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Movers & Shakers: Yokohama Names Bruce Besancon Senior Director of OTR Sales; Truck Hero Acquired by CCMP Capital

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Bruce Besancon

Yokohama Tire Corp. Names Bruce Besancon as Senior Director of OTR Sales

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has announced that veteran tire executive Bruce Besancon has joined the company as senior director of OTR sales. Besancon will report to Jeff Barna, Yokohama’s COO, and will be responsible for OTR sales. Besancon, who was vice president of marketing at Alliance Tire Americas (ATA), takes over for longtime YTC OTR Sales Director Tim Easter, who is returning to the field to work more closely with customers. Before joining Yokohama, Besancon was instrumental in the development of ATA brands—Alliance, Galaxy and Primex—for the agriculture, construction and forestry segments. Prior to ATA, Besancon held many OTR positions at Michelin, including global product manager, North American marketing director for earthmover products and field engineer. 

Truck Hero Acquired by CCMP Capital

Truck Hero Inc. and CCMP Capital Advisors LP have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which affiliates of CCMP will acquire a controlling interest in Truck Hero. TA Associates, the current holders of a majority interest in Truck Hero, and Truck Hero’s founding Chief Executive Officer Bill Reminder and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Kneifl, will remain significant investors in the company as part of the transaction. Reminder and Kneifl will retain their current leadership positions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2007, Truck Hero provides a wide range of functional accessories that enhance customers’ use of their pickups and Jeeps. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

Joseph Hanson

CRP Automotive Names Joseph Hanson as Product Manager for Rein Automotive

CRP Automotive has announced the appointment of Joseph Hanson as product manager for its Rein Automotive brand of automotive hoses, anti-vibration parts, suspension parts and A/C parts. In this role, Hanson will be responsible for the growth of Rein Automotive through new-product introductions and major marketing initiatives. Prior to joining CRP, Hanson was the director of product management at Sonnax Industries. Before Sonnax, he was the director of product management at Dorman Products for 11 years, and led a cross-functional product management team for Dorman’s window regulator and door lock actuator categories.

bill miller
Bill Miller

Avon Tyres Continues Support of Freestyle Sportbiker Bill Miller

Stunt motorcycle rider Bill Miller will ride Avon Tyres throughout 2017, as the company continues support of his performances throughout the United States. Avon will provide the freestyler pro with 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Supersport tires on the front and Storm 3D X-M tires on the rear.

DEI Announces New Manufacturer Representation for Boom Mat for the 12-Volt Market

Chuck Kenney, Boom Mat sales manager for the 12-volt market, has announced nine new agencies have joined the three existing Boom Mat sales rep groups to now cover 90% of the United States and western Canada. Since February 2017, the focus has been on developing a network of manufacturer representation experienced in selling to distributors, retailers and installers in the 12-volt market; previously an underserved market for Boom Mat. Within a month, nine new agencies and 12 new manufacturer representatives have been retained to supplement Boom Mat’s existing manufacturer sales representation. The nine new agencies representing Boom Mat, effective immediately, are:

  • N-Motion Marketing, Bob Anderson (North Carolina, South Carolina, northern Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee)
  • Integrity Marketing Group, Scott Campbell (Florida, southern Georgia)
  • Air & Associates, Art Rickless (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachutsetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island)
  • BEI Inc., Mike Beyersdoefer (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, southern Idaho)
  • Seymour Marketing, Stan Seymour (upstate New York)
  • WMD Marketing, Steve Wilkins and Ken Nelson (Northern California)
  • Advance Marketing, Bruce Gilsdorf (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, northern Idaho and western Canada)
  • Spectrum Marketing Group, Geoffrey Dixon (Michigan)
  • Southwest Sales & Marketing, Scott Ringo, Tommy McLure, David Lynch (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana)
The Team ARIES website features a unique page for all current Team ARIES Pro Builders, including video profiles about their vehicle builds and images of the vehicles in action.

Team ARIES Launches with New, Interactive Website Pro Builders Showcased with Robust Video, Photos and Content

ARIES Automotive has officially launched the Team ARIES website, which features a unique page for all current Team ARIES Pro Builders, including video profiles about their vehicle builds and images of the vehicles in action. In addition to the Pro Builder pages, ARIES also features profiles for all Team ARIES Ambassadors. Each Team ARIES Pro Builder is tasked with customizing a vehicle with ARIES products. The vehicle build is captured with a professional video that showcases the builder, the vehicle and the products used in the build. Vehicles are also featured on social media, YouTube and regional and national events, such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. On April 1, 2017, ARIES went live with the website.

RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels Founder and CEO Larry Sutton Featured on CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires”

On Wednesday, February 15, RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels Founder and CEO Larry Sutton’s successes were highlighted on an episode of CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires,” a show that features ordinary people overcoming difficulties to transform their dirty jobs into “filthy riches.” The new season, which started January 4, celebrates America’s most inspiring self-made successes: the working-class men and women who’ve managed to build fortunes. During the episode, Sutton shows viewers what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur and the importance of being passionate about what you do.

