SEMA News—May 2012


Fast Facts

  Aftermarket Business, Aftermarket News, Automobile Events, Automotive Industry News
The Marx Group hired Craig Martinez as the company’s marketing coordinator.
The Marx Group hired Craig Martinez as the company’s marketing coordinator. Martinez came to The Marx Group having worked as public relations coordinator for Full-Throttle Communications—a marketing, public relations and advertising agency—and marketing coordinator at AGIA Insurance Services—an insurance administrator in Southern California. In his new role at The Marx Group, Martinez will assist the company with marketing, public relations and social media. The Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415-453-0844.

McLeod Racing LLC hired Bob Scheid as director of business development, a newly formed position at the company. McLeod reported that Scheid has worked in the automotive aftermarket for more than 20 years, holding positions that have led him from the parts counters of Nationwise Auto Parts to the presidency of Fidanza Engineering and director of business development for Digital Performance Inc. He will work with different departments within McLeod. McLeod, Placentia, CA; 714-630-2171.

Source Interlink Media hired Jeffrey Brown to fill the role of associate publisher of the company’s Motor Trend and Automobile brands and serve as vice president of integrated sales for its consumer automotive group. According to the company, Brown will be responsible for driving integrated solutions and managing the sales team for Source Interlink’s Consumer Automotive Group. He will report directly to Eric Schwab, senior vice president/group publisher of the Motor Trend Automotive Group. Prior to joining Source Interlink, Brown most recently served as a regional sales director with Forbes Media. Source Interlink Media, El Segundo, CA; 310-531-9900.

Automotive Accessories Management USA Inc. (AAM) has added Rick Rollins to its staff as membership development coordinator. According to AAM, Rollins will help the company identify opportunities within the changing business landscape of the specialty-equipment market. AAM reports that Rollins’ ability to evaluate evolving market subsets and opportunities in local and regional markets will allow him to make excellent recommendations to AAM’s board for membership- and market-development strategies.

  Aftermarket Business, Aftermarket News, Automobile Events, Automotive Industry News
Chrysler Group LLC announced the opening of Mopar distribution centers in Argentina and Brazil.
Chrysler Group LLC announced the opening of Mopar distribution centers in Argentina and Brazil. The parts distribution center in Argentina is located in General Rodriguez, Buenos Aires. The 3,000-square-meter facility will distribute more than 10,000 part numbers to more than 25 dealer locations. The 4,500-square-meter facility in Brazil is located in Louveira, Sao Paulo, and will move more than 20,000 parts to support 30 dealers. Mopar, Auburn Hills, MI; 248-512-6497.

VerticalScope Inc. has purchased the website from online web publishing company Mautofied Inc. According to a recent release, the website allows users to search for modified and customized automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles by features as well as by make, model and year. The Marx Group Advisors represented Mautofied and provided sell-side strategic advisory services. The assets purchased by VerticalScope include the site as well as all domain names and related intellectual property. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. VerticalScope Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 416-341-8950. Mautofied, Anaheim, CA; 714-271-6572. The Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415-453-0844.

The Quarter Mile Foundation has gathered 25 new interviews of drag-racing veterans for its Project 1320 documentary film series covering the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance aftermarket. The new interviews, conducted during the NHRA Winternationals and Gatornationals, included the following: Bob Brandt, Walt Barbin, Austin Coil, Ron Colson, Don Edwald, Bob Frey, Larry Griffith, Joan Gwynn, Tommy Ivo, Mike Kuhl, Ronald Leong, Jack McCormack, Mike Lewis, Sonny Messner, Ray Motes, Paula Murphy, Larry Potnack, Don Prieto, Jerry Ruth, Ed Schartman, Greg Sharp, Don Schumacher, Junior Thompson, Al Turner and R.C. Williams. Quarter Mile Foundation, Parma Heights, OH; 440-888-0088.

  Aftermarket Business, Aftermarket News, Automobile Events, Automotive Industry News
John Kahut was named senior vice president of independent sales for CarQuest U.S. 
John Kahut was named senior vice president of independent sales for CarQuest U.S. According to the company, Kahut began his career with CarQuest in November 1986 as an account executive in Lakeville, Minnesota, later becoming warehouse manager of the Lakeville Distribution Center. He served as operations manager in Nashville, Tennessee, and Marshfield, Wisconsin. Kahut spent more than seven years as an independent store sales manager in Albany, Georgia, and Marshfield, Wisconsin. CarQuest, Raleigh, NC; 919-573-2500.

Atlas Copco Compressors donated a compressor unit and dryer to the Applied Technology Center that is part of the Rock Hill School District in South Carolina. The Applied Technology Center recently received a $50,000 grant from the Collision Repair Education Foundation. The grant provides the school with much-needed equipment, tools and other supplies, including an Atlas Copco LS15-175 air compressor and an FX5 dryer, as part of the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover. The Applied Technology Center was selected for the award from more than 70 schools. Atlas Copco Compressors, West Springfield, MA; 413-493-7299.

