AMSOIL hires new Technical Services Director and IT Manager

Amsoil Technical Services Editor Ed Kellerman
Ed Kellerman

There’s a new man at the helm in the Technical Services Department at AMSOIL, but it’s business as usual at the Superior, WI, plant.

In July 2001, Ed Kellerman, 43, took over the director’s position following in the capable footsteps of Byron Selbrede, who led the department for more than 15 years.

Kellerman and Selbrede discussed the change in a recent interview.

“With Byron’s departure I have some big, huge shoes to fill,” Kellerman acknowledged.

Kellerman came to AMSOIL from Minneapolis, MN, where he was a jet mechanic in the United States Air Force for nine years and had several years’ experience in automotive technology and management. “My background makes AMSOIL a good fit for me,” Kellerman said.

His graceful fit into those big shoes was aided by Selbrede – and a seasoned, five-member staff of experts – for a seamless transition and uninterrupted communication with Dealers and customers.

Technical Services personnel know what product to recommend, how it works, how it matches with other products, how it meets industry standards and specifications, which product is best for specific vehicles and applications. They conduct product analysis and provide technical expertise in the creation of brochures, data bulletins and training programs.

The team always is available to answer questions, and receives more than 4,000 telephone calls every month. “We have four avenues of communication for people to reach us,” Kellerman said, “telephone, fax, regular mail and e-mail.”

However, Dealers are encouraged to seek answers through manuals, or contact Sponsors or Direct Jobbers before calling Technical Services, Kellerman said. “Dealers are the frontline, especially the experienced Dealers, and they are capable of answering the majority of questions,” he said.

A growing number of inquiries come in through e-mail, as many as 60 a day, Kellerman said. E-mails generally are answered within a day. It’s highly efficient communication because technicians have time to concentrate and research clear answers without the distractions of fielding too many calls at once, he explained. “We encourage e-mail,” Kellerman said. “My goal is to offer answers in the most direct and concise manner possible to our Dealers and customers.”

Staff members have access to a full library, manuals, oil analysis results, close communications with on-site laboratory researchers and ongoing education.

Technical Services also performs analysis on failed engines or parts. “Our philosophy is not ‘AMSOIL couldn’t or didn’t cause the problem,’ our philosophy is ‘AMSOIL will help find the actual cause of the problem,’” Selbrede said.

After more than 20 years, Selbrede is officially “retired,” but shows little interest in leaving the company.

He works part time at the corporate office, where he puts those years of expertise into special projects.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the Dealers over the years, helping them with questions, helping with training, meeting them over the years,” Selbrede said. “And I miss a lot of that personal contact.”

He recommended Kellerman’s hire, Selbrede said. “Ed has been doing a fine job since he came on board. I feel confident he’ll continue to take the department in the right direction in the future,” he said.

Amsoil IT Manager Dave Nimmo
Dave Nimmo

Dave Nimmo is new to the Information Technology Department at AMSOIL in Superior, WI, but he cut his career eye teeth on computers.

Nimmo, 49, became manager of the Information Technology Department at AMSOIL in September.

Nimmo left Duluth, MN, 28 years ago, and, except for a short stint in Mexico doing missions work, held several positions in the world of computers.

He was a computer operator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1979-1985.

After 10 more years working with computers and two years earning a computer programming certificate at Northeast Metro Community College at White Bear Lake, MN, he became network analyst for Chisago Health Services, Chisago City, MN.

While he was there, the Chisago system merged with the Fairview Health System network, a Minneapolis, MN-based regional health care provider.

When Fairview opened a new hospital in Wyoming, MN, in 1998, Nimmo was the computer wizard for a merger that included three hospitals. He connected the three hospitals and ironed out the kinks of getting them online. “That was lots of stress,” Nimmo said in a recent interview. “It was challenging, but I like the challenge.”

At AMSOIL, Nimmo oversees a computer staff and all of the company’s computer programs. “I understand and can speak ‘programmer language,’” he said.

He spent time getting to know the company, meeting employees and familiarizing himself with the computer system. “I’m trying to bring a sense of unity to the department so that we can serve the rest of the employee population,” Nimmo said.

Routinely, he oversees and monitors day-to-day operations of the company’s computer system, recommends computer software purchases, develops company security and Internet use policies, and advises administrators when there’s a need for enforcement.