Monroe Brakes “Get a Break on Brakes” Promotion Offers Consumers Up to $30 Rebates

Consumers can earn a mail-in rebate of up to $30 when they replace their worn brake pads with Monroe Brakes products this spring. Available April 1 –May 31, 2017, the Monroe Brakes “Get a Break on Brakes” promotion offers prepaid Visa cards for qualifying purchases of ultra-premium Monroe Total Solution ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads, complete with everything required for a high-quality repair right in the box. New for 2017, customers can benefit from faster rebate processing by submitting their sales receipt and claim form online at

VP FASTLUBE is a quick-lube concept that will complement VP’s retail branding program for gas stations and convenience stores.

VP Racing Fuels Launches Quick Lube Program VP FASTLUBE Facilities to Complement VP Retail Branding Program

VP Racing Fuels has introduced VP FASTLUBE, a quick-lube concept that will complement VP’s retail branding program for gas stations and convenience stores. While stand-alone facilities are the primary focus of VP’s FASTLUBE program, others will be incorporated in VP-branded stations. In a related development, VP recently announced a long-term trademark license agreement with Maverick Performance Products LLC to market, manufacture and sell VP-branded lubricants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Maverick will service VP FASTLUBE facilities with both bulk and packaged VP-branded lubricants.

Holley EFI Training Now Available at EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona

Racers, engine builders, tuning shops and performance enthusiasts don’t have to travel to Holley headquarters in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to learn the intricacies of Holley electronic fuel injection. Now, those on the West Coast have a closer option—EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona, where they can receive the same software training offered at Holley and learn advanced tuning techniques. At EFI University, courses are available at three different levels: Introduction to EFI, Advanced EFI Concepts, and High Performance Engine Tuner Certification. In addition, two online courses are offered: Introduction to EFI and Advanced EFI Concepts.

Champion Oil Adds Pacific Marketing Rep Agency

Champion Oil has announced that Pacific Marketing is its newest rep agency covering the Western United States.

fools roll
Using $2,000 or less, Fools’s Roll participants must buy a car, drive it to Vegas, sell the car and put all the money on one bet of blackjack, roulette, craps or war, wearing costumes the entire time.

Automotive Celebrity Jeff Allen Takes on the Fool’s Roll

Jeff Allen, owner of Flat 12 Gallery, has announced that he will partner with Shell, Pennzoil and SEMA Cares in the Fool’s Roll to benefit SEMA Cares charities. Fool’s Roll is a “Cannonball Run” type event that starts in Austin, Texas, and ends in Las Vegas. Using $2,000 or less, participants must buy a car, drive it to Vegas, sell the car and put all the money on one bet of blackjack, roulette, craps or war while wearing costumes the entire time. The team that gets to Vegas in the least amount of time, without breaking the law, wins. Get a ticket and they’re out.

Race Winning Brands Acquires Diamond Pistons and Trend Performance

Race Winning Brands Inc., (RWB) a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, has announced the acquisition of Diamond Pistons and Trend Performance—two manufacturers of high-performance engine components for the automotive performance market. The acquisition of the Diamond Pistons and Trend Performance brands represents the first add-on acquisition for RWB and Kinderhook’s 45th automotive-related transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Bruce Wanta’s “Mulholland Speedster” captured the 2017 Goodguys/March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance award last weekend.

Mulholland Speedster Captures Del Mar Street Rod d’Elegance Crown

Bruce Wanta’s “Mulholland Speedster” scored big last Sunday at the Del Mar fairgrounds. The ruby-red machine captured the 2017 Goodguys/March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance award. Six years in the making, the Mulholland Speedster came to the 17th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals fresh off winning America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and taking the Legends Cup at the Chicago World of Wheels earlier this spring. Wanta’s Speedster was a team effort between himself, designer E. Black and renowned coach-builder Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods, where the car was constructed. Ladd estimates roughly 80% of the car’s exterior panels were hand-formed, with sweeping pontoon fenders and vintage lines. While the body was being sculpted, the team spent countless hours collecting and hunting down rare vintage speed parts for the project. The flathead Lincoln Zephyr V12 engine sports a set of Winfield Double D carburetors and a vintage Latham supercharger. The chassis was designed as a figure-eight structure, then welded up from raw materials at Hollywood Hot Rods. The suspension is handmade and features twin dropped I-beams in front with quarter elliptical springs. The rear suspension is set up with a Winter’s quickchange on custom I-beam arms with quarter elliptical springs. The spun-aluminum gold-coated wheel covers are anchored with Packard centers. Adding vintage street-rod flair are wide white-striped bias-ply Firestone tires. Mick Jenkins shot the “Mullholland Merlot” paint. Under the hydraulically lifted bonnet is regal, concours-style, tobacco-leather upholstery by Mark Lopez/Elegance Auto Interiors. The Mulholland Speedster joins the Goodguys Top 12 Cars of the Year lineup. It will be displayed alongside this season’s other big winners at the season-ending Goodguys Southwest Nationals, November 17–19, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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