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Movers & Shakers: Bridgestone to Acquire Pep Boys

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Bridgestone to Acquire Pep Boys

Bridgestone Americas Inc. and The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack have announced that Pep Boys and Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC (BSRO) have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which BSRO will acquire Pep Boys in an all-cash transaction for $15 per share, or approximately $835 million in aggregate equity value. Pep Boys will add approximately 800 locations to BSRO's nationwide network of 2,200 tire and automotive service centers, which operate under the Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works brand banners. The acquisition represents an immediate nationwide expansion of more than 35% for BSRO. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of 2016.

Industry Icon Leo Kagan to Send Off SEMA Cruise

Leo Kagan
Leo Kagan, industry icon and former president of SEMA, will send off the vehicles featured in the SEMA Cruise.

Leo Kagan, industry icon and former president of SEMA, will send off the vehicles featured in the SEMA Cruise. Kagan will address the crowd gathering for the cruise, which will begin Friday, November 6, at 4:00 p.m. 

Kagan was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1982. As president of SEMA from 1975–1979, Kagan helped spearhead the growth of the SEMA Show, including the push to move it from Anaheim, California, to Las Vegas. He was named SEMA Person of the Year in 1994.

The SEMA Cruise provides buyers and Show attendees the chance to see one of the country’s largest vehicle parades, featuring nearly 1,500 customized rides that were on display at the Show. This up-close look at the vehicles and ingenuity is the ideal photo opportunity as the vehicles roll past the onlookers. The vehicles featured in the SEMA Cruise will travel across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Gold Lot to be displayed at SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party. SEMA Ignited takes place from 3:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

1956 Continental Mark II
The Goodguys Rod Association Custom-of-the-Year—a 1956 Continental Mark II.

KICKER Display to Feature New Products, Goodguys Custom-of-the-Year

The 2015 SEMA Show KICKER Performance Audio booth, North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (booth #11861), will feature show vehicles of several genres, new product releases, as well as the Goodguys Rod Association Custom-of-the-Year—a 1956 Continental Mark II with a full KICKER Q-Class audio system. Also showcased will be Big Homie Customs’ latest bike build—a Harley-Davidson Road Glide packed with KICKER PX series amplifiers, subwoofers and more.

WELD Completes Asset Purchase of HiPer Technology

WELD has acquired the assets of HiPer Technology Inc.—manufacturer of high-performance “super-structural” carbon-fiber wheels for all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. According to WELD President and CEO Norm Young, technology from HiPer will be integrated into WELD wheels where it strategically fits.

SCT Performance/Bully Dog Offer SEMA Show Attendees Chance to Win a Ride-Along With Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Derive Systems, the parent company of Bully Dog and SCT Performance (booth #61018), is offering 2015 SEMA Show attendees a chance to win a ride-along with world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his ’15 Ford F-150 Ecoboost drift truck.

Von Hot Rod to Giveaway Collectible Lamps at Hedman Booth

Von Hot Rod
During the 2015 SEMA Show, Pinstriper Von Hot Rod will giveaway two of his one-off hot rod lamps created using parts from the Hedman Performance Group product catalog.

World famous pinstriper Von Hot Rod will return to the Hedman Performance Group booth (#22343) for the 2015 SEMA Show. He will sign autographs, pinstripe objects for fans and lead the giveaway of his two newest, one-off hot rod lamp creations created using parts from the Hedman Performance Group product catalog.

The first creation is a large floor lamp that has been constructed from a set of headers designed by Von Hot Rod. It features contrasting matte black painted and polished accents. The second lamp is a desk lamp and is even more unique than the header floor lamp. It was built utilizing components from Trans Dapt including valve covers, differential covers, and gauges. The pieces are highly collectible, individually numbered, signed by Von Hot Rod and valued at $700–1,200.

Von Hot Rod will be in the Hedman Performance Group booth from 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m., Tuesday November 3 and Wednesday November 3. The drawing for the lamps will be held each day at 3:00 p.m. in the booth. All Show attendees have to do to enter is register on the tablet located next to Von in the booth, and be present for the 3:00 p.m. drawing.

Hypertherm Celebrates Opening of New Waterjet Office and Manufacturing Facility

Hypertherm is celebrating the grand opening of a new 28,000-sq.-ft. waterjet facility in New Brighton, Minnesota. The building contains both office and manufacturing space for the company’s line of HyPrecision waterjet products. In addition, it houses manufacturing space for Hypertherm’s AccuStream brand of consumable parts for competitive waterjet systems. Though located less than a quarter-mile from Hypertherm’s former waterjet headquarters, the move enables opportunities for Hypertherm, the greater New Brighton community and the environment as a whole. Advantages include a new, ultramodern, closed-loop water recirculation system expected to save about 22 million gallons of water per year. Additionally, the new facility utilizes a dry cooler system to convert the harsh Minnesota climate into clean energy. While a standard chiller functions much like an enormous refrigerator, the dry cooler uses 12 simple fans to blow outside air over a radiator. The dry cooler, which automatically turns on when the outdoor temperature dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, uses a small fraction of energy compared to the chiller, according to the manufacturer.

