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LAS VEGAS, Oct. 31--Looking at the activity surrounding the 2001 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week gathering here in the Nevada desert, you'd have a hard time verifying reports of a stalled economy and withering tourism. Sure, the taxicab lines are blessedly shorter, but the airplanes arriving are packed solid, the restaurants have 2-hour waiting lines, and the aisles of the exhibit halls are crowded with tens of thousands of manufacturer reps, chain-store buyers, retail shop owners and an eager cadre of journalists.
None are more eager than the automotive staff of Seniorhelpline, here to scope out the latest from the
$25 billion aftermarket auto goodies industry. Descending on the two convention centers here from their offices in New York, Detroit and Los Angeles, PM's editors powered through more than 6000 exhibitors' booths to select the best products for the annual Editor's Choice Awards, presented in a Tuesday afternoon ceremony at the plush Venetian Hotel. Check out the awards presentations and the winning products below, then stop back on Friday for the full report on all the new industry trends and concepts.
Left to right: Don Chaikin, automotive editor, Seniorhelpline; Adam Bruss, vice president, sales and marketing; Ben Miller, president; Joe Oldham, editor-in-chief, Seniorhelpline.
AutoXray Tempe, AZwww.autoxray.com
The latest EZ-Link is an entry-level consumer-oriented diagnostic trouble code reader that can be upgraded via the Internet.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Otto Steffeiner, group product manager; Pam Krebs, director of advertising; Joe Oldham.
Robert Bosch Corp. Broadview, IL
At $3.99, Platinum2 splits the difference between economical and expensive spark plugs while still offering advanced technology.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Jeffrey Stukenborg, senior project engineer; Joe Oldham.
Delphi Aftermarket Operations
Driver Selectable Ride is a professionally or DIY-installed set of four monotube shock absorbers and a controller that allows the driver to change suspension damping from soft to firm at the flip of a switch when towing heavy loads.
Third from left: Don Chaikin; Left to right: Dupli-Color team including John Ernst, development chemist, and Scott Jennie, director of marketing; Joe Oldham.
Dupli-Color Products Co.Cleveland, OH
Metalcast is an aerosol high-gloss paint that sprays the color effects of red, blue and yellow anodized aluminum, and is heat resistant up to 500° F
No photo available.
Edelbrock Corp. Torrance, CA
These heavy-duty adjustable upper trailing arms for 1964-88 General Motors A/G-body cars allow you to alter the rear-axle pinion angle for optimum straight-line acceleration and better handling.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; John Church, product engineer; Phil Webb, product designer; Tom Peebles, brand manager; Joe Oldham.
BFGoodrich Greenville, SC
The G-Force T/A KDW is the first (that we've seen) regular-production 24-in. tire. In size 305/35VR24, this is a significant leap forward in tire technology for high-performance SUVs such as the Cadillac Escalade.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Mark Cherveny, product manager; Steve Myers, marketing manager; Joe Oldham.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.Akron, OH
The Fortera HL SUV is a dedicated luxury SUV tire that rides and handles like a car tire but has the appearance of a rugged truck tire.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Butch Bass, vice president; Jeffrey King, president and chief executive officer; Joe Oldham.
Holley Performance ProductsBowling Green, KY
The Truck Avenger Carburetor for V8 trucks improves low-end torque, and works well off-road because it can properly control fuel flow even at extreme lateral and downhill angles.Left to right: Don Chaikin; Bob Manthei, president; Joe Oldham.
Longhorns West, division of B&L Technologies San Diego, CA
The Rail-Rider Rolling Toolbox is a diamond-plate construction, automatic-latching, stake pocket-mounted box that slides to the back of the bed on rails for easy access.Left to right: Don Chaikin; Scott Smith, senior product manager; Joe Oldham.
Meguiar's Inc.Irvine, CA
Gold Class is an entire array of cleaning and polishing products in convenient pre-moistened wipe form for leather upholstery, vinyl and rubber trim and assorted detailing.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Ken Holland, marketing manager; Joe Oldham.
Mothers Polishes Waxes CleanersHuntington Beach, CA
California Gold Paint Chip Repair puts a professional-looking flush finish on small blemishes.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Ted Hardenbergh, aftermarket product manager; Jim Jelin, direct marketing and sales distribution; Joe Oldham.
Osram SylvaniaHillsboro, NH
Xenarc HID Lighting Systems comprises the first aftermarket applications of high intensity discharge illumination.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Adrian Murray, vice president, sales; Joe Oldham.
Painless Performance ProductsFt. Worth, TX
The RF Control Center is a steering wheel-mounted radio-frequency programmable control for electric vehicle functions such as the lights, horn and signals.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Ahmed Alim, senior vice president, R&D; Joe Oldham.
Pennzoil-Quaker StateHouston, TX
Total Care is a waterless, one-step cleaner and polish that shines paint, plastic, vinyl, leather, chrome and glass, eliminating the need for separate products for each task.
No photo available.
Simple Green, Sunshine Makers Inc.Huntington Harbour, CA
Total Automotive Foaming Cleaner/Degreaser is a non-toxic, biodegradable, non-abrasive, non-corrosive clinging foam that can be used on most automotive surfaces, including paint and rubber.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Maarten Rutgers, vice president, R&D; Brett D'ambrosio, R&D associate; Jovo Majstorovic, president; Joe Oldham.
Tesla Electronics Inc.Los Angeles, CA
G-Tech Pro LIBERATOR is a compact portable display that mounts to the inside of the windshield with a suction cup to record tax-deductible miles and provide current traffic and weather conditions.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Charles Walker, vice president; Joe Oldham.
Trico ProductsBrownsville, TX
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Thomas Giacomini, chief operating officer; Joe Oldham.
Warn Industries Inc. Clackamas, OR
Power Mate Winch is a pickup bedrail-mounted portable device that can pull 2000 pounds into the bed with its 30-ft. cable, internal braking system and remote control.
Left to right: Don Chaikin; Bruce Johnston, brand manager; Joe Oldham.
Wix Filtration, Dana Corp.Gastonia, NC
A silicone antidrainback valve (orange) extends these filters' usable life by thousands of miles.