AMSOIL soon will implement a new computer system that will revolutionize the company’s ability to serve Dealers and customers alike, and entail every aspect of the business.

“It’s a huge system,” Nimmo said. “It’s a big project to get my arms around, but I like the challenge. I’m happy to be in AMSOIL and can see nothing but strength and growth in the quality and use of AMSOIL products.”

SEMA 2010 Awards Amsoil

Amsoil SEMA show
Two years ago a cloud of uncertainty hung over the SEMA Show as the nation wrestled with the collapse of the housing market and the international banking crisis was emerging. Last year attendance was down slightly, but there were signs of hope for a rebound. In 2010 enthusiasm for the future has returned with full force, as attendance is higher than ever, there are more companies here with booths than ever, more new products in the New Product Showcase and more vehicles on display than ever. The auto industry is “back in the drivers seat.”

Each year the first day of the show begins with a New Products Awards Breakfast and this was no different. Dave McClelland of Hot Rod TV and the Voice of SEMA led the program here at the Hilton Ballroom. He shared a personal anecdote about his grandson coming along to his first SEMA and how we can sometimes get a little jaded after three decades of attending, not realizing how significant this event is, after which the awards were presented.

Amsoil Blue Ribbon Award for New ProductThere are fifteen awards and more than 1500 entries, which means the odds are long and the judges have a lot of work to do to narrow down their selections. One out of a hundred will receive the recognition that all have been striving for.

After a dozen awards had been presented, Dave McClelland introduced the Best New Powersports Product…. AMSOIL Quickshot SE. McClelland described the product's features and benefits. “AMSOIL Quickshot SE is a premium fuel additive formulated to thoroughly clean and restore peak performance in small engine and powersports equipment fuel systems. It also stabilizes fuel between uses and during short-term storage periods. Its revolutionary technology focuses on three major fuel-related issues plaguing small engines and powersports equipment: ethanol, water and dirty pump gas.”

Needless to say, for AMSOIL this made for a great beginning to another exciting SEMA Show.

SEMA Shines with Amsoil

Amsoil Sema ShowIt seems clear that the industry is thriving as you see the action unfold at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas. From mobile electronics to off road gear, to street rod passion to the ultimate accessorizations, you can find all of it displayed in a spectacular array of light, color and sound here at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Organizations a-plenty share the benefits of memberships in an effort strengthen the foundations of their varied interests, from protecting the rights of street rodding to maintaining access for trail riders.

Ultimately, the show has been like any other trade show in that it serves the function of enabling manufacturers to connect with retailers, with the aim of improving the company's visibility in order to reach consumers. One difference, however, is that there is industry with this kind of glam, style and sheer sexiness. Check out the new Mustangs and Camaros? And all the brilliance in reflected in the paint schemes, chrome and chromatics.

SEMA leadership decided to create a new award to help highlight the vehicle manufacturers that make this industry possible. It was called “The Hottest Vehicles of the SEMA Show.” The three awards went to the Hottest Pickup Truck, Hottest 4×4 and Hottest Car.

Amsoil Sema Challenge ShowSEMA is also a place where new relationships are created, and announcements get made. Yesterday it was announced that AMSOIL has signed a multi-year agreement to be the official and exclusive oil of Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, that begins January 8, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.

The three-year agreement marks the company’s first partnership with the Monster Energy Supercross championship, though the company has had long roots in supercross and motocross beginning with its sponsorship of 2X national champion Mike LaRocco in the late nineties and ongoing relationship with Factory Connection racing.

As the sun burns off the morning haze here in the valley, SEMA will continue to shine as a place where things happen, and history is written.

Amsoil Sema Challenge Show

Amsoil Lubed Challenge of America Chevy Silverado

Amsoil Lubed Challenge ShowOne of the highlights of the SEMA Show, featured prominently in the GM booth, was Nic Ashby's Challenge America Chevrolet Silverado. In a post script to the show, the Victorious Project blog stated, “We’re all on Cloud 9 because SEMA was a huge success for Challenge America in promoting the needs of our veterans.”

