November 2018 INDUSTRY BRIEFS
ColorBond Names Winner of the 2018 CLeo Award
Carlos Medrano was named the winner of the 2018 ColorBond CLeo Award during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The award was established in 2014 in honor of Leo Kagan who, as then-chairman of the SEMA Board, was responsible for moving the SEMA Show from Anaheim, California, Las Vegas in 1977. Kagan, who recently turned 102, still works for ColorBond Automotive Paint.
In presenting the award to Medrano, the company said, “The results Carlos achieved using ColorBond LVP Refinisher are beautiful, and we are truly honored Carlos chose ColorBond to help convey his artistic expression. Carlos’ 2013 Honda Civic Si turned out incredibly well. The interior was originally teal and black and has been transformed to a stunning white.”
Carlos Medrano was presented with the 2018 CLeo Award during a special ceremony in the ColorBond booth during the SEMA Show. The award is named in honor of Leo Kagan, whose image appears in the signage behind the car.
Medrano transformed the interior of his Honda Civic from teal and black to all-white using ColorBond’s LVP Refinisher.
Honda Goes Off-Road
The Honda Ridgeline pickup truck may not evoke images of gravity-defying jumps or gag-inducing dirt plumes, but the automaker’s Rugged Open Air concept vehicle debuted at the SEMA Show appears headed toward earning an off-road pedigree. The vehicle combines the utility of the Honda Ridgeline with the off-road ruggedness and extreme styling of the Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side.
The Ridgeline-based interior has been modified to take on the outdoors. Features include a Pioneer 1000 steering wheel adapted to the vehicle’s steering column, Civic Type R seats reskinned in waterproof Pioneer 1000 fabric, smartphone holders from RAM Mounts, and durable paint-on surfaces to protect the exposed instrument panel from the elements. Exterior modifications, beyond the use of existing Honda components, include a modified Ridgeline body and suspension, plus a custom-designed bed and tailgate panels molded after the Pioneer.
The edgy-looking Honda Open Air concept vehicle combines the utility of the Honda Ridgeline with the off-road ruggedness and extreme styling of the Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side.
3M Releases New Tech Tools
3M has introduced two new digital tools to help shop owners grow their businesses: the 3M Graphics Install Wizard and the 3M Graphics Hub. The Graphics Install Wizard is a new software application that helps both shop owners and installers, according to 3M. Shop owners can access a database of installers based on location and capabilities, as well as list job opportunities, accept bids and book jobs. The software also serves as a platform to share job details, document, completion photos and more. For installers, the Wizard helps installer increase their visibility and receive more installation work by bidding on new projects.
The Wizard is linked to the new Graphics Hub, which is a free online resource center for graphics manufacturers. The Hub offers educational resources, news on the latest innovations and information on different 3M training programs and the latest trends. www.3m.com/GraphicsHub.
PPG Acquires SEM Products
PPG recently announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire SEM Products, a U.S.-based manufacturer of specialized automotive refinish products. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.
SEM, headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is a leading manufacturer of repair and refinish products used primarily for automotive and other transportation applications. “PPG’s acquisition of SEM will complement our current automotive refinish product offering and add specialized, value-added products that address the needs of distributors and body shops,” said Gary Danowski, PPG VP, automotive refinish. www.ppgpaints.com.
Ford Rolls Out Midsize Ranger
The much-anticipated unveiling of the midsize 2019 Ford Ranger was on full view in Las Vegas. There were eight new trucks in Ford’s massive SEMA Show exhibit, each extensively modified by well-known builders using a combination of Ford accessories and aftermarket products. A fully accessorized right-hand-drive Ranger from Australia was also on display in SEMA’s Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) booth in the North Hall.
The Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4×4 by Air Design sports Sherwin Williams white and black paint, Borla cat-back exhaust with black chrome tips, Fox leveling kit with off-road shocks, Fuel Ripper 20- inch satin-black wheels and 33-inch Nitto Grappler tires. Ford Accessories by Airdesign USA include rocker moldings, front bumper with bumper flares, fender vents, hood scoop, rear cab spoiler and rear tailgate spoilers, and tailgate applique.
The 2019 Lariat SuperCrew 4×4 from A.R.E. was built by Trent’s Trick Upholstery with Axalta multi-tone paint by Lynch Concepts. The truck is upfitted with A.R.E.’s CX Revo truck cap and Rival LED lighting, along with Bushwacker flares, Alea leather, kicker speakers and Cargo Glide’s storage system. Performance upgrades include a Borla cat-back exhaust, Fox leveling kit with off-road shocks, AirLift ride control, Black Rhino 22-inch wheels and Cooper Discovery STT tires.
The right-hand-drive Ranger, displayed in the PRO booth, features appearance and performance accessories furnished by more than 20 SEMA- and PRO-member companies. The vehicle was built by Roadwire Leather and Classic Soft Trim of Los Angeles, with the wrap, window film and paint-protection film installed at the Show during product demos. The Ranger was provided to the PRO council by SEMA’s international relations department, which works with the U.S. Department of Commerce to bring in vehicles not sold in the U.S. to help manufacturers develop export-ready products.
LTA Manufacturing Promotes Matt Blais to VP of Sales, Marketing
Kansas City, Missouri-based LTA Manufacturing, a manufacturer of fiberglass truck caps, tonneau covers and cargo-storage products, has announced the promotion of Matt Blais to the position of VP of sales and marketing. His is responsible for the sales and marketing of the company’s four brands: ATC Truck Covers, Ranch Fiberglass, Jason Industries and LoadMaster.
Blais has nearly three decades of experience in the truck cap and tonneau industry in both the retail and manufacturing sides of the market. He began his career in 1989 working through all levels of retail and outside sales, and previously held the positions of regional manager and national sales manager, as well as VP of sales/marketing for ATC Truck Covers. “Matt has been a key part of our success, and we are thrilled to promote him to this important position, said Rick Willis, LTA Manufacturing president.
Matt Blais has been promoted to VP of sales and marketing at LTA Manufacturing, a Missouri-based producer of truck caps, tonneaus and cargo-management products.