Another year begins. From all indications, it should be another good year for AMSOIL and AMSOIL Dealers. Last year, sales were up, new commercial and retail accounts grew significantly, our preferred customer program was very successful, and sponsoring in general was outstanding.
In addition to this, internet sales exceeded everyone’s expectations and the number of inquiries and responses we had from our advertising numbered over 25,000 for the year. We respond to each and every inquiry with sales literature and assign the leads to T-1 Certified Dealers for follow-up.
Our co-op programs with T-1 Certified Dealers have been growing, as well. The co-op race program grew over 50% last year, and the co-op trade show program was up over 20% for the year. These are programs where AMSOIL shares part of the expense with Dealers in the promotion of our products. The fact that the co-op programs are growing every year not only reflects our growing Dealer base but demonstrates the commitment our Dealers have in promoting their businesses.
We’ve been very fortunate. Our growth is not typical of what’s been happening around us. Considering the sluggish economy during the entire year and the terrible events of 9-11-01, many companies experienced a very disappointing year in ’01, with prospects for the first quarter of ’02 not much better. Unemployment has been rising and is expected to top 6% soon. Many companies have had major layoffs and more are expected.
Did you know that AMSOIL has never had a layoff in the history of the company? We’ve been in business for nearly thirty years through good times and bad, and we have never, in all those years, had to resort to layoffs. That doesn’t mean there were no lean times, because there were. We all weathered the storms and came out stronger than ever.
In the early years our growth was almost unmanageable. We had a revolutionary new product line unlike anything people had seen before and everybody wanted in on the ground floor. In recent years, our growth has been more steady and solid and we are on track for continued success. The market for our products is huge, and an AMSOIL business is still a ground floor opportunity today!
What’s in store for us in ’02? I predict more of the same. Steady growth. Growing name recognition for AMSOIL products. A continued trend towards longer drain intervals among all the vehicle manufacturers. Improved Dealer income opportunities. More new products. In short, a very exciting and rewarding year ahead for all of us!
In addition, we have some exciting events that will soon be taking place here at the AMSOIL home office that are going to have a positive affect not only on us as a corporation, but on all our Dealers and customers, as well.
On pages 8-9 in this issue of Action News is a story about a major investment we have made in both your and our behalf. It is a new computer system and software program so advanced, it will change the way we do just about everything. Its implementation lays the groundwork for properly managing the next twenty years of growth, providing information and services to us and our Dealers beyond anything we’ve experienced before.
But, like anything new, it’s going to take some trial and error to learn how to use it and iron out all the bugs. For over a year, we have had a team of consultants working with each department here at AMSOIL instructing and working with our people in order to make the transition to this new business management system as smooth as possible. Effective February 1, 2002, our pre-flight training will be over and we’re going to actually start flying on our own.
We ask for your patience during this period. Short term, it may be a little disruptive, but long term, every Dealer and customer will benefit from its implementation. We’re totally confident of that!
So 2002 will be another exciting year for us, that’s a certainty. Despite what’s going on around us, I expect our business and yours to continue growing. Today more than ever, there is a need and demand for our products. Tomorrow, the need will be even greater. I wish every other business well in 2002, but regardless of how the times affect them, I believe we will come out of the new year stronger than ever!