During the show the Challenge America team collected tons of video footage. Their aim is to raise awareness for the needs of wounded veterans. For many vets, the toughest battles are not those fought on the front, but rather the ones they must fight the rest of their lives when they return home. On this Veterans Day it is appropriate to honor all who have served. It is likewise a privilege to be associated with people like Nic who continue to give back in this manner.

Amsoil Lubed Challenge ShowIn a note to us this week he wrote, “SEMA was a great show and thanks to all your votes and support we made it into the CHEVY booth and received a nice recognition from the North American President of General Motors.”

About Challenge America: Challenge America answers the question of “When it happens, where do we go?” for returning injured military and their families by connecting to resources in the simplest way possible – at the local zip code level. We are working with communities across the United States in linking new and existing services and supporting the development of recreational, occupational and housing programs to better serve those who have sacrificed so much for us.

Challenge America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Federal Tax ID 27-0868701.

Amsoil Lubed Challenge Show

Amsoil Team Hybrid

Amsoil Hybrid VehicleEvery serious import owner is on a never-ending mission to pull out all the stops in creating the best ride that eclipses any other on the scene. Team Hybrid is no exception, and in fact sets the standard for today’s performance automotive enthusiast. They have been steadily generating buzz by landing some high-profile magazine covers, most recently in the January/December issue of Performance Auto & Sound and PASMAG Overdrive. PAS Magazine features two magazines in one with a cover for both, and Team Hybrid made another mark in the history books by landing both covers for the second time. No other team has accomplished this, which goes to show how revered Team Hybrid is by the respect it receives both in print and on the street. AMSOIL is installed in some of their vehicles currently making headlines, including this one from owner Charleston Penesa.

Currently featured on the cover of the latest PASMAG Overdrive, Penesa’s 2006 Mitsubishi EVO IX engine modifications include a Buschur Racing 3076R turbo kit, 1000cc injectors, HKS Super Suction intake system and much more. In keeping up with these high-performance standards they use AMSOIL Series 600 Brake Fluid, AMSOIL Synthetic High Performance 10W-30 Motor Oil and AMSOIL Ea Oil Filter.

Currently featured on the cover of the latest PASMAG Overdrive, Penesa’s 2006 Mitsubishi EVO IX engine modifications include a Buschur Racing 3076R turbo kit, 1000cc injectors, HKS Super Suction intake system and much more. In keeping up with these high-performance standards they use AMSOIL Series 600 Brake Fluid, AMSOIL Synthetic High Performance 10W-30 Motor Oil and AMSOIL Ea Oil Filter.

Amsoil Hybrid Vehicle

AMSOIL covered this feature in the Promotions blog back in July when it was up and coming, and has since followed Penesa and Team Hybrid as they continue pushing the envelope in the import circuit. Founder James Lin received one more testament to their team’s viability at the 2010 SEMA show, learning Team Hybrid was confirmed to be the most published team in Performance Auto & Sound Magazine history. As one of the top three best-selling enthusiast titles in the US and the number one title in Canada, this is no small accomplishment.

AMSOIL is pleased to lend support to such a talented team of enthusiasts. Team Hybrid has the ability to generate buzz and awareness for not only their rides and organization, but the companies that sponsor them. Look for the AMSOIL logo placement on the cover of PASMAG Overdrive and watch for future updates. As they make their mark across the import circuit, Team Hybrid is rising fast and showing no signs of stopping.

Amsoil Installer Program Promises Increased Opportunities

Of all the exciting new business opportunities AMSOIL OE Synthetic Motor Oil provides, few offer more potential for Dealer growth than the new Installer Program. Featuring both OE and XL Synthetic Motor Oil, the Installer Program makes it easier to approach the more than 100,000 quick lubes, independent garages, tire centers and other facilities offering oil changes. Today, 60 to 70 percent of motorists pay someone to change their oil, with the number predicted to reach 80 percent by 2018.

The 7,500-Mile Oil Change Program allowed many Dealers to successfully implement oil change programs featuring XL Synthetic Motor Oil in the do-it-for-me (DIFM) market. Despite higher profit margins, many installers have balked at the program due to higher price points and reduced customer visits resulting from extended drain intervals.

Past Objections Answered Because OE Synthetic Motor Oil is recommended for original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-recommended drain intervals, installers need not worry about extended drains reducing customer visits. Motorists will visit shops at their current frequencies, allowing installers opportunities for the add-on sales they often rely on to increase profits.