Classic Industries is participating in the second season of “Car Warriors” by supplying the show’s parts cage with restoration products for the teams as they work to impress the judges with their builds. A complete airing schedule for “Car Warriors” can be found on Speed TV’s website. Classic Industries also announced that it recently won a Top Dealer Award from Detroit Speed. Each year, Detroit Speed sends the award out to its top five dealers in appreciation of their partnership. “We strive to bring to market the very best products the automotive industry has to offer,” said Ray Yager, merchandising director of Classic Industries, “Detroit Speed and Engineering is a leader in the field of chassis and suspension parts, and we are proud to receive the DSE Top Dealer award for 2011.” Classic Industries, Huntington Beach, CA; 714-847-6887.

Internet AutoParts extended its existing agreement with O’Reilly Auto Parts, continuing a 10-year relationship between the two companies. “Internet AutoParts has been a great technology and eCommerce partner for us,” said Chuck Rogers, director of professional B2B eCommerce initiatives for O’Reilly. “Given their history of outstanding service, performance, reliability and product innovation, we are pleased to recognize IAP as a preferred partner for O’Reilly.” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Springfield, MO; 417-862-2674.

Dirt-track racer Sammy “The Flying Flea” Tanner was named Grand Marshal of the Ascot Flat Track Reunion, which will be held May 12 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Tanner was the first winner of Ascot’s National Championship Half-Mile Race in 1959. He also won an incredible 408 regulation AMA races and 67 trophy dashes. Tanner will be joined by numerous riders, including Grand National Champions Gene “Burrito” Romero and Gary Scott, for a day of wild and crazy Ascot memories. Proceeds from the event support the Aid To Injured Riders fund and the NHRA Museum. Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Pomona, CA; 909-622-2735. has launched a new online destination for the automotive do-it-yourself audience. According to the company, was built for enthusiasts by enthusiasts and is engineered to become the web’s largest automotive community. The site will also feature authoritative submissions from industry experts and influencers., Colorado Springs, CO; 719-375-0675.

Synthetic oil manufacturer Royal Purple launched a redesigned website,, which the company said now features an easier-to-navigate interface and a fresh look. The company chose the new website design based on customer feedback requesting more interactive content. The home page includes the brand’s “Outperform” messaging and is updated with the company’s newest logos and corporate identity. Royal Purple, Porter, TX; 281-354-8600. 

  Aftermarket Business, Aftermarket News, Automobile Events, Automotive Industry News
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association announced that high-performance speed shop Petty’s Garage will exhibit on the midway at nine Goodguys events this season.
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association announced that high-performance speed shop Petty’s Garage will exhibit on the midway at nine Goodguys events this season. The exhibit will feature several vehicles from Petty’s Garage, racing memorabilia and a complete line of Petty’s Garage Signature parts. As part of the new partnership with Petty’s Garage, the Goodguys will donate $5,000 to the Victory Junction Camp through the Petty Family Foundation.

Through a new agreement and continued sponsorship of the “Two Guys Garage” television show, Federated will sponsor two regular segments called “Tech Talk by Federated Auto Parts” and “Brake Room.” Beginning April 28, the segments will be featured on every episode of “Two Guys Garage” and will run through November 2012. The focus of “Tech Talk” will be on education and training, with emphasis on parts and solutions provided by the automotive aftermarket. “Brake Room” segments will highlight the innovative and high-quality parts supplied by Federated’s manufacturing partners. Brenton Productions, Swansea, MA; 800-572-7798. 

Vehicle Inspection Systems Inc. announced that it redesigned its website,, to include easier navigation and more information on the company’s products. The website is now linked to the new online shopping site,, where supplies, parts and machines can be ordered. Vehicle Inspection Systems Inc., Orlando, FL; 407-206-3615.

King Engine Bearings named J. Michael Flynn as its new sales manager. He takes over for Ron Ruppert, who will serve as product manager for the company. Flynn comes to King Engine Bearings from ACL Distribution Inc., where he was technical sales manager from 2004 to 2012. Ruppert has been King’s sales manager since 2005. In his new role as product manager, he is responsible for product management, inventory management and sales assistance. In the area of product development, he will work closely with the company’s sales, marketing and engineering team to balance product and customer requirements.

Eric Miltsch was named director of product strategy for DrivingSales. According to the company, Miltsch will help enhance and develop the company’s product and services suite. Prior to joining DrivingSales, Miltsch directed successful digital experiences for Auction Direct USA. Miltsch also wrote for, Auction Direct’s used-car blog, and his personal blog,, which DrivingSales says is one of the first blogs focused on location-based marketing concepts and strategies.

John Abreu was appointed Tire Group International’s new territory manager for Puerto Rico and Columbia. According to the company, Abreu has worked in the auto industry for more than 10 years, including five years at General Motors as fixed-operations manager.

Vantage Mobility International (VMI) named The Mobility Express Group a VMI Select Dealer for Central Florida. The VMI Select Dealer Network is a national group of leading companies that specializes in selling wheelchair-accessible vans and other mobility products.


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