Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. earned the top innovation award at the 2013 Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) held this week in Las Vegas.
According to a press release, preregistered buyers for this year’s showcase cast nearly 5,000 votes and recognized the Hopkins Towing Solutions – Smart Hitch Camera and Sensor System as the best new product. The AAPEX is the largest annual automotive trade show, drawing more than 100,000 buyers from across the globe.
On hand to accept the award was Mike Williams, Hopkins chief marketing officer, and Dan Scheller, marketing director for towing products.
“This award reflects the professionalism and efforts of our entire team,” said Williams. “It is very gratifying that Hopkins has again been chosen for the most innovative product in our industry.
“We’re excited about this product.” added Scheller. “We know that hitching up to a trailer is not an easy task, and we wanted to solve that problem.” This is a true win for Hopkins, our retail customers and consumers alike.”
The Smart Hitch is an easy-to-use backup camera with two separate modes. In hitch mode, the built-in guiding system allows drivers to easily align hitch ball to the trailer coupler every time. When not towing, simply switch the monitor to everyday mode and back up using a 3 1/2-inch color monitor for optimal viewing and SmartZone Sensors that give the driver an audible alert when it detects objects behind the vehicle.
The Smart Hitch plugs directly into the existing vehicle towing connector for ease of installation.
The Smart Hitch Camera and Sensor System continues to get five star ratings and can currently be found at Amazon, Camping World, E-Trailer, Northern Tool, TSC Canada, Stag Parkway and Coast Distribution.
For more information visit www.HopkinsMfg.com.
Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins Manufacturing Corp., currently marking its 60th year of operation, announced the addition of Mark S. Turgyan as vice president, corporate and business development. According to a press release, Turgyan will lead and direct the company’s growth strategy in mergers, acquisitions and other developmental activities.
“We are pleased to have Mark join our team at Hopkins,” said Bradley T. Kraft, president and CEO of Hopkins, which produces specialized towing products and accessories for the automotive and RV aftermarket. “He has an extensive background in identifying and implementing opportunities to grow businesses, in particular through mergers and acquisitions.”
Most recently, Turgyan served as vice president, corporate development and planning, with Conair Corp. Prior to that he was involved in corporate development with VerticalNet and Right Management Consultants. Additionally, he held financial positions at Silo and Arthur Anderson.
Hopkins products include Hopkins Towing Solutions vehicle-to-trailer wiring and brake controls, BrakeBuddy RV supplemental braking systems, FloTool fluid handling, Carrand automotive cleaning, SubZero automotive winter care, GoGear interior organization and sun protection products, and nVISION vehicle safety products.
Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. announced today (March 4) that it has acquired the TowDaddy product line. According to a press release, the acquisition strengthens Hopkins as a leading provider of towing electrical products to the recreational vehicle and automotive aftermarket.
TowDaddy is the originator of the towed vehicle wire harness kits that are used when towing a vehicle behind a motorhome. Hopkins stated that the patented technology provides a simplified solution to connect the lights of the towed vehicle with those of the motorhome. In addition, TowDaddy’s AutoFUSE product instantly bypasses the fuse of the towed vehicle and charges the battery, which is required by some newer vehicles, eliminating the need for a fuse to be pulled prior to towing.
“This acquisition reinforces Hopkins’ leadership in towing electrical products to support the RV market. We are excited about the opportunity to work with our customers to expand their sales and increase the technical support and customer service for the product line.” said Bradley T. Kraft, president and CEO of Hopkins.
“The TowDaddy products are a great complement to our Hopkins Towing Solutions and BrakeBuddy towing and RV related products,” said Mike Williams, Hopkins chief marketing officer. “RVers will appreciate how easy it is to configure a vehicle so that it can be safely towed.”
Hopkins will distribute the Tow Daddy products from its Emporia, Kan., distribution center.
Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins Manufacturing Corp., a supplier of vehicle and trailer wiring products, announced today (April 17) the launch of its new “Towing Solutions” website.
