Tragically in 1988, Thompson and his wife, Trudy, were killed. An innovative racecar driver, designer and promoter, "The Speed King" held 485 national and international speed and endurance records at the time of his passing. He was also known for building the Challenger II and the Challenger I Streamliner, the vehicle that helped him become the first American to go over 400 mph, the release stated. Today, his son, Danny Thompson, is rebuilding the Challenger II to create the Challenger 2.5 in hopes of exceeding his father's existing land speed record. His family and the company he founded remain dedicated to his legacy. Mickey Thompson has product distributors in more than 60 countries and thousands of dealer locations worldwide. The company also supports dozens of racing sanctioning bodies representing drag racing, short-course off-road racing, vintage Funny Car and motorcycle drag racing. 10 n Performance Business PBMAY 2.indd 10 n Motovicity Launches Sweepstakes Madison Heights, Mich.-based Motovicity Distribution has launched its "Ticket to Ride" promotion featuring giveaways of a 2013 Scion FR-S and 2013 Ford Mustang along with an assortment of performance products for each vehicle to two of its dealer customers. Winners of the project cars will document the installation of the supplied performance parts, as well as document before-and-after performance tests. The promotion runs through Sept. 20, 2013 and is open to all current and future Motovicity customers. "This is an opportunity for people to see in real life how well these parts perform and what's involved with installing and setting them up onto specific types of vehicles," said Brian Lounsberry, Motovicity vice president of sales and marketing, in a company press release. Motovicity will provide regular updates on the progress of the installations, and the final project cars will be tested by a professional race car driver on a closed track to analyze the performance gains. "The winning teams not only get a brand-new project car and some of the best performance parts in the world for free, they get to show off their talents and mechanical capabilities to a national audience," said Brett Kinsfather, Motovicity marketing manager. Participating companies supporting both builds include Vibrant Performance, Exedy, StopTech, Royal Purple, Sparco and Gates Racing. AEM Electronics, Eibach and Energy Suspension are supporting the Scion FR-S build, while KW, Whiteline, BBK and STACK are supporting the Mustang build, the release noted. Because Motovicity is a wholesale-only distributor, only registered performance parts retailers and participating speed shops are eligible to participate. Winners will be selected from a random ticket drawing in early October. May 2013 3/29/13 9:47 AM

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