The price also benefits installers in multiple ways. While AMSOIL suggests pricing an XL oil change between $64.50 and $69.50, AMSOIL suggests pricing an OE oil change between $44.50 and $49.50, only about $10 to $15 more than the average price for a conventional oil change, but lower than full-synthetic oil changes using competing oils. The reduced price point enables motorists who are aware of the benefits of synthetics, and AMSOIL synthetics in particular, but fearful of the higher cost, to easily transition from conventional oil. Motorists enjoy lower costs, while installers realize increased profits compared to conventional oil changes.

Installer Program Offers Multiple Options OE also provides an option for those who have expressed interest in trying AMSOIL products, but have been unwilling to extend drain intervals. Once aware of the benefits of synthetics, they may move up to the convenience of extended drain intervals offered by XL. Installers realize increased profit margins per oil change selling XL, while customers receive added value.

Both AMSOIL OE Synthetic Motor Oil and XL Synthetic Motor Oil are APIcertifi ed to alleviate warranty concerns. Installers can carry both OE and XL or each individually, allowing Dealers to tailor the Installer Program to best fit each situation.

Revised Promotional Items The complete details of the Installer Program, including how Dealers make more money, selling strategies, samples of all literature items and more are available in the new Installer Kit (G250). The G250 provides Dealers the necessary materials to make five sales presentations and register two accounts. The Quick Lube Fast Attack Pack (G250Q) has been discontinued.

The Promo Kit, sent to installers free-ofcharge after an initial qualifying order (either five cases of quarts, four cases of gallons, one drum or one tote of either XL or OE), has also been revised. The 2’ x 6’ banner features a new look and can be used by installers who carry OE, XL or both. The kit also includes a point-ofpurchase (P-O-P) display, redesigned P-O-P brochures for customers in the waiting area and oil change reminder window decals.

Your Next Step With the DIFM market growing and use of synthetics rising, the time to act is now. Dealers interested in selling the Installer Program should purchase an Installer Kit (G250). The Kit includes the following:

Installer Kit Cost: $8.00
Value: $15.19

  • How to use the Installer Kit (G3376)
  • AMSOIL Installer Program – Dealers Only (G3413)
  • Strategies for Entering the Installer Market (G3400)
  • (5) AMSOIL Programs for Today’s Installers Brochures (G3401)
  • (5) XL Synthetic Motor Oil Data Bulletins (G1404)
  • (5) OE Synthetic Motor Oil Data Bulletins (G3404)
  • (5) OE Countertop Handouts (G3407)
  • (5) XL Countertop Handouts (G3406)
  • (5) Installer Price Lists (G3386)
  • (2) Retail-on-the-Shelf Kits (G1001)

From Track to Trail

Fishing Magazine Logos

New partnerships bring new market exposure.

Motorsports has been one of the key cogs to the AMSOIL marketing strategy over the past several years. From snowmobiles to off-road trucks, AMSOIL has strengthened its presence in several new disciplines over the past decade. Now, the AMSOIL logo will branch out from fenders and hairpin turns to fishing and hunting hideouts.

“AMSOIL continues to diversify its marketing strategy,” said AMSOIL Race Program Manager Jeremy Meyer. “The company has been successful implementing programs on the track, and now has the opportunity to increase its involvement with the hunting and fishing markets, which provide millions of potential AMSOIL customers.”

Hall of Fame Fishing
While versatility is important, so is expertise. When it comes to walleye and musky fishing, AMSOIL has partnered with the industry’s foremost experts. National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame members Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz are world-renowned for their walleye tactics and tackle innovation, while Pete Maina is considered North America’s number one authority on everything related to musky and northern pike. Together, the trio hosts the popular fishing program The Next Bite, which airs on Versus Network every weekend. The show reaches out to the nearly 40 million anglers in North America by providing detailed information on fish patterns, hot spots and technology trends.

Along with hosting the weekly fishing show, all three anglers dive deep into the sport’s competitive side. Parsons and Kavajecz are multiple Anglers of the Year on the FLW tour, while Maina has caught some of the largest muskies ever recorded.

