People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Crower Cams Appoints Doug Evans President and CEO; Race Winning Brands Names Scott Highland Director of Powersports

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Doug Evans
Doug Evans

Crower Cams Appoints Doug Evans President and CEO

Crower Cams, a leader in automotive drivetrain components for the high-performance and racing enthusiast, has announced the appointment of industry veteran Doug Evans to president and CEO. He begins his new role March 1.

“After a thorough search for the right person to take the helm of our 55-year-old family business, we have selected Doug Evans to lead us moving forward,” said Bruce Crower. “Doug brings serious leadership credentials to Crower that include his experience as SEMA’s former chairman of the board and recent SEMA Hall of Fame induction. He spent more than 30 years running the largest media properties in our industry, including venerable brands like Hot Rod and Four Wheeler. Doug’s extensive management experience and heavy-duty sales and marketing credentials will help us take Crower to the next level and the next generation of enthusiasts.”

Advanced Clutch Technology’s redesigned website includes a rich, new user interface with new features.

Advanced Clutch Technology Launches New Website

Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has announced the unveiling of its new website. ACT has partnered with Shopping Cart Elite to bring all data, design and concepts in-house under the direction of IT Director Scott Brickey. The new website has a rich, new user interface, along with some of the following new features: an advanced filter that makes finding the right clutch easier, all-new product images, enhanced specifications, an online dealer referral, an enhanced dealer locator with geo location service, installation videos, fully integrated ACES/PIES data and a new dealer dashboard.

Wes-Coast Marketing to Represent US Gear’s Product Line

US Gear, a brand of AxleTech, has chosen Wes-Coast Marketing to represent its product line. US Gear specializes in the manufacturing of ring and pinion gears, portal wheel end kits and differential parts used in the military, commercial, specialty, motorsports and performance markets.

Barry Steel
Barry Steel

Barry Steel Joins HUBB Filters Inc. as Executive Vice President, Commercial Solutions

HUBB Filters has announced the hiring of Barry Steel as executive vice president, commercial solutions. With more than 28 years of experience in the automotive and fleet-management industries, Steel will lead all sales and business development efforts for the company. Before joining HUBB, Steel ran his own consulting practice, Capital-Fleet Consulting, where he used his industry knowledge to provide strategic direction and guidance to fleet operators, financial institutions, auto dealers and OEMs. Steel has also held leadership positions with Donlen Corp., GE Capital Fleet Services and Enterprise Leasing.

VP Racing Fuels Appoints Bob Merz Senior Communications Manager

VP Racing Fuels Inc. has announced the appointment of Bob Merz as senior manager of corporate communications.

Merz’s first experience in motorsports came when he ran the $3-billion Budweiser brand that included sponsorship of car owner Junior Johnson and drivers Darrell Waltrip and the late Neil Bonnett on the NASCAR circuit.

Race Winning Brands
Scott Highland

Race Winning Brands Names Scott Highland Director of Powersports

Race Winning Brands (RWB) has named industry veteran Scott Highland as the northeast Ohio-based organization’s director of powersports. Highland comes to Race Winning Brands with more than 30 years of industry experience following a lengthy tenure with CV Products Consolidated. He also worked at the Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) and Xceldyne Technologies. Prior to his role with Xceldyne, Highland spent 10 years working with and supporting JE Pistons, a flagship member of the current RWB brand lineup. Most recently, Highland was the director of sales and marketing for CV Products Consolidated. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing, marketing and developing many of CV’s multiple powersports product lines.

S/P2 Partners With ASE and ASE Education Foundation to Provide Mentoring Program for Automotive Industry

The ASE Education Foundation and S/P2 have announced a partnership to develop and distribute The Workplace Mentoring System, a mentoring program for the automotive industry. The program is designed to help businesses identify and train service personnel to become mentors to students and entry-level employees. This program will be available to the entire industry: automotive service, medium/heavy truck, and collision repair and refinishing. The Workplace Mentoring System offers online courses covering the roles of the three key players—the mentor, the mentee and the manager. The courses explain the roles and responsibilities of a mentor and a mentee and lays out the responsibilities of the manager. The next step will be to fully integrate the ASE Education Foundation tasks into the Workplace Mentoring System and develop a pricing model for accredited and non-accredited programs and ASE Education Foundation partners. In addition, the development of downloadable, customizable task lists, as well as mentoring tracking via computer, tablet or phone, is underway.