Jon Dehne

Jon Dehne Joins Marx Group Advisors

Jon Dehne, a senior auto-care industry leader, has joined Marx Group Advisors as a vice president and member of the advisory board. Dehne has more than 15 years of experience with Advance Auto Parts, Solera Holdings Inc. and Best Buy Co. developing strategy and managing complex enterprise transformation initiatives, supply chain and merchandising activities aimed at achieving industry leadership. Dehne currently provides consulting services focused on business-development opportunities and strategic relationships for the auto-care industry. Previously, he spent six years as senior vice president at Advance Auto Parts where he was responsible for market availability, inventory management and merchandising operations. Before that, Dehne worked at Best Buy for more than 10 years as vice president of transformation. In addition to Dehne, the advisory board includes John Nodson, Chip Carlson, Howard Kesten, Lou Merz, Rick Rollins and Denise Rondini.

STA-BIL 360° Performance Receives Power Equipment Trade 2015 Dealers Choice Award at GIE+EXPO

Gold Eagle Co. has been named a recipient of the Power Equipment Trade (PET) Dealers Choice Award at GIE+EXPO in the accessory/attachment category for its new STA-BIL 360° Performance fuel treatment. STA-BIL 360° Performance is part of the new STA-BIL line launched in 2015 that incorporates a 360-degree technology featuring 5-in-1 engine performance boosting benefits. This is the first time Gold Eagle Co. has been recognized by Power Equipment Trade with a Dealer’s Choice Award.

After the AMG GT received Weistec upgrades it gained 147 hp and 257 ft.-lbs. of torque, putting the car at 670 hp and 755 ft.-lb. of torque.

Weistec Engineering Sets New AMG GT Quarter-Mile Record

On Friday, October 10, 2015, Weistec Engineering ran consecutive 10-second quarter-mile passes at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, solidifying its car as the quickest AMG GT in the world, according to Weistec. The AMG GT features a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 with 503 hp and 479 ft.-lb. of torque. Weistec’s goal was to show what was capable with the factory turbochargers along with their basic upgrades and calibrations, including the new Weistec high-flow air filters, VTA adapters, high-flow downpipe and mid-pipe, coilover suspension and engine calibration. After the vehicle received the Weistec upgrades, it gained 147 hp and 257 ft.-lbs. of torque, putting the car at 670 hp and 755 ft.-lb. of torque. This allowed Weistec to pick up more than a half-second in the quarter-mile over the car in factory trim, running it in 10.8 seconds at 126.25 mpg.

RealTruck Makes the 2016 Mobile 500 List has announced it has made Internet Retailer’s 2016 Mobile 500. Internet Retailer releases this list every year to show who are the top 500 fastest-growing e-retailers in the world, based on annual mobile sales. Truck accessory e-retailer RealTruck was ranked at the 295th spot on the list. RealTruck, which Internet Retailer named as one of the “500 masters of the mobile commerce universe,” has now charted the Mobile 500 for four years in a row. This year the truck accessory retailer has made the 2016 Mobile 500 at 17 ranks better than its 2015 placement at #312 on the list.

TI Automotive Giveaway
TI Automotive will give away a trip for two to the 2016 Detroit Grand Prix during the 2015 SEMA Show.

TI Automotive to Give Away Trip for Two to Detroit Grand Prix

TI Automotive will give away a trip for two to the 2016 Detroit Grand Prix. Visitors to the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas will have a chance to enter the contest when they visit TI Automotive’s outdoor exhibit at booth #61039.

The TI Automotive SEMA Show exhibit is located outside the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The exhibit will feature the race cars, haulers and trophies of the TI Automotive/Viper Exchange sponsored No. 93 Dodge Viper GT3-Rs that competed in this season’s IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship series, as well as the No. 53 Dodge Viper GTS-R that was driven in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. TI Automotive/Viper Exchange drivers Ben Keating and Al Carter will sign autographs at the TI Automotive booth Wednesday, November 4, from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The trip to the 2016 Detroit Grand Prix is valued at $2,500 and will include two race passes, airfare for two and one hotel room for two nights. Details on the 2016 Detroit Grand Prix have not yet been announced.

Sean White

Classic Tube Appoints New Corporate Sales Manager

Classic Tube has announced the addition of Sean White to its sales staff. White joins Classic Tube as corporate sales manager and aims to promote current sales market growth while simultaneously pursuing fresh opportunities in the field. White brings to the preformed tubing manufacturer more than 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and a passion to strengthen the development of new and existing markets. No stranger to the automotive industry, White has devoted more than a decade to inside and outside sales and technical assistance. He spent seven years managing upwards of 45 factories as an aftermarket sales representative. His most recent role was national sales manager for an automotive brake manufacturer.

SONIC Tools Announces Partnership with CJ Wilson Racing and CJ Wilson Automotive Group

SONIC Tools announced a multi-year agreement with IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team CJ Wilson Racing and the CJ Wilson Automotive Group, including multiple Mazda automotive and BMW, Husqvarna, KTM and Suzuki powersports dealerships. The CJ Wilson Racing team and the CJ Wilson Automotive Group are owned by Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim all-star pitcher CJ Wilson. To kick off the partnership, Wilson will sign autographs at the SONIC Tools SEMA Show booth (#16607, Westgate) on Wednesday, November 4, at 11:00 a.m.

CJ Wilson Racing will integrate SONIC Tools products and storage systems in the team’s transporter as well as at their Austin, Texas-based race shop. Likewise, CJ Wilson Automotive Group will utilize SONIC Tools storage systems and hand tools in its flagship KTM of Murietta store and throughout the Wilson CycleSports group of stores.

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