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Movers & Shakers: Howard Laster Named to AASA Board of Governors; Lubrication Specialties Fills Two Key Management Positions

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Howard Laster
Howard Laster

Howard Laster Named to Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association Board of Governors

Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket has announced that Howard Laster, head of aftermarket – North America Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket (CVAM), has been named to the Board of Governors of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). As a member of AASA Board of Governors, Laster has been tasked with working with the senior leadership team to establish short-term and long-term goals for the association and its councils. Laster will also work to oversee and advise the various AASA councils, which include the AASA Intellectual Property Council, Brake Manufacturers Council, Marketing Executive Council and the Overseas Automotive Council. Laster has been with Continental for more than 22 years, serving in a variety of executive and sales management roles. He is responsible for overall business strategy, product quality and performance, along with the development of effective sales and marketing activities in North America for the Continental ATE and VDO brand of products.

ZF Expands Development Capabilities for Autonomous Driving

ZF Friedrichshafen AG is expanding its development competences in the autonomous driving field. On December 1, 20 developers from the IEE Sensing Germany GmbH, based in Kösching, Germany, will become part of the ZF Group and work for ZF’s subsidiary Zukunft Ventures under the name “Zukunft Mobility.” IEE Sensing Germany GmbH specializes in the development of functions for driver assistance, integrated vehicle safety and autonomous driving. Its 20 employees include computer scientists, physicists and software developers, who will be working on developing these functions for the future, particularly in the sensor and software development sectors, and the simulation and test procedures, to make them ready for production. With the new location in Kösching, ZF also gains direct access to the A9 testing ground and can test autonomous driving in real traffic conditions.

Lubrication Specialties
Bob Miller (left) and Kyle Fischer (right).

Lubrication Specialties Inc. Names Kyle Fischer Director of Marketing, Bob Miller Director of Sales

Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI) has announced that two key management positions have been filled—director of marketing and director of sales. Both positions were filled prior to the 2017 AAPEX Show in Las Vegas and in time for 2018 planning. Robert “Bob” Miller recently was hired as director of sales to work with developing distribution of Hot Shot’s Secret sales through the company’s network of manufacturer representatives. Miller will also work directly with the company’s retail accounts to introduce new products, promotions and training. Prior to accepting his position at LSI, Miller served as the national sales manager for WVNO/WRGM radio and WOHZ/WMFD TV in Mansfield, Ohio. Kyle Fischer, LSI’s new director of marketing, has close to 20 years of experience in marketing, sales and management positions. Prior to joining LSI, Fischer served as the regional marketing manager for Trident Marketing, where he oversaw lead generation, trade shows and business development partnership programs while effectively growing his territory to be the top market for sales and revenue.

Automotive Events Inc. Appoints New President

Automotive Events Inc. has named Iain Dobson company president, effective November 27. Previously, Dobson served as Automotive Events’ senior vice president for 14 years. He led the company’s production services division, overseeing logistical design, product training, testing and substantiation services and all performance and related programming. Dobson took over the post from John Thorne, who still serves as the company’s chief executive officer. Prior to Automotive Events, Dobson served as general manager of Atkinsons Motorsports and as an editor of Motoring News.

RPT Distributing Joins The AAM Group as Distribution Member

The AAM Group has announced the addition of RPT Distributing as its 21st member company. Offering more than 125 product lines and maintaining more than 100,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, RPT services multiple states from its Brandon, Mississippi, headquarters.

Howell EFI Announces New Mobile-Friendly, Interactive E-commerce Website

Howell EFI has launched an all-new, mobile-friendly, interactive e-commerce website. The new platform now features a blog with updated tech information, tips for successful stress-free installation, customer experiences and the latest industry news. The new e-commerce website is also designed to allow the company to interact directly with customers online to assist with their purchase decisions or provide immediate customer service online from the website. The e-commerce site allows customers to buy directly with a secured shopping cart and to develop a personal online account to track orders.

CRP Automotive
CRP Automotive has named Ken Edwards (center) of Kanmar Inc. its 2017 Rep Agent of the Year.

CRP Automotive Presents Ken Edwards 2017 Rep Agent of the Year Award

CRP Automotive has named Ken Edwards of Kanmar Inc. its 2017 Rep Agent of the Year. Edwards is the President of Kanmar Inc., a Canadian sales agency representing OE and aftermarket manufacturers in the automotive and heavy-duty industries. Edwards received the 2017 Rep Agent of the Year Award from CRP Automotive for helping the company grow its business in the Canadian market. Edwards, a former CRP Automotive employee, has represented CRP Automotive as an agent since 2008. Edwards served as an employee of CRP Industries Canada from 2005 until 2008. Kanmar Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and Edwards represents CRP Automotive and all of its brands, working primarily in the Ontario, Canada, area.

DENSO and NEC Establish Joint Venture to Develop Essential Connectivity Technologies

DENSO Corp. and NEC Platforms Ltd. have unveiled a new joint venture, DENSO NEXT CO. LTD. The company will develop in-vehicle information and communications equipment critical for fostering a connected environment inside vehicles, such as instrument clusters, heads-up displays and onboard communication equipment. The company will start operations December 1. DENSO NEXT will harness DENSO’s automotive engineering and manufacturing capabilities and NEC Group’s technologies and track record in the information and communications technology (ICT) business to design and bring to market advanced in-vehicle equipment. DENSO NEXT will be located on the premises of NEC’s Tamagawa Plant in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. The innovations developed by DENSO and NEC Platforms engineers will enable DENSO to more efficiently produce existing information and communications equipment, and to create new products in line with vehicle cockpit advancements.

National Auto Parts Warehouse Announces Its Third Acquisition of 2017

National Auto Parts Warehouse (NPW) companies has announced its third acquisition for 2017—Associate Jobbers Warehouse operations in Boaz, Alabama. The deal is set to close after the turn of the New Year. With this purchase, NPW now has a facility that services Alabama, Western Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.         

Meyer Distributing Adds Highway Products

Meyer Distributing has added Highway Products to its offering in the commercial and truck segments. Highway Products product line includes truck boxes, headache racks, bed rails, truck slides, a full line of semi boxes and semi accessories, as well as service bodies and flat beds. 

NTB Tire & Service Centers Expansion Continues

The NTB Tire & Service Centers (NTB) brand has expanded over the past two years. TBC Corp., parent company to NTB, has opened 27 new NTB locations and relocated four over the past 20 months. TBC Corp. will open an additional seven stores over the next five months. NTB provides a broad range of automotive maintenance and tire services to customers at more than 450 retail locations in 23 states.

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