The fishing industry provides an overall economic impact of $125 billion per year, and through sponsorship of The Next Bite, AMSOIL has an insider’s track to reaching new customers in this massive market.

A New Frontier
AMSOIL has successfully diversified its portfolio over the past decade. Race sponsorships are backed through print and television advertising and continually supported through web advertising and promotions. Combined, it all produces great exposure for AMSOIL Dealers and lends credibility to the company’s complete line of products.

“Programs like Deer and Deer Hunting and The Next Bite complement not only one another, but the company’s marketing efforts as a whole,” said AMSOIL Director of Advertising Ed Newman. “AMSOIL markets to everyone from race fans to engine builders to classic car enthusiasts, and the company has now set foot in the sportsman market, which is full of enthusiasts who are both loyal and ready to purchase premium quality AMSOIL synthetic motor oils.”

For more information on Deer and Deer Hunting and The Next Bite, visit

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The Birth of the AMSOIL Logo and the Strong Brand it Represents

Amsoil New Logo
The AMSOIL logo represents a “storage point” for consumers’ attitudes about the company and its Dealers. Amsoil will always be "the first in synthetics".

The AMSOIL logo has become increasingly recognizable over the years. Today it’s displayed on vehicles, at racetracks and in advertisements throughout North America. As many Dealers know, the AMSOIL logo can trigger a positive response from people, and simply wearing AMSOIL clothing in public can lead to sales. The process of developing the company’s strong brand and infusing the AMSOIL logo with value, however, has taken time and effort.

“At one time, obviously, AMSOIL was relatively unknown,” said Kevin McBride, AMSOIL vice president, marketing and communications. “But today, as more and more consumers come to appreciate the quality of our products, we have developed a large and dedicated legion of AMSOIL users. A person would be hardpressed to see the logo of another oil company appear on more vehicles or in more places than the AMSOIL logo appears.”

The AMSOIL brand began taking shape even before AMSOIL President and CEO Al Amatuzio formulated the first 100 percent synthetic motor oil to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) requirements in 1972.

“From the very start when Al Amatuzio began researching synthetic oil and experimenting with formulations, the commitment to quality was paramount,” said McBride. “Even though the logo and company name have evolved since then, the brand has remained synonymous with performance.”

With the AMSOIL brand and a growing network of Dealers winning over customers, the AMSOIL logo began attaining real value in the marketplace. As customers realized greater wear protection, increased fuel efficiency and extended drain savings, they subconsciously associated the AMSOIL logo with positive emotions.

“Branding is inherently subliminal,” said AMSOIL Graphic Design Manager Jeff Spry. “The positive emotions customers have toward a product or company tend to become embedded within an identifiable piece of company messaging, usually the logo.” The logo then becomes a “storage point” for those positive attitudes.

“Encountering the logo on the bumper of a vehicle, in an advertisement or on a Dealer’s clothing then triggers those positive emotions,” Spry said.

That can encourage prospects to purchase AMSOIL products and experience their benefits firsthand. To build on its brand foundation, AMSOIL routinely tests its products alongside competitors’ products and publishes the results, infusing the logo with more value among consumers. Sponsoring and supplying products for winning racers such as Bob Teague, Scott Douglas and Trey Canard also helps, as does the company’s association as the Official Oil for notable events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

“AMSOIL invests a great deal of money and effort into sponsoring these events and drivers. When people see the AMSOIL logo on winning race vehicles, it strengthens the brand,” McBride said. “It also enhances recall of messaging and helps develop a rapport with consumers on an emotional level. This occurs over time and is vital to company and Dealer growth as the brand’s message, image and association develop.”

The AMSOIL brand has become so closely tied to the logo that AMSOIL has policies preventing the alteration of its colors, font or other characteristics when using it for advertising or other promotional activities.

“In branding, consistency is vital,” said Spry. “Altering the logo can interfere with a customer or prospect’s ability to recall AMSOIL messaging. It’s critical to successful business that those using our logo maintain its current form.”

Attaching a great logo to average products does nothing to strengthen the AMSOIL brand or the Dealer network. That’s why AMSOIL will always affix its logo only to products that have been thoroughly tested and shown to exhibit superior results. In this way consumers will continue to develop positive attitudes toward the company and its Dealers, and both will enjoy strong growth well into the future.