At Falken Academy, dealer guests experience both classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction for two days.

Falken Tires Launches Dealer Training Program

Falken Tires has launched Falken Academy—a dealer-training seminar and ride-and-drive program, which initiated its first class in late February. Centered at Falken’s U.S. headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, California, dealer guests experience both classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction for two days. Day two of Falken Academy will take guests to both Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana for track driving, and Cleghorn Trail, an off-roading point near San Bernardino, in order to experience first-hand how Falken’s tires perform in demanding conditions. Guests run through three stages: recognizing how Falken incorporates technology into its tires, experiencing Falken products against competitors and testing Falken’s WILDPEAK off-road tires. All accommodations are included, and every dealer participant in Falken Academy in 2018 will be entered to win a new RAM 1500 4x4, which will soon feature the Falken WILDPEAK A/T3WA as original equipment.

Aaron MoreyAaron Morey

BILSTEIN Names Aaron Morey New Head of Motorsports

BILSTEIN has named Aaron Morey its new head of motorsports for the United States, where he will implement strategies across various motorsports segments to increase market-share growth. Morey has more than 15 years’ experience in motorsports sales and marketing leadership. Most recently, he served as director of sales and marketing at Keyser’s Port City Racing, where he led global sales for the aftermarket suspension manufacturer.

Trudell Holdings Inc. Joins VIPAR Heavy Duty

Trudell Holdings Inc. is the newest company to join the VIPAR Heavy Duty network of distributors as a stockholder. Established in 1971, Trudell Holdings Inc. operates out of its headquarters in De Pere, Wisconsin, and from locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Trudell Holdings offers a selection of heavy-duty tractor and trailer parts, tools and equipment, and shop supplies. Its services offering includes new- and used-trailer sales, rental and leasing, trailer maintenance and trailer mobile service, along with minor truck repair.

Parts Authority to Acquire Interamerican Motor Corp. From AutoZone

Parts Authority, an automotive and truck parts distributor to the aftermarket auto-parts industry, has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Interamerican Motor Corp. (IMC) from AutoZone Inc. IMC operates 26 locations across nine states, and is the second largest distributor of OE-quality import replacement parts in the United States. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks. Jefferies LLC acted as sole financial advisor to AutoZone in the proposed sale of Interamerican Motor Corp.

Edward Mas
Edward Mas

VOXX International Corp. Appoints Edward D. Mas President of VOXX Automotive Business Unit

VOXX International Corp. has appointed Edward D. Mas president of VOXX Automotive, the business unit responsible for developing and distributing solutions for automotive OEMs and the aftermarket. Mas has worked in the automotive arena for two decades and has enjoyed a 30-year career; four years at VOXX Automotive as executive vice president, 11 years with Invision Automotive Systems and 16 years at Panasonic Automotive Systems. While with Panasonic, he served as head of manufacturing where, among other successes, he improved production efficiency and quality, and boosted performance of a complex, global supply chain. One of his first tasks in his new role will be to discover and design operational and sales synergies to drive growth and enhance efficiencies throughout VOXX Automotive operations. Mas will continue to be based at VOXX International’s Orlando, Florida, headquarters and will report to Pat Lavelle.

DENSO Invests $190 Million, Adds 320 Jobs in Athens, Tennessee, Manufacturing Location

DENSO is expanding its operations in North America through a $190-million investment in its Athens, Tennessee, facility. The investment will add four new production lines and 320 jobs, increasing DENSO’s ability to produce and deliver key parts for its customers. This is the latest in a line of strategic investments in North America and part of DENSO’s commitment to make Tennessee a primary manufacturing center. Last September, DENSO announced a $1-billion investment in its Maryville, Tennessee, facility, creating 1,000 jobs focused on electrification and safety systems.

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