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Movers & Shakers: MAHLE Motorsports Pistons Featured in 2.3L EcoBeast; IDDEA Names Patricia Stewart Director of Marketing

Compiled by SEMA Editors

MAHLE Motorsports Pistons Featured in 2.3L EcoBeast

Ford Focus EcoBeast
MAHLE Motorsports forged pistons are featured in Ford's 2.3L EcoBeast.

Ford Racing’s EcoBeast short block, which powers the all-wheel-drive 2016 Ford Focus RS, includes forged pistons from MAHLE Motorsports. The pistons have a 9.5:1 compression ratio designed to handle more boost and have the durability to handle the demands of enthusiasts and racers.

Samuel Kieffer Named Purchasing Analyst at the AAM Group

The AAM Group has recently named Samuel Kieffer as purchasing analyst—a newly created position intended to bolster engagement between AAM-member warehouses and manufacturing partners. The role reflects AAM’s commitment to the growth of its stakeholders through the identification of performance challenges and the implementation of strategic solutions based on each company’s overall goals. Kieffer previously served with Mitsubishi of Brazil as a junior product analyst in field services, where he analyzed product failure, tracked solution deployment and worked to increase dealership adoption of vehicle recalls. He also managed Mitsubishi’s eight-person South American Dakar Rally race support team for three years.

Patricia Stewart

IDDEA CA LLC Go Rhino/Big Country Appoint Director of Marketing

IDDEA CA LLC, DBA Go Rhino Products, Big Country and Go Rhino Public Safety have announced the appointment of Patricia Stewart as director of marketing, reporting to IDDEA CA LLC General Manager Peter Taylor. Stewart has directed the development and execution of integrated marketing initiatives in support of products and services throughout the product lifecycle. She has also led the development of sponsorship, incentive programs and launched products in many categories with distribution that includes both the domestic and international markets, according to IDDEA CA LLC. Beginning her career in the automotive aftermarket arena, Stewart spent 22 years in a variety of strategic and tactical marketing positions for Truck Accessories Group, LEER, Pace Edwards, Century and Raider brands, developing a wide range of brand-building initiatives and dealer-focused marketing strategies to support sales and marketing.

VP Racing Fuels Launches New Branded Apparel Program

VP Racing Fuels Inc. has announced a new program to promote VP-branded apparel, promotional items and novelties. As part of the program, Barker Specialty is partnering with VP to host a new e-commerce site and serve as a one-stop shop for purchase of an expanded line of hats, t-shirts, promotional items and more. Among the new items are several “Mad Scientist” and VP Monster Truck-themed products, including a VP Monster Jam T-Shirt, a Monster Truck plush toy, Monster Truck pennant and Mad Scientist bobblehead.

American Force Wheels Launches New Muscle Market-Focused Website

American Force Wheels recently launched a new mobile-friendly, feature-rich website supporting its subsidiary brand American Force Muscle. The website includes a gallery section, which allows enthusiasts around the country to browse photographs and videos in their local area. Visitors may also upload videos and photos, which must be approved before posting to the site. This special feature allows enthusiasts to connect on a grassroots level by scheduling local meetups or car and truck shows to showcase their rides. 

Jonathan Lee

Betts Company Appoints Jonathan Lee to New Role as Chief Technology Officer

Betts Company has announced that Jonathan Lee has joined the company in the newly created role of chief technology officer. Reporting to Bill Betts, president of Betts Company and its three divisions, Lee will play a key role in shaping the company’s technology strategy as it embarks on its next phase of growth and leadership in spring manufacturing and the heavy-duty transportation industry. Lee has more than 21 years of technology consulting industry experience. Before joining Betts, he served as senior principal at Infor, advising Fortune 1000 firms in the area of strategy, revenue enhancement, user experience and customer experience. Lee also has experience as director of strategic services at CMTC—a consulting firm specializing in manufacturing and distribution—and as a vice president at Manex Consulting. He previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP and Grant Thornton/Hitachi in the areas of strategy and technology for manufacturers and distributors.

PPG’s upgrades enhance the company’s resources and capabilities for training painters, distributors and body shop and collision-repair professionals to successfully use PPG’s array of automotive refinish coatings.

PPG Enhances Training Facilities

The Automotive Refinish business unit of PPG has expanded and improved several of its business development centers to state-of-the-art levels. The upgrades enhance PPG’s resources and capabilities for training painters, distributors and body shop and collision-repair professionals to successfully use the company’s array of automotive refinish coatings. Two business development centers in particular—PPG’s Allison Park, Pennsylvania, facility—just minutes from the company’s global headquarters in Pittsburgh, and the Baltimore center—have undergone extensive renovation. The Allison Park building has been completely remodeled and expanded from 2,400 sq. ft. to 9,000 sq. ft. It now includes two classrooms (30 and 16 seats, respectively), a new conference and break room, two new GFS downdraft spray booths, an 18x30-ft. mixing room, a downdraft prep deck and twin 20hp Kaeser compressors. The Baltimore facility space has been expanded to 7,020 sq. ft. from 5,520 sq. ft. Improvements include a second classroom, a new extended GFS downdraft spray booth and twin 20 hp Kaeser compressors.

I-CAR to Help Collision-Repair Professionals Expand Skills and Efficiencies in Production Management

The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), has announced the launch of the second level of coursework covering ProLevel 2 requirements of the Production Management Role curriculum. This new set of courses is designed to enable those who manage shop production to improve their efficiencies, critical thinking and problem-solving skills to ultimately drive more powerful and profitable business practices. The new curriculum is part of I-CAR’s Professional Development Program, and builds on the ProLevel 1 curriculum for Production Management that was introduced in 2015. Registration opens July 11 for the courses, which will be delivered in one of three ways: online training, in-classroom courses, or computer-based courses offering virtual interaction with live instructors.

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