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Movers & Shakers: Matt VanDyke to Lead FordDirect

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Matt VanDyke to Lead FordDirect as CEO

FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its franchise dealers, has announced that Matt VanDyke has been appointed as CEO, effective February 1. VanDyke, who for more than 12 years has led and transformed Ford and Lincoln brand positioning in roles around the world, now takes charge of a team responsible for delivering marketing and advertising solutions to Ford and Lincoln Dealers throughout the United States. VanDyke was most recently director of marketing for Ford Motor Co. Prior to that, he was vice president of marketing for Ford of Europe, where he oversaw the Fiesta and Focus vehicle launches. He also served on the FordDirect Board for more than five years. He joined Ford Motor Co. in 2008 as director, U.S. marketing communications and global fixed marketing.

In addition, the FordDirect Board has announced the promotion of Mike Gingell to COO. Gingell joined FordDirect as senior vice president, product, marketing and dealer engagement in 2019. His promotion is effective February 1, 2021. Prior to joining FordDirect in 2019, Gingell spent more than 20 years in the automotive information industry and has led teams that have focused on delivering data and technology solutions for automotive OEMs, automotive retailers, the automotive aftermarket, the commercial truck industry and the finance and insurance markets.

Jim Hairston Transitions to Consulting Role for PerTronix Performance Brands

Effective January 1, Jim Hairston retired from his full-time position at PerTronix Performance Brands and has moved into a consulting role. Hairston has been a critical part of PerTronix for more than two decades and previously served as vice president of sales and marketing and most recently as director of key accounts/business development. This change has been in the works for two years with Hairston working to help ensure a smooth transition. In his new role, he will help the company with market research, competitive analysis, price points and new product ideas. Russell Stephens, vice president of sales and marketing, will assume Hairston’s previous day-to-day responsibilities.

Haig Partners
Pete Thiel

Haig Partners Hires Pete Thiel, Former AutoNation Inc. Vice President of Corporate Development

Haig Partners LLC has announced that Pete Thiel joined the team as managing director. Prior to joining Haig Partners, Thiel was vice president at AutoNation. He has been involved in the purchase or sale of more than 130 dealerships for a value of $2 billion, as well as the evaluation of more than 1,000 acquisition opportunities.

Goodguys Rod & Custom Association Names Kahn Media Agency of Record

Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has announced that Kahn Media will exclusively represent the automotive event producer as its agency of record. Kahn Media will use its public relations, social media and digital marketing expertise to expand consumer awareness of the Goodguys organization and the 19 events it is hosting around the United States in 2021. Kahn Media will be responsible for managing and growing the Goodguys social media channels, conducting public and media relations campaigns surrounding each of the series’ 19 events in 2021 while also promoting the benefits of the organization’s membership program, creating and facilitating an engaging influencer marketing campaign, and designing and administering a comprehensive and highly-targeted digital marketing campaigns to drive ticket sales for each event and increase membership signups.

Hero Motors Acquires Strategic Stake in EV Transmission Specialist

Automotive component manufacturer Hero Motors Company (HMC) has secured a strategic stake in UK’s Hewland Engineering Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. The move will enable Hewland to further strengthen its product and service portfolio–particularly transmissions for electrified passenger cars–and pursue opportunities among global OEMs and Tier One suppliers.

Meyer Distributing Announces Wytheville, Virginia, Location

Meyer Distributing Inc. has announced a new Wytheville, Virginia location. The cross-dock will have a direct, next-day feed from Meyer’s Jasper, Indiana, distribution hub, which houses one of the largest inventories of automotive accessories and exhaust parts in the region.

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