20.09.2019 Hollywood-Flair

TransTec and Corteco brands showcased in stunt driving truck video

You may not recognize his face, but you will surely recognize his driving.

When the Corteco Aftermarket Division decided to launch a new brand awareness campaign for its TransTec- and Corteco-branded sealing kits and components, the aftermarket organization focused on reaching high-performance car and truck enthusiasts with a larger-than-life Hollywood personality – professional stunt driver and semi-truck racer, Mike Ryan. 

Ryan, who has designed or performed stunt work for such movies as "Mad Max: Fury Road" and the "Fast & Furious" franchise – among scores of others – is also featured in a drifting video posted on the TransTec website. For the uninitiated, drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels while maintaining control of the vehicle through the entirety of negotiating a turn. ​

The highlight of the video, emceed by members of the Hoonigan Racing Division, is Ryan performing maneuvers in a semi-truck emblazoned with the TransTec and Corteco brand product logos.

The primary intent of the partnership with Ryan is to create a "cool factor" around the TransTec and Corteco brands, said Chris Petronella, Director of Product Development and Category Management for TransTec brand products.

"We hope to get people excited about being associated with some well-known racing and stunt celebrities," he said. "Our end goal is to build the interest and awareness in an audience we don't typically reach – an audience that uses our products and may not know they are using our products. The nature of aftermarket products is such that they often get lost in the system or vehicle once installed and end users don't often realize they are using high-performance designs and materials from Freudenberg."

The Corteco Aftermarket Division markets products under two brands – the TransTec brand and the Corteco brand. Corteco-branded products, which include seals and gaskets, vibration control products and cabin air filters among other components, are typically purchased by end users such as professional or do-it-yourself mechanics.

TransTec-branded products, which include seals, sealing kits, and related engineered solutions, are marketed to professional steering and transmission rebuilders and remanufacturers. There are typically several layers between TransTec-branded sealing kits and the end-use customer.​

In addition, the aftermarket division is using the stunt driving video campaign to build internal awareness of the Corteco and TransTec brands.

The Corteco Aftermarket Division has launched an initiative to offer more products to aftermarket customers, which will drive a need for greater collaboration between the company's divisions. Aftermarket customers associate the TransTec and Corteco brands with genuine Freudenberg products. 

The stunt driving truck video is ultimately the result of decade long relationship between Ryan and Petronella that began when Petronella answered a phone call as a product technician in Milan. Ryan was seeking help with the ​steering system in a truck he was using to race up Pike's Peak, a mountain rising 14,115 feet in the Colorado Rockies. Petronella shipped him several critical replacement parts.

"For us, it was no big deal, it's what we do." Petronella said. For him, it was really serious. The parts saved his racing reputation, or at least that race."

Ryan would continue to periodically call Petronella for similar technical input and in 2017 they met for the first time in person at a trade show. The meeting led to the development of a relationship and the eventual request to Ryan to make a drifting video with Freudenberg. He readily agreed.​

Another video, slated to debut later this year, is a light-hearted re-enactment of Ryan's introduction to Freudenberg. The video will also include Aaron Kaufman, former star of the Discovery Channel's "Fast 'n' Loud".

"It's basically a highly dramatized Hollywood version of how we met Mike," Petronella said. "It's a product testimonial that ties back to a fun video." 

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