Ford Motor Co. and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) teamed up to present the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. Under the direction of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) and built entirely by SBN members, the project is designed to shine the light on women working in the automotive aftermarket and encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry.
SEMA represents the $29.99 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,383 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry.
As title sponsor of the project, Ford Motor Co. donated a 2013 Ford Mustang GT and the company’s leading female designers are working collaboratively with Theresa Contreras of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network to develop three design renderings for the build.
The three concepts will be posted online by Source Interlink Media (SIM), another partner in the project. SIM, LLC is the premier source of special interest media in the United States. With more than 75 publications, 100 Web sites, 800 branded products, 50+ events, and TV and radio programs, SIM is the largest provider of content to enthusiast communities interested in automotive, action sports, home theatre and other niche activities.
Through SIM’s HOT ROD, Automobile, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords and Mustang Monthly websites, fans will vote on which of the three concepts is ultimately selected. Voting takes place May 23 – June 3, 2012, with the winning design announced on June 5.
The actual build will take place in July and August at the SIM Headquarters in El Segundo, CA, with several of SIM’s female employees participating on the build. Modification will be made to all aspects of the car, including the engine, undercarriage, drive train, interior, sound system, exterior and paint. The finished vehicle will be auctioned off to raise money for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, an organization dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators.
The idea for the project began in 2010, after SBN Select Committee member JoAnn Bortles participated in a women motorcycle build.
“When JoAnn approached me with the idea of a project vehicle built by women, I immediately thought it was a great way to underscore how passionate and involved women are in the automotive industry,” said Marla Moore, SBN Chairperson. “Others (Ford, Source Interlink Media and the SEMA Scholarship Committee) immediately agreed and quickly joined forces to launch the first-ever SEMA project vehicle build powered by women.”
“Ford Motor Co. is enthusiastic about sponsoring the SEMA Mustang Build,” said Sherry Kollien, SBN Project Vehicle Coordinator for Ford. “The Mustang is the ideal vehicle for the project given its broad demographic appeal and its ability to be customized to fit the unique needs of all consumers, enthusiasts and women across multiple life stages. We have long known that women have more than 50 percent decision-making power in vehicle purchase decisions, but increasingly they are customizing to match their own unique personalities.”
The SBN Vehicle Build Task Force is comprised of Task Force Chair Rose Kawasaki (Exports International), Project Vehicle Coordinator Sherry Kollien (Ford Motor Company), Assembly Coordinator Kellie Colf (eTool Developers), PR/Media Coordinator Camee Edelbrock (Schiefer Media Inc.) and Product Coordinator Susan Carpenter (JR Products). Advisors include Mike Spagnola (Street Scene), Joel Ayres (Bedslide) and Marla Moore (Hypertech).
“I am proud to be involved with the SBN and this Mustang GT project in an advisory role,” said Mike Spagnola, President of Street Scene and member of the SEMA Board of Directors. “I am convinced, as are many of SEMA’s executive staff that this project car will not only bring great exposure to SEMA, the SBN & Ford Motor Co., but ignite a whole new wave of women ready to make a statement with the vehicles they drive. I applaud the wisdom of all involved to broaden the appeal of vehicle customization among women, and for raising revenue for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund to help foster our next generation of industry leaders.”
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators. Scholarship awards range from $1,000 - $2,000, with $4,000 going to the top student.