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Movers & Shakers: Hypercraft Announces Kirk Miller as Vice President of Direct Sales

Kirk Miller
Kirk Miller

Hypercraft has announced Kirk Miller has joined the company as vice president of direct sales. In his new role, Miller will bring his years of experience and global relationships to help serve the EV marketplace across multiple applications in “an effort to break down barriers to EV manufacturing.” Miller comes from AEM Electronics, where he spent 24 years as vice president of sales and marketing. He played an integral role as the company’s foremost expert in the performance aftermarket with a focus on the tuner, EV and motorsport market segments.

Gerflor Acquires SnapLock Industries

Gerflor has announced that it has acquired SnapLock Industries. Begun more than 30 years ago, SnapLock helped create the modular surface industry with the brands SnapSports, RaceDeck, FastDeck, and SnapLock Dance, Tent & Event Floors. SnapLock has provided differentiated solutions that have transformed expectations of flooring surfaces, from garages and sports to dance and event spaces.

SnapLock adds to the portfolio of sports surface brands within the Gerflor portfolio. With Taraflex, Sport Court, Stagestep and Connor Sports, Gerflor is the foundation for world-recognized athletic events, from the Olympics to NCAA and world championships in basketball, volleyball and pickleball. According to Gerflor, the combination of Gerflor innovation and SnapLock segment knowledge and manufacturing capabilities would lead to new solutions that redefine customer’s expectations and experience with the floor.

Hyundai IONIQ 6 Sweeps World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year

IONIQ 6Hyundai Motor Company's IONIQ 6 Electrified Streamliner has won the World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year for 2022, lauded by an international jury for its unique aerodynamic design and outstanding all-electric range. World Car Awards revealed the results at a ceremony held at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

A jury of 100 automotive journalists from 32 countries chose IONIQ 6 from the top three finalists, all launched in 2022. This is Hyundai's second straight triple honors at the World Car of the Year awards. Last year, the jury named IONIQ 5 the winner in the same categories.

IONIQ 6 is the second model in Hyundai's dedicated all-electric lineup brand, IONIQ. It takes full advantage of a bespoke Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture to offer 800-V, ultra-fast charging capabilities for a 10% to 80% charge in 18 minutes while also offering a spacious interior.

The IONIQ brand's winning this year will help to energize Hyundai Motor's efforts to accelerate its electrification strategy. Hyundai Motor plans to introduce 17 new BEV models by 2030, including Genesis luxury brand models, and aims to boost annual global BEV sales to 1.87 million units by 2030.

Ford Becomes America’s Best-Selling Brand in the First Quarter of 2023

FordFord’s vehicles, commercial and EVs drove a first-quarter sales increase of 10.7%, making the automaker America’s best-selling brand. Sales surged across Ford’s areas of strength, including trucks (up 19.6%); three-row SUVs (up 47.6%); Bronco brand (up 18.3%); Ford Pro Transit van (up 86%); Mustang (up 5.2%) and electric vehicles (up 41%). Ford’s overall vehicle sales—Ford Blue, Ford Pro, Model e and Lincoln—totaled 475,906, up 10.1% with estimated share up over a year ago.

Ford’s EV sales grew 41% in the first quarter on sales of 10,866 electric vehicles. F-150 Lightning sales totaled 4,291 pickups with production capacity actions on track to hit an annual production run rate of 150,000 this year. Sales by Ford Pro of the E-Transit, America’s best-selling electric van last year, climbed 62.7%. Reflecting downtime at the plant for changes to increase production, Mustang Mach-E sales were down.

Ford is America’s number-one-selling selling truck manufacturer, with 254,023 trucks and vans sold in the first quarter, outselling GM’s trucks and vans by approximately 27,000 vehicles. Sales of Ford’s overall trucks, including pickups and vans, were up 19.6% on the strength of F-Series pickups (up 21.1%) and Ford Pro’s Transit van (up 86%).

To support this momentum, Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant will add a third crew in April to increase production for Ford Pro of the best-selling Transit and E-Transit vans. Ford also is increasing production at manufacturing plants across North America to meet strong customer demand for vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, Bronco Sport and Maverick.

Ford Explorer was the best-selling, three-row midsize SUV in America, and the Bronco brand saw sales growth of 18.3%, including a 37.6% rise for Bronco. Additionally, Expedition sales surged.

Camp Jeep Returns to the 2022 New York International Auto Show

Camp JeepCamp Jeep is returning to New York, making its 16th appearance at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. Since 2004, more than 425,000 New York Auto Show attendees have experienced this off-road driving course. Camp Jeep gives showgoers a chance to experience some of the extreme off-road capabilities of Jeep vehicles. The obstacles are designed to demonstrate some of the rigorous testing that Jeep vehicles endure before they ever reach consumers. Camp Jeep attendees will see firsthand the Jeep capability standards for ground clearance, traction, stability, articulation, breakover, off-camber and suspension.

