July '16

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78 THE SHOP JULY 2016 TS Hi Matt. Thanks for being with us. So, what got you interested in the automotive aftermarket? ML: My grandfather started Champion (then Lowe Oil Co.) in the basement of a small home here in Clinton, Missouri. He, along with my father and my uncles, had been in the business for a little more than 20 years when I was born. The home I grew up in was about 150 yards from the front door to the oil company. I spent countless hours in and around the business. That certainly provided me with a certain amount of awareness about the auto- motive aftermarket industry. Even as I went away to college, law school, and then on to my law practice, I retained a very emotional attachment to the company. TS How did you end up in the position you have today? ML: My father approached me about coming on board late last year. It was a "now or never" situation. I could not pass up the chance to be a third-generation partner in the company. TS Tell us about your company and its place in the performance aftermarket. ML: My grandfather created the Champion brand six decades ago. The Champion line of products remains a solid part of our business. The team at Champion has worked hard to make sure that we provide extremely high- quality products for our customers. For the first 50 years we mostly catered to the gen- eral automotive, industrial, and agricultural markets. However, we entered the racing and TS What was your first car? ML: A 1989 Chevrolet S-10 pickup with about 200,000 miles. TS What's your dream ride? ML: A Ford GT or a Corvette C7 Stingray. These cars are made right here in the United States and, to me, they blow away the Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis in terms of what you get for your money. The American Muscle car is alive and well. TS What's on your computer/ phone wallpaper? ML: A picture of my 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. TS Person you'd most like to meet? ML: Former CEO of Ford, Alan Mulally. His impeccable manage- ment of Ford during a terrible economic time is something that I admire. TS Matt, please complete this sen- tence; "If I wasn't in the performance aftermarket, I'd probably be …" ML: Well, I was a practicing trial lawyer for almost 13 years before coming to work at Champion so I would have to say that I would still be in the legal field. TALKIN' SHOP By Regis Finn MEET... MATT LOWE Champion Brands PERFORMANCE I t is my pleasure to introduce Matt Lowe from Champion Brands. Matt's grandfather, Ralph Lowe, started Champion Brands (originally Lowe Oil Co.) in 1956. The year 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of Champion Brands, and the company celebrated with an open house in May that included a car show, live radio spots, a visit from the mayor of Clinton, Missouri and more. Lowe Oil originally started out making oil for passenger cars. Today, Champion's offerings have expanded to also include special oil for diesel-powered vehicles, power steering fluid, fuel injector cleaners, octane booster, brake fluid, hydraulic oil, gear oil, grease, racing fuel, degreasers and wax. While he has only been with Champion Brands for a short time, Matt Lowe intends to remain with the company for a while. He is the third generation of the Lowe family to be involved with the family business, and agreed to share some of his thoughts on the automotive aftermarket. Matt Lowe is the third generation of his family to help direct Missouri-based lubricants company Champion Brands. Matt Lowe Ralph Lowe started Champion (then Lowe Oil Co.) in the basement of a small home in Clin- ton, Missouri, 60 years ago. performance market seven or eight years ago. With the help of our performance/export marketing manager, Karl Dedolph, we have been able to make progress with our racing and performance applications all over the world. We work with many professional racing teams as well as other well-respected organizations such as SEMA, AAPEX, and The Great Race to promote our products.

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