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Movers & Shakers: Jeep Wrangler 4xe Named PHEV With Best Residual Value by Canadian Black Book

Jeep Wrangler 4xe Named PHEV With Best Residual Value by Canadian Black Book

Jeep WranglerThe Jeep Wrangler 4xe has won Canadian Black Book’s (CBB) 2023 Residual Value Award in the PHEV category. This is the second year of CBB’s Best Residual Value Awards and the first where it has ranked plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The awards measure a vehicle’s value into the future, recognizing which vehicles are expected to hold the largest percentage of their MSRP 48 months after the original date of purchase. The Best Residual Value Awards complement CBB’s long-running Best Retained Value Awards, where Jeep Wrangler also has a long streak of success.

The first electrified Jeep Wrangler, the Wrangler 4xe features a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine integrated with two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack, delivering up to 35 km of all-electric range, average fuel economy of up to 4.8 Le/100 km, instant torque and nearly silent off-roading.

Pirelli Ranks First in Segment in J.D. Power 2023 U.S. OE Tire Customer Satisfaction Study

Pirelli has earned the top customer satisfaction score in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. The Italian company ranks highest in the passenger car segment for a second consecutive year with a score of 828, while the average segment score is 801.

The study measures tire owner satisfaction in four areas: tire ride, tire wear, tire traction/handling, and tire appearance. The study includes four vehicle segments: luxury, passenger car, performance sport, and truck/utility. This award is a demonstration of Pirelli's global leadership and commitment to its OEM partners and U.S. consumers across the wide range of passenger cars. Pirelli has come in first for the Passenger Car Segment for the second year in a row.

The 2023 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 32,151 owners of ’21 and ’22 model-year vehicles and was fielded from August through December 2022.

Teaser Trail to Easter Jeep Safari 2023

Jeep SafariJeep Safari

The final grouping of Jeep brand and Jeep Performance Parts by Mopar concept sketches take true off-road enthusiasts along for an electrified ride down past and present memory lane. Both concept vehicles push the boundaries of electrification, and their performance will be front and center during the 57th annual Easter Jeep Safari, April 1–9, in Moab, Utah.

Jeep Cherokee Production Discontinued

The Jeep Cherokee has been discontinued after 49 years in production, a Jeep official confirmed to The Drive. On March 1, Stellantis idled Belvidere Assembly in Illinois where the Cherokee is made, and that production freeze may become permanent as Stellantis draws nearer to negotiations with United Auto Workers later this year over the plant's future. A spokesperson for Stellantis said the automaker is committed to the segment going forward, but it's unclear whether its next midsize SUV will bear the Cherokee label, or when it might arrive. The Cherokee's larger progeny, the Grand Cherokee, was renewed for 2022.

Stellantis Named a Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises

Stellantis is once again a recipient of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) award. This is the ninth year in a row the company has received this honor, the only national award recognizing corporations for world-class supplier diversity programs that reduce barriers and drive growth and opportunities for women-owned businesses.

Stellantis is one of 66 corporations being honored this year for demonstrating a continuous and growing commitment to creating business opportunities for women-owned businesses within their supply chains, successfully implementing diversity and inclusion programs that enable growth and innovation for women's business enterprises.

Stellantis was recognized among the automotive, transportation and logistics industry leaders for investing in “WBEs by going deep into their supply chains to mentor suppliers,” according to the WBENC. The award-winning corporations were honored during the 2023 WBENC National Conference, held from March 20–23 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The award signifies Stellantis' continuing efforts to support women. Stellantis recognized the start of Women's History Month in March by celebrating the company's new MentorWE development program. Developed in partnership with the Great Lakes Women's Business Council, the program is designed to prepare women-owned suppliers for future contracting and procurement opportunities while further expanding Stellantis’ support of initiatives to empower diverse suppliers.

Stellantis has adopted the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles, signifying a global commitment to gender equality. In 2022, the company increased the number of women in leadership positions to 27% from 24%. This supports Stellantis’ progress toward achieving 30% of leadership positions held by women by 2025 and more than 35% by 2030, as outlined in the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.

Lear Wins a General Motors 2022 Supplier of the Year Award

LearLear Corp. has announced it was recognized as a GM Supplier of the Year during General Motors’ 31st annual Supplier of the Year event held earlier this week in San Antonio, Texas.

GM’s Supplier of the Year award recognizes global suppliers that distinguish themselves by exceeding GM’s requirements, in turn providing customers with innovative technologies and among the highest quality in the automotive industry. This is the 22nd time Lear has won the award. Each year, GM’s Supplier of the Year recipients are selected by a global, cross-functional GM team for their performance in criteria such as product purchasing, global purchasing and manufacturing services, customer care and aftersales and logistics.

Tint World Continues Growth in Texas With Benbrook Location

Tint World Automotive Styling Centers has announced the opening of its new location in Benbrook, Texas. Tint World Benbrook, owned by Mike Richards, offers drivers throughout the Fort Worth area automotive aftermarket performance and style accessories and services, including window-tinting solutions. Richards is also the owner of Tint World locations in Grapevine, Texas, and Rowlett, Texas.

100 Millionth Tire Rolls Off the Line at Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia

YokohamaOn March 23, the 100 millionth Yokohama tire rolled off the line at the Salem, Virginia plant—a GEOLANDAR A/T G015.

“I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and congratulations to Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia (YTMV) on behalf of the entire company for this amazing achievement,” said Jeff Barna, president of Yokohama Corp. of North America. “The first Yokohama-branded tire was produced at YTMV in 1990 and since that time, Yokohama has grown dramatically here in the U.S. Such a feat would not have been possible without the local production from Salem, Virginia.”

