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Movers & Shakers: Jim Blayne Joins Truck Accessories Group

Truck Accessories Group Names Jim Blayne Director of Fleet Sales

 Jim Blayne, Truck Accessories Group
Jim Blayne was named director of fleet sales for the Truck Accessories Group.

Truck Accessories Group (TAG) has added Jim Blayne to its staff as director of fleet sales for the company’s Commercial Division. Blayne will deliver the vision and the experience to help TAG’s commercial and fleet customers meet their exacting budget and transportation needs. Blayne joins TAG with more than 22 years of industry experience, including senior management positions at A.R.E. Accessories in Ohio. He will establish the company’s Commercial Division’s overall strategy and oversee all aspects of its sales efforts.

“Jim’s addition to the Commercial Division team, along with his unique experience, impeccable integrity and drive, will help the company establish important relationships with new and existing commercial customers throughout North America,” said Kevin Page, vice president of sales and marketing for LEER. “We now have the Commercial team in place to deliver exceptional value and service to our fleet customers.”

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 126) test was performed to show that the installation of a Pro Comp 6-in. suspension system, Pro Comp wheels and 35-in. Pro Comp tires on a ’14 Ram 1500 would not compromise the performance and effectiveness of the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control system.


Pro Comp Passes Electronic Stability Control Test With ’14 Ram 1500 6-in. Suspension System

Pro Comp has announced that it has tested and successfully passed the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 126) test. This highly specialized test was performed to show that the installation of a Pro Comp 6-in. suspension system, Pro Comp wheels and 35-in. Pro Comp tires on a ’14 Ram 1500 would not compromise the performance and effectiveness of the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.

The Ram was fitted with an array of sensors and test equipment to monitor all aspects of the vehicle's movement and dynamics, including a robotically operated steering wheel to assure precise and accurate tests. On the closed test course, the Pro Comp-equipped vehicle was accelerated to 50 mph, at which point the test operator initiated the test and let the computer take over. The robotically controlled wheel spins abruptly; both left and right, up to 300 degrees in less than half a second and then returns back to dead center, causing the truck to change direction and begin to slide. This event caused the Ram’s ESC system to activate and regain control. When the data was analyzed, it clearly showed that the Pro Comp products did not interfere with the performance of the ESC systems.

Motovicity Adds PLX Products to Lineup

Motovicity Distribution announced the addition of PLX Devices to its line of performance aftermarket products. PLX is an innovative line of performance electronics products and custom apps geared toward performance enthusiasts and retailers. The PLX products that Motovicity highlighted as key include: the DM-6 Wideband AFR (UEGO) Combo, which includes the DM-6 touch screen controlled MultiGauge; a Bosch LSU4.2 wideband O2 sensor; and the PLX SM-AFR wideband controller module.

“We’re pleased to add PLX to our lineup of performance brands,” said Motovicity Sales Manager Ryan Balicki. “This creates new opportunities for our customers to meet the growing market demand for reliable tuning accessories.”

McKeel Hagerty Honored by LeMay

 Hagerty, LeMay
McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty, received the “Nicola Bulgari Award” from LeMay – America’s Car Museum during its second Wheels & Heels Annual Gala.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) presented its “Nicola Bulgari Award” to McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty, which offers insurance and valuation tools for classic vehicles. The ceremony was conducted Saturday evening at the Wheels & Heels Annual Gala, celebrating the second-year anniversary of the Tacoma, Washington-based museum. Named after jewelry magnate and classic car collector Nicola Bulgari, the award is presented annually to individuals who make outstanding contributions to preserve America’s automotive heritage through education, car restoration and collecting classic cars.

Hagerty took over the family business in 1995 and has grown the company from 30 employees to more than 500. He created the Collectors Foundation, which has awarded $2.75 million in scholarships and grants to prepare young adults for careers in automotive preservation and restoration. It was renamed the Hagerty Education Program after partnering with America’s Car Museum in January 2014, and Hagerty has committed another $1.75 million to support collector vehicle education.

