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Feb 27, 2021

Tym Switzer Joins AMS Performance

Switzer Performance R35 GT-R

I've been around the GT-R world a long time, around the R35 GT-R world since before the beginning of it.  When I worked at STILLEN, one of my customers was Switzer Performance. I sold them parts and things for R35 GT-R. I also dealt with AMS Performance, selling them parts. The two shops battled in the beginning for dominance on the dragstrip. Building cars for customers. Switzer in Ohio, AMS in Illinois.  I liked both shops, I had friends at both places.  Tym, the owner of Switzer has had a rough time recently, he wife has cancer, and that plus running the shop is overwhelming for anyone.  Martin, the owner of AMS has hired Tym to work for AMS.  Extremely stand up thing for AMS to do.  I would be lying if I didn't say it brought a tear to my eye.  Good luck to Tym, good luck to AMS.

Tym has written a fantastic summary of his experience over the years within the industry as the head of Switzer Performance, and he touches on his reasoning for closing that chapter of his life and opening a new one here at AMS. We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Tym to the AMS Performance team and all that he brings to our organization.

Some career journeys are mediocre, some epic and spectacular. As more time ebbs and flows, I have an incredible sense of gratitude and appreciation for everything my career has brought to my life. The exhilaration of the wins, the agony of the losses, and the lessons learned from each have humbled me as I have persisted to be the very best I could be at every turn regardless of what was in front of me. Whether I have been successful in my career will be best evaluated at the end of this journey of mine. For now, however, I am very much still interested in endeavoring to see what I can offer the performance aftermarket after being immersed in it for nearly 30 years now.
Of those nearly 30 years, the last seventeen years have seen me continue to work diligently to continue operating Switzer Performance in rural Ohio. Quite the challenge given the growth of our industry with young, competent and hungry car builders continuously popping up showing what they can do. Knowing the time to pass the torch on certain things in life isn’t always easy, but sometimes life itself pushes you into new directions.

For me, my wife being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2019 and the subsequent course of her treatments and surgeries contributed heavily to my decision to recently close Switzer Performance. I wanted to eliminate the overwhelming daily task of running and working in the business so that she, my daughter, and I could live our remaining time together in the very best way possible.
It is no secret that for many years AMS was my single greatest competitor. With an organization built around a quest for properly engineered performance solutions, they continuously pushed me to find the best of myself and my organization to compete. By continuously pushing the boundaries of performance potential across multiple vehicle platforms, I must admit at this point that not only was AMS my greatest foe... I had a great deal of admiration for their efforts. Nothing like getting your ass kicked in from time to time to keep you humble and respectful.

Often your greatest opponent is the opponent you find yourself respecting the most. That is why (beyond the occasional shop swearing and competitive banter here and there) I have always maintained a mutually respectful relationship with the ownership at AMS through the years.
The last 2 years have been extremely rough for my family and I as you might expect. Recently, after reaching out to me to see if my family and I needed anything, Martin Musial (principal owner and founder of AMS) recently invited me to take a walk into Switzer Performance’s previous ‘enemy territory’ and have a look at the inner workings of AMS. “Why not?”, I thought to myself ... “I’ve heard rumors the Dark Side has cookies.” So, I accepted the invitation for a tour as well as a conversation about what the future might hold for me having made the commitment to shut down my shop in Ohio.
After walking through the door and requesting to see Martin for my appointment, I was asked my name to which I politely replied. Eyeballs slowly and curiously rose over computer monitors and after a moment of perplexed silence a very warm welcome made me feel at home and instantly at ease with everyone. Not that I expected to be mauled, but you never know... competition is competition. Sometimes you want to ‘sweep the leg’. In all seriousness, however, I was eager to get a look into what had made them such a competitive force. I was soon to find out. Martin grabbed a coffee and offered me the grand tour with other heads of management, and so we went.

I was, quite frankly, blown away. Quietly giddy inside as they lifted the veil for me on literally every aspect of their organization, I was impressed over and over. Not only by the diligence of the crew working during the chaos of expansion and remodeling, but the level of competence of the management. A successful business takes competence on every level and most of all commitment. The level of commitment I witnessed as we worked our way through each department cannot be overstated. Their intention is clear: Excellence and longevity. They are in this for the duration, and it shows. The more individuals I met in various departments, the more apparent it became as to what everyone is striving for. The entire AMS team simply wants to be the best. At every-single-thing they do.
The more we chatted and exchanged ideas, history, stories, and a lot of good laughs... the more excited we all seemed to get. The possibility of me joining the AMS team would let me continue to contribute to the industry I was a part of bringing to life over the last 3 decades and allow me to continue to help customers reach their performance goals by providing the insight and expertise my long tenure could provide. The possibilities seemed compelling, the environment exhilarating, and the conditions perfect to make my decision a no brainer.

To that end, I have decided to join AMS Performance as a Sales Representative and Technical Advisor. In doing so, I hope to make a meaningful and effective contribution to not only the AMS organization and family of customers but to my previous family of customers as well. I look forward to remaining connected in a positive way to the industry that was once an adolescent hobby that became a career obsession. Some things in life you just can’t let go... and shouldn’t... it’s in your DNA.
All the best,
Tym Switzer

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