Daryl Green is a design engineer at Retro USA, Burnsville, Minn. He and his family and their business have a love for cars and a love for helping new muscle cars get a retro look. Daryl’s been in the auto aftermarket just four years, but that belies his knowledge. In 2008 and 2009 he was a SEMA Memorial Scholarship recipient. In 2012, he was a SEMA “35 Under 35.”
We had some queastions for Daryl, and here’s how he answered:
What brought you into the automotive aftermarket world?
I have been around the aftermarket world most of my life. I’ve been going to car shows and racetracks since I was a kid. I’ve always had a passion for the automotive industry and I knew I wanted to work in this field.
What was your first vehicle? What vehicle do you drive these days, and what do you like about it most?
My first vehicle was a 2000 Camaro RS. It now mostly sits, as it is awaiting a V8 transplant. My daily driver these days is a 2003 Silverado SS. What I like most about my Silverado SS is that it is a year-round hot rod.
What’s the one (or two, or three) aftermarket items you “gotta have” on your vehicle?
The three items that I have to have on my vehicles are wheels, exhaust and a Hurst shifter. A car has to look good, sound, good and be fun to drive.
Did you experience any roadblocks in trying to advance or being accepted in any part of the automotive business? If so, how did you overcome them?
My career in the aftermarket industry began in a start-up company with my family. Trying to start a new company and also being new to the industry has definitely created its fair share of challenges. By working hard and finding the right people to work with we have been able to establish a presence in the industry.
My parents have been great mentors to me over the years. It is because of them that I have my start in the aftermarket field. Working with them has been a great opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience.
What keeps you “alive and well” in this business?
I believe success comes from being innovative and being able to adapt. This is what I strive to do to stay competitive in this industry. Good, old-fashioned hard work always helps, too.
What do you see as the greatest challenge(s) unfolding in the auto aftermarket?
As a design engineer, the greatest challenge is keeping pace with new technology and new vehicle models. Technology is always rapidly advancing in this field and it can be a challenge to learn and apply. There are many new and updated vehicle models on the market today – all of which are opportunities for new designs and products.
If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
I am very fortunate to be in my dream job now. Being able to combine my engineering skills with my eye for design has been very rewarding. I can only hope to continue to live the dream as I grow the business and try to make a name for myself.