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Movers & Shakers: Matt Jones Takes Operations Helm at Art Morrison Enterprises

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Matt Jones
Matt Jones

Matt Jones Takes Operations Helm at Art Morrison Enterprises

With the untimely passing of Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) Vice President Craig Morrison, long-time AME employee Matt Jones will take over a number of responsibilities he had shared with Morrison since 2019 as operations manager. Jones joined AME in 2005. He worked hand-in-hand with company founder Art Morrison, and as the company grew, Jones ascended to the roll of lead engineer, ultimately supervising a trio of other chassis and suspension experts. Jones was the prime motivator in the development of the AME Multi-Link I.R.S.

An automotive enthusiast all his life, Jones’ silver ’69 Camaro became the development “mule” for many of AME’s suspension components. Jones participated in several “suspension shootouts” held by leading enthusiast publications and scored high marks. Prior to the Camaro, Jones road raced a Mazda Miata. Jones and his wife, Lisa, live in nearby Auburn, Washington, and have two daughters, Ashlynn, 12, and Cailee, 7.

After working with RADwood vehicle owners to develop a line
of products specifically for ‘80s and ‘90s cars, Motul has
become an official partner of the RADwood automotive event
series for the 2021 show season.

Motul Named Official Partner of RADwood

Motul has joined RADwood as an official partner for the 2021 show season. RADwood events highlight cars from the post-emissions, pre-digital decades and celebrate the lifestyles and fashions of the ’80s and ’90s. Motul helped kick off RADwood’s 2021 return at RADwood NorCal, held at the San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo, California, on July 10.

XLerate Group Acquires Liquid Motors

The XLerate Group has added Liquid Motors to its offerings serving consignors and buyers, both digitally and in-lane. Liquid Motors is a critical service provider to independent auctions, dealers, marketplaces and key industry participants.

LSI Chemical Announces China-Based Distributor

LSI Chemical has announced Anna ChemTech Co. Ltd. (Shanghai) as its international distributor to sell and market LSI Chemical and Hot Shot’s Secret oil and fuel additives in China. As part of the agreement, LSI Chemical’s state-of-the-art R&D facility in Ohio will be used to develop custom formulations for the Chinese market. Anna ChemTech is an international trading company with a product portfolio that includes lubricants, coatings, metalworking fluids and more. In addition to the full line of LSI Chemical fuel and oil additives, Anna ChemTech will market and sell Hot Shot’s Secret complete line of fuel and oil additives and specialty oils for gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

Attendees will see how QA1’s products are designed and
manufactured in the Lakeville, Minnesota facility and will be
able to explore the 100,000-plus-sq.-ft. building.

QA1 to Host First Open House at New Lakeville, Minnesota, Facility

QA1 has announced the company will host its first open house event since the completion of its state-of-the-art facility in 2020. The company’s space will be available to visitors from 7:00 a.m.–9 a.m. local time, Friday, July 16. Guided tours of the facility will be followed by a #goDRIVEit cruise to the Street Machine Summer Nationals at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The open house will allow enthusiasts to see QA1’s development center, manufacturing floor and more. Attendees will see how QA1’s products are designed and manufactured in the Lakeville, Minnesota facility and will be able to explore the 100,000-plus-sq.-ft. building. QA1’s upcoming open house marks the return of the company’s annual event after a two-year hiatus due to the transition to the new building in 2019 and COVID-19 precautions in 2020. To take part in the free cruise from QA1 to Street Machine Summer Nationals, drivers can register via QA1’s Eventbrite page.

AcmeAcme Manufacturing Unveils New Logo and Branding

Acme Manufacturing has unveiled its new logo to symbolize its modern focus. With the new logo, Acme wanted to preserve its legacy by retaining similar elements of their past designs. The globe shape stands out from the text, serving as a modern representation of Acme’s expanding global footprint. During the past year, Acme made many internal process changes that led to increased efficiency and more innovative solutions. This forward motion instigated the need for a new logo and branding to reflect the focus on perpetual innovation in a global market.

Kian Capital’s The Eastwood Company Completes Add-on Acquisition of Yost Vises

The Eastwood Company completed the acquisition of Yost Vises, a specialized provider of high-quality vises. The Yost Vises brand has a 100-year-old history as an industry-leading provider of rugged, durable and dependable workholding tools sold at DIY price points. It offers a range of bench vises, drill press vises, woodworking vises and clamps and accessories sold via e-commerce to automotive enthusiasts, metalworkers, woodworkers and other DIYers and hobbyists.

“Like Eastwood, Yost Vises is a storied company with a loyal following and we are excited to welcome the brand into the Eastwood family,” commented Brian Huck, CEO of Eastwood. “Vises are an essential device in the arsenal of tools that our customers need to finish their DIY project and do the job right. The Yost Vises acquisition offers us another high-quality product line that complements our existing capabilities and enables us to continue providing a broader set of solutions to our customers.”

Yost Vises has been owned by the Nelis family for more than four decades, over which time they have grown the brand, innovated within the category and built a strong reputation for quality and customer service. “Yost Vises has been owned by our family since 1979, and we were very selective with potential buyers during this process,” said Pat Nelis, Co-Owner at Yost Vises. “Eastwood was the ideal fit for Yost Vises, and we are confident that Brian and his team will uphold its high standards of quality and service and be great stewards of its legacy.”

Kian’s continued progress with buy-and-build strategies at its three automotive aftermarket platform investments reinforces the firm’s focus on investing in branded/enthusiast DTC companies with a differentiated strategy, a robust e-commerce presence and superior product lines that result in a highly engaged customer base. NuVescor Group acted as financial advisor to Yost Vises. Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. acted as legal advisor to Eastwood.

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