FROM THE HILL
All Roads Lead to San Diego
Congressman Scott Peters Visits Truck Covers USA
Truck Covers USA President Nils Forssman (left) provides U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) a facility tour.
California has long been a sought-after place to live, drawing people from all corners of the globe. Southern California is the unofficial birthplace of the automotive aftermarket and is home to more SEMA members than any other area in the country. Nils Forssman, who spent his formative years in Johannesburg, South Africa, aspired to expand his family’s business operations internationally and fell in love with San Diego. His company, Truck Covers USA, recently hosted U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) for a tour of its San Diego headquarters.
The Forssman family was involved in a diverse array of businesses in South Africa, ranging from finance to construction. However, Forssman’s decision to expand into the truck-cover business was born out of a need to find a way to secure the cargo on the family’s work trucks. Passionate about designing and creating superior products in the United States, Forssman founded Truck Covers USA in 2002.
Truck Covers USA’s signature product is The American Roll Cover, which can support more than 500 lbs. as a result of its lightweight aluminum double-wall construction. The company’s product lines also include cargo racks that can be installed on top of a truck-bed cover and used to transport everything from industrial materials to bicycles.
Truck Covers USA displays an accessorized Ford Raptor in front of their San Diego, California, headquarters.
In addition to protecting personal property and making any truck more stylish, tonneau covers improve gas mileage by reducing wind drag. Truck Covers USA is also the first U.S. manufacturer of a combined toolbox and tonneau cover—a matter of pride that was on full display during Rep. Peters’ visit.
Rep. Peters had a chance to tour Truck Covers USA’s warehouse, where he met the company’s employees and saw its products being manufactured, assembled, shipped and installed. During the tour, the Congressman learned that many of the truck covers are installed on government vehicles, such as those used by the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Marine Corps, and many local municipalities.
Forssman (right) and U.S. Representative Scott Peters converse during a tour.
“Truck Covers USA provides innovative, made-in-America truck covers and accessories to San Diegans and people across the country,” Rep. Peters said. “During my visit, I toured this small business that is making trucks more fuel efficient and employing dozens of San Diegans. I look forward to hearing more as their business expands. Thank you to SEMA for the invitation and for its support of small businesses such as Truck Covers USA.”
Rep. Peters’ visit to Truck Covers USA was valuable for everyone involved, helping the company and SEMA develop a stronger relationship with the congressman, who is an influential leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. The event also provided Rep. Peters with a better understanding of how Truck Covers USA and the specialty automotive aftermarket are driving the economy in his district.
“It was a pleasure to have Congressman Peters and members of the SEMA staff stop by our office in San Diego,” Forssman said. “The Congressman took the time to learn more about our business and the issues that our staff care about most. Thank you, Congressman! SEMA continues to be an extraordinary platform for the automotive and aftermarket industry.”
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“The automotive aftermarket industry has been my entire career and life,” he said. “Growing up in a motorsports enthusiast family developed my love for the industry. SEMA pioneered an effort to establish responsible regulation that would protect our industry and interests in the early days. That effort has continued over the decades and has helped ensure that our industry can responsibly survive. This is a never-ending challenge, as lawmakers who don’t understand us sponsor and pass bills that are very detrimental to us.
“It is with great pride that I can help support our industry efforts by my membership in the SEMA President’s Redline Club. I look forward to finishing my career in this industry and helping to leave it in good shape for future generations
|U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA)|
|Growing up in Michigan, Rep. Scott Peters developed a love of automobiles and an appreciation for the industry at a young age. After graduating from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, he worked as an economist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Rep. Peters went on to earn his law degree from New York University and ran a private legal practice for more than 15 years, specializing in environmental law.
Peters was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2000 and was named the council’s first president in 2005. During that time, he oversaw a reorganization of the city’s government and helped to lead many significant projects, including the $2 billion redevelopment of downtown San Diego, the cleanup of the city’s beaches and bays, and the construction of Petco Park, which is home to the San Diego Padres. Rep. Peters went on to serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Unified Port of San Diego from 2009–2012. The port is a major economic engine that supports more than 40,000 high-skill, high-wage jobs, with $3.3 billion in direct regional economic impact.
Peters was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is now serving in his fourth term. He is a member of the Budget Committee and the prestigious Energy and Commerce Committee, where he serves as a pragmatic voice for balancing the need to protect the environment and grow the nation’s economy.