“The Hopkins ‘Towing Solutions’ website restage is part of a larger corporate initiative to elevate the services we can offer to customers and consumers on an ‘anytime’ basis,” said Mike Williams, chief marketing officer.
Dan Scheller, director of marketing-towing, added, “Our website restage establishes the highest level of on-line support organized in a fashion that allows novices or knowledgeable end users to get to the information they need to trouble-shoot problems, research product solutions, and tools to make installation easier than ever.”
Hopkins said that the move came, in part, to more people using mobile devices to access information on the web. “Our new site is optimized for these users to quickly get them the information they need to select the right product and help them install it easily so they can get back to trailering,” said Brandon Dexter, marketing services manager.
For more information visit www.HopkinsMfg.com.
RV, marine and auto supplier Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. continues to diversify with the acquisition of F3 Brands, the leading provider of oil drains, drain pans, lifting aids and automotive ramps. F3 is the non-fuel containment business of Blitz USA.
“This acquisition improves our ability to provide a complete range of products for both our customers and do-it-yourself consumers across North America,” said Bradley T. Kraft, president and CEO of Hopkins. “Our FloTool brand of innovative, task-specific funnels makes fluid transfer easier for all of the different automotive, farm, marine, and power-sport applications. Adding F3’s product offering creates a complete line for the DIY’er.”
In addition, the Emporia-based firm announced it had made a “significant strategic investment” in Paradise Road LLC, a Surf City Garage spin-off.
While Surf City Garage is the recognized leader in super-premium Enthusiast Grade brand detailing products, Paradise Road, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., is “an entirely separate company and brand exclusively focused on providing high-quality, premium-level appearance products for the typical car owner at mid-market prices,” according to Hopkins.
As part of their joint venture, Hopkins will assist Paradise Road by leveraging its global distribution network. The entire line of products will be rolled out to retail stores over the next year.
Recreational vehicle aftermarket supplier Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. announced today a partnership with ONCAP, a private equity firm based in Toronto, Canada.
According to a press release, Hopkins management and ONCAP made an investment in the company by purchasing shares from an affiliate of Friend Skoler & Co. Inc., a private equity investor located in Saddle Brook, N.J., that has been an investor in Hopkins since 2004.
The investment by ONCAP was completed in connection with Hopkins’ recapitalization and new bank financing.
“This is a very positive development for Hopkins. We’re excited about the growth potential that will result from partnering with ONCAP,” said Bradley T. Kraft, president and CEO of Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins. “We view the automotive and RV markets as very attractive and this partnership positions us as a major player in the industry.”
“We look forward to partnering with Hopkins’ management team to build upon the company’s success,” said Michael Lay, Managing Partner of ONCAP. “Hopkins has a history of new product innovation, high customer service levels and successful integration of complementary acquisitions. We’re confident that this strong track record will continue under the leadership of the Hopkins management team.”
Founded in 1953, Hopkins is a leading designer, manufacturer, distributor and marketer of innovative towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarket. Headquartered in Emporia, Hopkins also maintains locations in Carson, Calif., Juarez, Mexico and Ningbo, China.
Following a successful showing at the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., where Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. unveiled a number of new products for 2011, the Emporia, Kan.-based manufacturer of aftermarket vehicle and trailer wiring solutions has announced a new, more compact packaging system with simpler, more effective graphics that include a color navigation system to improve the shopping process for consumers and retailers alike.
According to a release, the new packaging — which standardizes all products at seven inches in height — will take up 30% less retail space, increasing the profit per square foot for retailers. The improved graphics, meanwhile, will feature product images and expands the company’s color-coded navigation system to the package front to assist consumers. The scheme incorporates the familiar green color for vehicle side applications, blue for adapters, red for brake control products, gray for accessories and introduces orange for all trailer side applications.
The new packaging will begin shipping in early 2011.
For more information, contact Hopkins Manufacturing Corp., 428 Peyton Street, Emporia, KS 66801-1157, (800) 835-0129, www.HopkinsMfg.com.