Yokohama began manufacturing tires in the U.S. in 1989, when it acquired Mohawk Rubber Company’s plant in Salem. It has since been renamed to YTMV and has been renovated and expanded.

Northwood University Hires James O’Dell as Assistant Director of Aftermarket Education

James O'Dell
James O’Dell

Northwood University has announced that it has hired industry veteran James O’Dell as its new assistant director of aftermarket education

“As our vehicle park continues to increase in age, and our miles driven have reached a new record high, opportunities in the automotive aftermarket continue to grow at a rapid pace,” stated O’Dell, who has served as the business development manager for Fisher Auto Parts in Ann Arbor, Michigan, since 2019.

In October, Northwood named Dr. Thomas Litzinger as the executive director of the University of the Aftermarket. Litzinger is an accomplished high-performing executive with over 30 years of leadership experience. O’Dell noted Litzinger is not just an industry expert; he has the academic achievement to lead and inspire students in Northwood’s undergraduate programs and those in the University of Aftermarket, which provides industry-specific professional development to those working in the industry. He is also proficient in researching and publishing new studies relevant to the industry.

Litzinger will lead an effort to develop a new curriculum for the University of the Aftermarket just as Northwood is reinvigorating its aftermarket education through these new hires and a new curriculum.

Tick Performance Announces New Ownership

TickTick Performance has new ownership: Joey Anderson and Matt Goins, who plan to continue manufacturing premium, American-made components in North Carolina. In 2004, Johnny Atkins founded Tick Performance with his son and most recent owner Jonathan Atkins. Johnny cashed his retirement savings to start the company, specializing in T-56/TR-6060 performance and making a name for themselves with F-body enthusiasts. 

In 2007, they hired their first employee, Anderson, followed by Goins. Goins is the company’s lead product engineer and has developed many of their current products. Anderson developed the company’s first e-commerce site and has been a driving force in establishing the brand. The two joined forces as a 50/50 split to purchase the company from Atkins.

Tick Performance plans to expand into more offerings, with new Dodge and Corvette applications coming this year. Atkins wants to sharpen his focus on racing and engine development. The company will continue its involvement in the GrubbWorm Camaro, and Atkins, who has been building engines as a part of the Tick Performance Competition Engines program, will continue his work with JA Competition Engines, a Tick Performance products dealer.

Hot Shot’s Secret Brings the “Steve Sommers Overnight Drive” Syndicated Radio Show to the 2023 Mid America Trucking Show

Steve SommersHot Shot’s Secret, sponsor of the “Steve Sommers Overnight Drive” late-night radio show and podcast, has announced a lineup of interview guests for the 2023 Mid America Trucking Show (MATS). The “Steve Sommers Overnight Drive,” recently syndicated by Talk Media Network, will broadcast live from the Hot Shot’s Secret booth #12036 all three days of MATS Thursday–Saturday, March 30–April 1.

Among guests being interviewed during MATS include: Lewie Pugh, executive vice president of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, where he will speak about the legislative front and how new regulations affect truckers, Ellen Voie and Jennifer Hedrick with Women in Trucking, Toby Young the MATS Show manager, Joel Morrow with Alpha Drivers Transportation has his new Volvo test truck in the booth and Country Music performer Tony Justice will perform a live show on Friday night, among others.

Chris Gabrelcik, founder of Hot Shot’s Secret is also a planned guest for the show and will use this opportunity to appear on the “Steve Sommers Overnight Drive” radio show to contribute funds to Waypoint Vets; an organization that has long been supported by Hot Shot’s Secret with matched funds to support veterans with all paid adventure trips.

Nokian Tyres Expands Dayton Factory Footprint With New 350,000-sq.-ft. Warehouse

NokianNokian Tyres has begun construction on a finished goods warehouse at its Dayton, Tennessee, production campus that will hold as many as 600,000 tires. The facility will be ready for use by mid 2024. Nokian Tyres and its design-build construction firm, BC Construction Group, broke ground in early March on the 350,000 sq.-ft. warehouse, designed by Pieper O'Brien Herr Architects. Nokian Tyres is continuing its long-term partnership with Faithful+Gould to provide project management services for the facility.

The new warehouse will sit adjacent to Nokian Tyres’ Dayton Factory, which is currently doubling production to manufacture as many as four million tires per year by 2024. The global tiremaker is hiring 125 team members to increase its workforce at the Southeast Tennessee campus to 475 employees. The new storage space will join the company’s nine-warehouse network throughout the United States and Canada and will serve a growing volume of customers in the sun belt.

The warehouse serves as a high-tech complement to the Dayton Factory, which opened in fall 2019, and began producing tires for commercial sale in early 2020. The company is adding equipment inside the factory’s existing footprint that will enable it to double production of all-season and all-weather tires at the facility. The expansion will also allow Nokian Tyres to add light truck tires to the Dayton Factory’s product mix in 2023.

Drive for Design Contest Challenges High School Students to Create Electrified Ram Truck of the Future

Drive for DesignFor the 11th consecutive year, Stellantis is empowering students to envision the automotive future with its Drive for Design contest. For this year’s competition, high school students in grades 10–12 are challenged to sketch an innovative design for the next-generation Ram electric truck. The top prize is an opportunity to work as an intern (if eligible) in the Ram Truck Exterior Design Studio this summer.

Drive for Design is powered by the passion of Mark Trostle, vice president, Ram Truck and Mopar design, who won one of the program’s early iterations as a high schooler in 1987. The contest highlights the path to a career in automotive design and illustrates the many opportunities for creativity in the automotive industry. All student-created entries must be submitted by April 21. One grand-prize winner and two additional finalists will be selected from all valid entries received.

For detailed contest rules, information on how to submit sketches and free resources for students of all ages, visit

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