C4AL #10 – How John Hotchkis Built Hotchkis Performance

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Welcome to the Cars For A Living! This show is dedicated specifically to help out those that would love to find a way to turn their automotive passions into a career, business, or life long journey.

Today’s Topic – An “Under The Hood” Look at Hotchkis Performance with John Hotchkis

In this episode of Cars For A Living my co-host Dan Kahn and I got the chance to sit down and interview John Hotchkis – in person! We spent over an hour with John and asked a lot of specific questions about how he built up a business that is the envy of the industry, and how he’s suited it to fit his lifestyle. He went into details on how his sports car racing background led him to identify a market need for his first suspension products (for G-Body GM cars, believe it or not) and talked about how he went from producing just a few units a year to where he is today – creating suspension components for nearly every classic muscle car out there, plus being an OEM suspension supplier!

John discussed how he marketed his products, and how he set up his distribution chain through companies like Summit, Jegs, and others (which is where he sells the bulk of his products). For those wishing to follow a similar path, prepare to take notes during the interview.

I personally took a few things away from our discussion that honestly didn’t soak in for me until a few days later. First, I believe the real key to John’s success is that he treats everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – as if they are the most important person in the world to him. He gives them all his utmost respect, whether they be media, colleagues, or the guys packing boxes in the warehouse. Secondly, while the name on the building says “Hotchkis Performance,” it’s a far bigger company than just John. Each person there is an enthusiast and is genuinely glad to be there, working together as a team to create something special. I very much believe that those two points are the backbone of the success Hotchkis Performance has had to date…..and while they’ll have far more success to come!

Thanks for the interview, John!

Wrapping Up

We’d love to get your feedback on how how you deal with these issues as well as what you’d like us to concentrate on for the next show. Feel free to simply reply in the post notes below, hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, or shot us an e-mail!

-Rob Kibbe & Dan Kahn

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If you’d like to send in a question for the show for us to discuss, feel free to send an e-mail or leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to sign up for the Cars For A Living newsletter as well and look for exclusive content to come your way there that WON’T be on the website!

Click here to listen to all of the previous episodes of Cars For A Living!