People, Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Former Mopar Head Debuts New Project; Tatsuo Mitsuhata Named Toyo USA President and CEO

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Venchurs VWerks debuted the ultimate JK8 built for television stars Will and Stephanie Hayden at the 2011 SEMA Show.

Former Head of Mopar, Pat Muldoon Debuts Newest Project
As a new member of the team at Venchurs, Pat Muldoon unveiled his first project at the 2011 SEMA Show—a JK8 for Will and Stephanie Hayden, owners of Red*Jacket Firearms and stars of the hit Discovery Channel show "Sons of Guns." The vehicle is fitted with a Mopar body package, Scrambler-inspired bed conversion, Mopar suspension, huge off-road tires, custom paint and a bed-mounted cannon. Before joining the Venchurs team, Muldoon served Chrysler as senior manager of product development engineering. With more than 20 years of progressive product engineering experience, Muldoon has built some of the brand's best-known show cars and concepts, including the Mopar Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush, the V-10 Drag-pack Challenger and the Mopar Ram Runner.

Ricardo Guevara Retires From Konig Wheels
Konig American has announced that, after 31 years, company President and CEO Ricardo Guevara is retiring. Joseph Schaefer, who has served as Konig’s general manager for the past 15 years, assumes the role and responsibilities of president, and Raymond Chan of YHI International, Singapore, takes his place as Konig American's new general manager. Guevara remains chairman of the company, which he founded in 1981 as the exclusive North American importer of Konig Racing Seats from Germany. In 1991, Guevara expanded the company's product lines to import wheels, including the popular Tuner wheel model, which Konig hails as its first major success. Today Konig serves more than 20 countries with five brands aimed at multiple vehicle segments.

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Tatsuo Mitsuhata
Tatsuo Mitsuhata Named President and CEO of Toyo Tire USA

Toyo Tires of Osaka, Japan, has announced the appointment of Tatsuo Mitsuhata as president and CEO of Toyo Tire USA Corp. (TTC) beginning January 1, 2012. Currently serving as general manager of sales strategy in the Toyo Tire Overseas Sales Division, Mitsuhata previously worked at TTC from 1994 to 1998 as the company’s coordination manager. A 23-year veteran of Toyo Tires, Mitsuhata quickly rose through the company's ranks, overseeing Middle East sales operations from Greece, and then all sales within the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and China from the Toyo Tires corporate offices in Japan. His experience also includes oversight of all sales operations in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy, and an acting president position for the company’s Germany/Austria Division. Mitsuhata replaces current President and CEO Yasushi Takagi, who now returns to Japan as general manager of corporate planning for Toyo Tires in January.