Good morning. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Automotive and today, we’re giving a shout out to SEMA. We want to say a very special thank you for opportunities that SEMA has presented for us.
As a young entrepreneur in the automotive industry, it’s often very difficult with the catch 22 of trying to find work in your field and trying to gain experience. Employers only want the most experienced and technicians only want to be the most experienced they can be to support and that’s where organizations like SEMA help enthusiast technicians really excel.
For myself, I’ve been going to the SEMA show out in Las Vegas the first week in November for four years now.
The first year that I went out, I had no idea what to expect other than 30 miles on my feet on the ground getting to see all kinds of new technology, new equipment and things that we just hadn’t been exposed to. Using the information that I’ve learned from SEMA, being able to apply some of the principles we learned in classes and seminars there, in addition to the technology that we’ve seen and integrated all that information to what we do every day so that we can offer not only better solutions, better products, and better customer experience, but at the same time, continue to excel, continue to build our business and continue to grow our knowledge base so that we can help not only the community with their automobiles but that we can be a large supporter of the SEMA organization and we can help those new comers coming in.
Since my integration with SEMA, we’ve not only seen an increase in knowledge, an increase in available data to us, these seminars, these classes that we’re able to utilize and be a part of, but we’re also able to contribute as well. Recently, I got the opportunity to travel out to Detroit with light-truck accessory and… recently, I got to travel to Detroit with the light-truck accessory and alternative community so that we can look at how we professionally restyle vehicles across the board, analyze the data that’s being used in them and look with manufacturers from the OEs, original equipment. How are they producing these? How can we learn from these and how can we help?
And the one thing that I really learned both with SEMA and Forbe’s magazine recently integrating these technologies is seeing that all new safety equipment can be implemented in motor vehicles. There’s going to be lots of ways that it’s going need to be modified to work with aftermarket performance systems, whether to lift or lower cars and make things work appropriately and at the same time, the real goal is your safety, you in the motor vehicle. Whether you’re the average Joe driving to work, you’re a SEMA member or you’re a certified technician that knows everything about his car, the goal is always to keep each other safe on the road.
Recently, SEMA gave us the opportunity to see transportation mobility in these new sectors out in Detroit. We were able to spend time at the University of Michigan and the city proving ground, the largest in the world and then, step foot onto the newest, largest facility currently in production at Willow Creek. Where literally, Rosie the Riveter built planes in World War II, they are going to be testing new technology that’s going to be implemented to keep you safe, but as an alternative perspective, as an outside younger person stepping into this crowd, I saw a really big problem. I saw that all of these technology companies aren’t automobile companies. They’re technology companies that want their information into cars so that they can be rich. There are companies out there in Silicon Valley that think the automobile is the hottest thing in Silicon Valley. They know that if they can get their product in a car, they can retire and these same companies are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour to test their product in the dead of night so that their competitors can’t look over it with a drone and see what they’re doing.
As an enthusiast, as an auto repair technician and as somebody that drives on the road every day, this is disheartening. These companies need to work together to build technology faster, to implement these now. Rather than individual companies spending ten years a piece trying to build this technology, if we could get these heads to come together, we could have better solutions faster and could literally save lives now, but unfortunately, these companies aren’t interested in that. They’re only interested in the financial perspective. That’s where we started to make heads roll. As an owner of an independent repair shop, I wrote letters to the CEO of over 40 different major companies that are implementing their technology in modern motor vehicles. Not a single one responded to me.
Just let that sink in. Not a single one had any interest whatsoever in actually working together to build safer technology to save lives. They all were interested in building their business, sustaining theirs and making money, the capitalistic perspective. When I took this and I sent these emails and I didn’t get a response, I approached the SEMA organization and I said, “I need your help. These people don’t want to listen. This is a problem and I’m a young active mind trying to solve a problem here. I need your input. Please, how do we solve this?” Not only did SEMA listen, they took our direction. They heeded some of our advice. They’re allowing us to speak at some of their upcoming events, let alone in Detroit and in Los Vegas for the SEMA convention and then most recently, they nominated myself and I won the award for the SEMA 35 Under 35. As young game changers, we are trying to make heads roll, make progress and change technology so that you can have a safer experience.
Now, an award is a fantastic thing and I am greatly appreciative for such, but SEMA if you’re watching this video, I don’t want any award. I don’t want any recognition. I want these companies to work together to build safer cars to save lives. Every year, 1.3 million people die on the road. That’s every 28 seconds a life is lost. Cars weren’t around 150 years ago. Every single one of those deaths are preventable. We can stop those. With the help of SEMA, with the help of the community at large and with the help of these companies working together, we’re going to make that happen.
Thank you for taking the time. Thank you for honoring us and showing us that you value our opinion and allowing us to have this knowledge. We appreciate it and we’re going to do everything we can to raise that bar higher. So for those of you that have your motor vehicle every day to get to work, you need to be talking with the companies and you’re purchasing cars from and you need to be asking them, “Why aren’t these safety systems being implemented sooner?” You’re asking for technology that consumers want and it’s taking ten years to produce because these companies won’t work together.
For myself, I’m going to keep pushing hard and I’m going to get these companies to talk to each other. We’ve started an organization so that can get collective minds that are willing to sacrifice that capitalistic dollar for the benefit of the community and the safety of you. From those of us here at Saul’s Automotive, thank you for the opportunities you’ve presented us. Thank you for letting us win these awards from SEMA and recognizing us and allowing us to have a voice that is now heard around the world. Please listen when we say that we want to save lives and that we want this technology implemented now. You can do everything you can in your power to help us get there. Right now, the best thing you can do is share this video.