Newly Appointed: Cary Redman
Immersed in the heart of the performance aftermarket for 20-plus years, this Michigan native joins the MagnaFlow team to rev up retail sales.
With a resume that reads like a Who’s Who of Hot Rodding, Cary Redman feels right at home as the recently appointed director of retail sales for exhaust system maker MagnaFlow in Oceanside, California. Redman’s mission is to expand and strengthen relationships with major retailers for the MagnaFlow and BRExhaust brands in North America.
As a high schooler, Redman worked in a CarQuest store, and in 1999 he earned a BS degree in marketing and business management from Northwood University in Michigan, specializing in the automotive aftermarket. Following an internship with Holley Performance Products, Redman worked there for five years, becoming Northeast regional sales manager.
A nine-year stint with Prestolite Performance (now known as ACCEL Performance Group) followed, with responsibility for Auto Zone, Advance, Canadian Tire Corp, O’Reilly Automotive, Pep Boys, Balkamp (NAPA) and others. During that time, he earned an MBA in business administration from Ashford University. Then came what Redman called his dream job: working at Edelbrock for 10 years, ultimately becoming its vice president of sales.
Speaking with PRI and sharing his vision and goals for expanding MagnaFlow’s retail presence, Redman summed up why he loves his work: “I’ve been into performance cars my whole life. So it’s like getting paid for my hobby.”
PRI: What are you most looking forward to at MagnaFlow?
Redman: I’m looking forward to really concentrating on a market channel, expanding the product mix and filling the gaps. When you add O’Reilly, NAPA, AutoZone, and Advance together, it’s about 20,000 locations that are impressions for our brand. Consumers should be able to walk in and get MagnaFlow products at all of those locations.
PRI: What do you bring to this position that makes you a good fit?
Redman: I’ve worked with all forms of distribution, including WDs, retailers, e-commerce, and engine builders, and I was heavily involved with the chain stores from previous jobs. That’s why MagnaFlow brought me in—to grow their category exposure in that segment.
PRI: You’ve seen many changes in retail over the years. How would you describe the biggest?
Redman: The biggest change has been the focus shifting from DIY customers to commercial business—service shops. Chain stores have really honed in on commercial business, and some have stronger business there than with DIY. The key for service shops is inventory. With 20,000-plus locations, you have a lot of reach to get into the smaller shops. The other big change is definitely e-commerce.
PRI: What are some of the top challenges that performance manufacturers face in retail?
Redman: Emissions compliance is of course a big challenge. MagnaFlow is in a good position, because we sell EPA- and CARB-approved parts and catalytic converters. People are having to replace converters, especially customers who have to “get legal.”
PRI: What are your top strategic goals for the next 12 months?
Redman: Strategically, I want to align with each retailer from sales and operations standpoints. That means making sure they have the right product mix. It also means making sure we have effective communications through the entire chain—operations, forecasting, marketing, sales, and POS. Being a performance enthusiast, I know what it’s like to make multiple trips to the store for parts. My goal is to make sure each retailer has all the parts for the customer to complete a job without making multiple trips.
PRI: What has been your most gratifying professional accomplishment?
Redman: Working at Edelbrock and becoming VP of sales there. It was going from a dream to reality over a 20-year period. In the present, I’d say it’s coaching the people on my team, helping them grow their accounts.
PRI: Who has influenced you either professionally or personally, and why?
Redman: Mark Adin was the VP of sales at Holley who allowed me to do the internship. Bob Bruegging, who is president of Race Winning Brands now, got me into the retail market. He took a risk on me doing some presentations, and it really worked out. Steve Whipple was VP of sales at Edelbrock before I got that job. He taught me life lessons, including how to manage customers, risk and reward, and also to balance work and home life.
PRI: Who inspires you today, and why?
Redman: I don’t think in terms of one person. I always watch what other successful people and manufacturers do. I constantly look out for what is done wrong, so I can do it right. And I adopt the things that people are doing right.
PRI: Excluding your cellphone/tablet/computer, what’s one thing you can’t live without?
Redman: I love putting my phone away on the weekends and taking time with my wife to work on and drive our cars. I have a 1970 Chevy pickup with a supercharged LS, and she has a 1956 hot rod Chevy.
Director, Retail Sales
Cary Redman attributes his work ethic to growing up on a farm in Michigan. “I was milking cows, shoveling stalls, and rock-picking fields. I don’t sit for long. I always love to be doing something.”