CRP Recognized for Electronic Data Excellence

CRP Automotive was presented with the Best-in-Class NCMA President’s Award for Electronic Data Excellence for 2013–2014, at the most recent National Catalog Managers Association Knowledge Exchange in Chandler, Arizona. CRP Automotive was nominated for this prestigious award by Epicor, a leading retail software manufacturer.

The award announcement was made by Daniel Schildge, president of CRP Industries, who noted, “It’s an honor to be recognized by both Epicor and the NCMA for our cataloging efforts. This award validates the process improvements that we have enacted within our cataloging activities and is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our entire catalog team.”

Advanstar Promotes Pete Meier to Director of Training

Pete Meier, Advanstar
Pete Meier was promoted to director of training for the Advanstar Automotive Group.

The Advanstar Automotive Group has promoted Pete Meier to director of training. Meier joined Advanstar in September 2010 as technical editor after spending more than 35 years as an automotive technician. In his new role, Meier will oversee the training program for Automechanika Chicago in 2015 and the development of other training initiatives within Advanstar Automotive Group, including webinars and video training projects. He will continue in his role as Advanstar Automotive Group technical editor.

During his time at Advanstar Automotive Group, Meier helped launch the “The Trainer” video series and the Motor Age YouTube channel so more technicians would have access to technical training. In addition to creating monthly videos to address a variety of technical topics, Meier helped establish a partnership with Technicians Service Training (TST) to host live, interactive webinars for Motor Age readers at no charge.

CURT Manufacturing Acquires Aries Automotive

 Aries Automotive, CURT Manufacturing
CURT Manufacturing has acquired Aries Automotive, a manufacturer of tubular-style truck accessories and 3D floor- and cargo-liner interior accessories.

CURT Manufacturing, a leading manufacturer and marketer of top-quality towing products, has announced the acquisition of Aries Automotive, manufacturer of tubular-style truck accessories and 3D floor- and cargo-liner interior accessories. All contact information for Aries, including phone numbers and email addresses, will remain the same.

Greg Hooks, CEO of CURT Manufacturing stated, “We are very excited for the opportunity to add high-quality truck and interior accessories to our portfolio of products.” Jeff Perez, President of Aries added, “We are all pleased with the acquisition of Aries Automotive and we are very much looking forward to working with the CURT team.” Jeff Perez and his team will continue to be the contacts for Aries Automotive.

Dust and Son Adds RKI Product Line

Dust and Son, RKI
Jeff Dust and Kevin Dust, of Dust and Son, celebrate their new relationship with Al Creekmore and other employees of RKI Inc.

Dust and Son, an automotive parts and power equipment retailer and wholesaler, announced that the company is now a distributor for the RKI Inc. product line. RKI is a manufacturer of specialty truck boxes, service bodies, wenches, cranes, and aerodynamic window grilles. Dust and Son is celebrating its 85th year in business with Illinois retail locations in Effingham, Charleston, Urbana, Marion, Decatur, Grayville, Salem, and Sullivan.  More information about Dust and Son and the RKI line can be found at

Silver Sport Transmissions Acquires Keisler Engineering

Silver Sport Transmissions (SST) in Rockford, Tennessee, has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Keisler Engineering, which filed for bankruptcy in early 2014. Silver Sport will continue to market the Tremec TKO 500/600 and T56 Magnum transmission using the PerfectFit technology providing restoration enthusiasts a high-quality product with the best fit and performance possible. SST takes customer service to a new level with no down payment requirement and quick shipping from its large inventory.

Landon List Joins ReadyLIFT Suspension Inc. as New Western Regional Sales Manager

ReadyLIFT Suspension Inc. has announced that Landon List has joined the company to further strengthen and grow the already expanding sales efforts of ReadyLIFT's street and off-road product lines. List had previously spent 2.5 years with Transamerican Wholesale/4 Wheel Parts and before that, 2.5 years with VIAIR. While at Transamerican/4 Wheel Parts, he was responsible for merchandising suspension lines, and was a key manager in building relationships with vendors. As an off-road enthusiast, List has been involved with UTV racing and Jeepspeed racing, and enjoys trail riding in his Jeep. He will help to build the connection between ReadyLIFT and off-road customers who are looking for better-designed and off-road-ready suspension products.  

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