Product specialists will drive attendees over the Camp Jeep course in a Wrangler Rubicon 4xe and Rubicon 392, all-new Grand Cherokee 4xe, Jeep Gladiator Mojave and Rubicon and Grand Cherokee L.

In addition to Jeep Mountain, attendees will enjoy a ground clearance stair climb, demonstrating a Jeep vehicles’ ground clearance and traction ability as they climb over a 5-ft. staircase. The Trail Rated Pass is all about extreme three-wheeling as Jeep vehicles navigate over a 50-ft. long, 8-ft. tall obstacle as the vehicle articulates side to side. The Extreme Breakover obstacle will have attendees on the edge of their seats as Jeep vehicles navigate a 25-degree uneven plane until one wheel loses contact with the surface. Other obstacles include a 30-degree articulation wedge that is guaranteed to raise the excitement factor along with Maneuverability Moguls that test a Jeep vehicle's low crawl and suspension capabilities.

All Camp Jeep riders will be automatically entered into the Stellantis U.S. National Giveaway for a chance to win $100,000 toward any eligible Stellantis U.S. vehicle. Camp Jeep will be open during all press, preview and public hours of the New York International Auto Show, beginning Wednesday, April 13.

Yokohama Corp. of North America Sells Assets of Friend Tire Co. to Southern Tire Mart

Yokohama Corp. of North America (YCNA) and Southern Tire Mart (STM) have agreed to terms to transfer the ownership of Friend Tire Company’s (FTC) assets to STM. FTC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of YCNA. This agreement was finalized on April 1. Sales of the Yokohama brand through FTC have been transferred to STM and include all the rights and access that were afforded to FTC.

Tread Lightly! Announces 2023 BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails Program

Tread Lightly!Tread Lightly! has announced its third year awarding the BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails Program grants. Each year, the Outstanding Trails Program provides opportunities for off-roading clubs across the United States to nominate trails to receive grants for education and conservation. The first year Tread Lightly! awarded grants on behalf of BFGoodrich Tires was in 2021. To date, the awards have supported off-road trails across the U.S.

Since 2006, BFGoodrich has awarded more than $245,000 in grants to support organizations dedicated to conserving off-road trails. Past grant recipients have installed educational signage, improved infrastructure and repaired local off-roading trails.

Clubs are required to be active, supporting members of Tread Lightly! to be eligible to apply for funding. To learn more about Tread Lightly! and apply for funding, visit For more information on BFGoodrich Tires, visit

Dayco Strengthens Team Structure

Dayco has promoted four aftermarket team members. Jay Buckley has accepted the role of director of marketing, catalog and technical product support. Joining the company in 2020, he most recently served as director of product management. Buckley has an extensive background in marketing and is an ASE-certified technician.

Taking over a majority of Buckley’s duties will be Jerry Reeves, who will lead the entire product team and oversee product launches across all applications and industries. Reeves joined Dayco two years ago and has helped launch over a dozen new products in the past 18 months.   

In the meantime, Jon Crawford is now the senior product manager, focusing on special projects. Previously product manager for the industrial division, Crawford joined the company in 2020, spearheading cross-functional projects with finance, sales and distribution.  

Sheila Mann is now the financial controller for Canada and will continue to support the North American team. She joined Dayco almost three decades ago as a credit manager and continued to be promoted several times throughout her career with the company. She will oversee budgeting and forecasting and collaborate and consult with leadership on strategic financial decisions.

Dodge Earns Two 2023 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards

DodgeDodge is celebrating a pair of 2023 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image awards, with Dodge taking honors for Best Performance Brand and Most Refined Brand. The honors mark the fifth consecutive year Dodge has been recognized with a Brand Image Award.

The 2023 Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from Kelley Blue Book's Brand Watch study, which offers insight into how shoppers perceive important factors driving their purchase decisions and captures brand/model familiarity and loyalty among new-car shoppers. The study is broken out by six segments and captures brand and model familiarity and consideration among new-car shoppers. The study tracks 12 factors important to shoppers across all segments and models and respondents are in-market for a new vehicle and recruited from

The Best Performance Brand Award was based on ratings across all non-truck models and the importance of one factor: driving performance. Kelley Blue Book cited Dodge models as “bred for high performance, featuring massive power and torque for an exhilarating, unforgettable driving experience.”

The Most Refined Brand Award was calculated based on ratings across all non-truck models and the weighted importance of four factors: driving comfort, interior layout, technology and prestige/sophistication.

Dodge brand vehicle technology was hailed by as making "significant strides with its driver assistance features and uncompromising safety systems, while also providing control and comfort in the driving experience."

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