The catch-22 for most vehicle enthusiasts is, they want to show off the pristine finish on the open road but the open road is not a hospitable place for maintaining that look. Every time any vehicle hits the road, it is exposed to things that can deteriorate and damage its paint and trim. Whether it be rock chips, rain, road debris or the harsh rays of the sun, a vehicle is vulnerable to the elements without protection. 

Finding a product that can protect that finish from the elements is top priority for many vehicle owners. Salt Lake City-based ClearBra® has the solution. Founder and Owner Dan Mahfood says the company’s clear protective film has found a large, appreciative audience among lovers of cars, trucks, etc. who want to keep theirs looking as factory-new as possible for as long as possible. 

Read more: Primary Protection

Turtle Wax founder Ben Hirsch initially marketed the auto polish he invented in the family bathtub by polishing car bumpers outside Wrigley Field and selling bottles of the product to baseball fans after the game.

“Ben Hirsch was a true entrepreneur and that spirit lives on today,” says Sandy Kolkey, chief marketing officer. Hirsch’s car-care product was initially named Plastone. It wasn’t until 1946 when he renamed it Turtle Wax to better describe the hard shell finish it gave cars, Kolkey says. Hirsch was inspired to change the name after driving past Turtle Creek while on a trip in Wisconsin.

Several decades later, Turtle Wax still gives cars a hard-shell finish, but the company is aggressively marketing a variety of products to a new generation of auto enthusiasts via a 47-second commercial that has aired before screenings of the hit movie “Furious 7” and during televised sporting events, including Major League Baseball. The spot also is appearing on cable television shows dedicated to cars and auto racing, including BBC America’s “Top Gear,” Discovery Channel’s “Misfit Garage,” Spike’s “PowerNation” and Velocity’s “Truck U.”

Read more: Turtle Wax

Murakami Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. has been hard at work to incorporate both Japanese and American cultures into one business. Over the past two-and-a-half years, its Campbellsville, Ky.-based plant has focused heavily on team building and bridging the gap to create a successful workplace.  

Murakami-Kaimeido is headquartered in Shizuoka, Japan, and was founded in 1882 by members of the Murakami family. “Our early roots began with metallic decorative fixtures that spread into lanterns for the train industry and mirror glass for furniture,” President Michael Rodenberg says. “In the 1950s we were approached by our glass supplier and Toyota Motor Co. to see if we would be interested in doing side-view mirrors for automobiles and that’s how we got started in what is now our core business.” 

Read more: Murakami Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc.

For nearly 60 years, the DRÄXLMAIER Group has been developing high-quality interior solutions that have gone unmatched in the automotive industry. “We want to deliver a full package to the customer that fulfills their needs and deliver high-quality standards at a competitive price,” says Stefan Bude, president and CFO of DAA Draexlmaier Automotive of America LLC, the group’s North American division.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is a German automotive supplier based in Vilsbiburg, Germany. It specializes in interior and electrical/electronic systems. The family owned company operates more than 60 locations in more than 20 countries and concentrates on the premium automotive segment, covering the entire process as a full-service supplier. “We provide solutions from the cradle to the grave,” Bude says. “Our company participates in the development and design, and provides parts according to the specifications of the customer for the life of the product.”

Read more: DRÄXLMAIER Group

Since its establishment in 2009, Chrysler Group LLC’s Ram Truck Brand has grown its marketshare year-over-year and increased its annual sales through one simple tactic. “The biggest reason for our success is we listen to our customers and bring the products they want to the market,” Brand Director Bob Hegbloom says. 

For Ram, listening to customers and producing trucks that offer the features and benefits they need include increasing trucks’ fuel efficiency and towing capability. Two engines are offered in the 2014 Ram 1500 series of half-ton trucks: a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that delivers more horsepower, more torque and a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon; and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, which offers up to 28 miles per gallon. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 was first introduced in Ram’s 2013 model line.

Read more: Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC

To say that General Motors has been through some changes over the last few years would be an understatement. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, the automotive giant has been restructured and streamlined to improve its focus on customer service, and that included acknowledging the importance of the fleet and commercial side of its business. As Vice President of GM’s Fleet and Commercial Sales Ed Peper explains, GM’s new leadership understood how vital its fleet and commercial customers were to ensuring the company’s success for the future. 

Read more: General Motors

It is rare in the automobile industry to find a company with the daily mission of making people’s lives better, but that is Vantage Mobility International’s (VMI) goal. “[We aim to] build the highest-quality vehicle at the best value to provide a better quality of life for our customers,” Supply Chain Manager Kermit Diehl says.

Phoenix-based VMI manufactures wheelchair-accessible vans for disabled persons, including families with disabled children, senior citizens and veterans. The company’s history goes back to the 1970s when its founders built a handicapped-accessible vehicle to help a family friend. They created a concept that eliminated the wheelchair lift mounted on the side of a van.

Read more: Vantage Mobility International

Porsche is the standard-bearer for luxury and performance in the automotive world. The company’s reputation for precise German engineering, uncompromised standards and a world-class driving experience have helped it become one of the most respected and recognized luxury automobile brands in the world. Porsche’s global success lies behind the quality of its products, but there are many behind-the-scenes factors that contribute to the company’s profitability.

Read more: Porsche Cars North America Inc.

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