Awards Season

Texas auto business pros named to Alignable's Local Business Person of the Year list

Two members of the auto industry in Texas have earned honors.

Photo courtesy of PA Thompson/Getty Images

Alignable.com, an online referral network for small businesses announced the results of its month-long North American search for local business leaders who have gone above and beyond to help peers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 61,000 votes were cast and 25,000 recommendations were submitted during the process.

"To see so many business owners celebrate their peers was awesome -- 60 votes landed every minute at the height of the contest," said Eric Groves, Alignable's Co-Founder and CEO. "This frenetic level of participation is a testament to the strength of the business relationships forged and reinforced over the past year."

After sorting through the results, the company recognized 2,962 business owners in the U.S. The owners of those businesses have been named their local 2021 Local Business Person Of The Year. Thousands of communities were engaged as part of the process but 10 had the most votes: Houston, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; Tucson, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Toronto, Ontario; Brooklyn, New York; Edmonton, Alberta; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Winners have received badges on their Alignable profiles. According to the company, in past years, the awareness generated during and after this contest has helped drive additional connections, prospects, and new business for many winners.

We hope the popularity of this year's contest will lead to even greater awareness and business success for 2021's winners," said Alignable's Co-Founder and President Venkat Krishnamurthy. "We've already heard from some members that the surge in networking, referrals, and recommendations that occurred during 2021's contest got them off to a stronger start this year."

Two Texas companies with automotive industry affiliations are among those earning accolades. Renae Lorentz from Lorentz Automotive in Lewisville and Alex Sagcal from Sam Pack's Five Star Ford and Chevrolet in Carrollton were among the state's recognized winners. Lorentz has been in the auto repair business for over 40 years. She leads a team of automotive technicians and customer service representatives. In addition to traditional repairs, Lorentz also has muffler and transmission shops.

Alex Sagcal works in public relations at Sam Pack's Five Star Ford and Chevrolet. The company's Facebook page has over 3,300 followers and is growing the company's Instagram following.

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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The engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette The model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Military imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Imagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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