SEMA News—July 2013
Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) signed an agreement to build a commercial truck-tire plant in West Point, Mississippi. According to Yokohama, the facility, which is expected to produce one million tires starting in 2015, will have an initial capital investment of $300 million and potential plant expansions could reach up to four times the original employment and investment levels. The plant will be built on more than 500 acres of land with construction expected to begin in September and completion two years later. Yokohama expects to hire approximately 500 employees to work at the facility. Yokohama Tire Corp., Fullerton, California, 714-870-3800.
Diana Brennan, who has worked in the Sonoma Raceway Media Relations department since 1999, was recently named senior director of media and community relations. Brennan assumes the management of the raceway’s media relations department, overseeing all media communications, as well as the facility’s community initiatives, including the local chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Brennan has worked full-time in the media relations department at Sonoma Raceway since 2001, most recently as director of media and community relations. Brennan was first hired as an intern in 1999.
Power Automedia will add two new truck-focused publications in 2013—OffRoadXtreme.com and DieselArmy.com. The company says that the new releases, which are expected to debut in September, will target the truck market with hard-hitting tech and how-to articles, as well as the latest in OE trends, accessories, performance parts, suspension upgrades, wheels/tires and event coverage. In addition to the announcement of the new publications, Power Automedia also hired truck-market publishing veteran Stuart Bourdon as editor of OffRoadXtreme.com. For more than a decade, Bourdon served as staff editor for Four Wheeler and 4Wheel & Off-Road magazines. Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626.
During a recent media event, industry veteran JoAnn Bortles, owner of Crazy Horse Custom Paint, gave attendees an up-close look at Hypertherm’s newest plasma cutting systems in action. Bortles is currently the automotive spokesmen for Hypertherm and joined Michael Vanvakaris, Hypertherm district sales manager, at Pro Design Hot Rods in Santa Ana, California, for the event. In addition to literally cutting through many barriers to become the first female in motorcycle painting, she also was co-leader of the first all-women custom car build for SEMA’s Mustang Powered by Women project. For more information on Hypertherm, visit www.hypertherm.com. Hypertherm Inc., Hanover, NH; 800-643-0030.
TruckChamp.com, a division of L.O.F. Inc., has promoted Jon Page to vice president of sales for its Elkhart, Indiana, headquarters.
Page brings more than 20 years of automotive aftermarket industry experience to the position. L.O.F. Inc. has been in business for 44 years and works through multiple platforms, including TruckChamp.com. L.O.F. Inc., Elkhart, IN;
A digital likeness of Meguiar’s Inc.’s modified Scion FR-S is now featured in Forza Motorsport 4 for the Microsoft Xbox 360. Created by Turn 10 Studios, the yellow Meguiar’s Scion FR-S was designed in partnership with Scion and originally debuted at the 2012 SEMA Show. Meguiar’s has also launched the Forza Horizon photo contest where winners have the chance to win prizes from Meguiar’s and Xbox 360 by taking snapshots of the FR-S within the game. Meguiar’s Inc., Irvine, CA; 888-888-3143.
The PRW Industries’ Warehouse Distribution Center and Corporate offices are now located in Perris, California, the company recently announced.
The newly acquired facility maximizes storage space and optimizes the picking and shipping process.
The facility includes an abundance of office space that houses the sales, management and support teams, an employee break room, conference rooms, and larger engineering and product development departments. To support this new facility, PRW designed and implemented a new computerized inventory management system designed to take full advantage of the faster server environment. PRW Industries, Perris, CA; 951-436-7900.
Goodguys Rod & Custom Association announced a new Texas Road Tour this fall that takes rodders from the Goodguys headquarters in Pleasanton, California, to the 21st Lone Star Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway. The tour begins Friday, September 27, and cruises to the Texas Motor Speedway by Thursday, October 3, covering 1,969 total miles. The pace car
CARQUEST Auto Parts announced that Laurie Bundschu was promoted to vice president of product supply. She will lead product forecasting, purchasing and inventory management for CARQUEST US and CARQUEST Canada. Bundschu joined CARQUEST in November 2010 as director of demand planning and transitioned into senior director of demand management in September 2011 when she assumed responsibility for store assortment planning. Prior to CARQUEST, Bundschu held leadership roles that included supply chain/logistics, purchasing, inventory management and operations planning at Eaton and Caterpillar. CARQUEST, Raleigh, NC; 800-854-3999.
The College of Creative Studies (CCS) announced that Ford Motor Co. will donate $1 million to the institution over the next five years to help provide educational opportunities for Detroit youth.
The funds will help establish the Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA: SCS) College and Career Transitions Office, and start a Blue Oval Scholarship fund for graduates of HFA: SCS to attend CCS. The HFA: SCS is the public charter middle and high school created as a partnership between CCS and the Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI), with support from the Bob and Ellen Thompson Educational Foundation. HFA: SCS is located inside the CCS A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education and will graduate its first high school senior class this year. Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; www.ford.com.
Strategic Marketing Services LLC was named one of the “Top 20 Best Places to Work in Kentucky” by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in April.
According to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the selection process is based on the assessment of the company’s employee policies and procedures, as well as the results from an internal employee survey.
RealTruck.com has hired Matt Heinzen as its new chief people officer. Heinzen is the current director of professional development at the North Dakota State Society of Human Resources Management, and is a certified professional in human resources by the Human Resources Certification Institute. A former human resources manager at PRACS Institute, RealTruck.com brought Heinzen onboard to leverage his wealth of human resources knowledge and demonstrated work ethic. RealTruck.com, Jamestown, ND; 877-216-5446.
Lund International Holding Co. has acquired the assets of Tradesman Truck Accessories LLC. Tradesman manufactures aluminum and steel truck and utility boxes, as well as liquid storage tanks. According to a press release, Tradesman will continue to operate in Winters, Texas, with the current management team remaining in place. Tradesman was founded in 1973 and has a reputation within the industry for the high quality and durability of its products, all of which are made in the U.S.A. Lund International Holding Co. is a portfolio company of Highlander Partners L.P. Lund International, Buford, GA; 678-804-3767.
Seasoned automotive industry and aftermarket repair veteran Fred Anyzeski has joined the Fidanza Performance key account sales team. Anyzeski brings with him a formal B.S. degree from Cornell University in AG engineering and experience fixing and/or modifying gas and diesel engines. “Having a lifelong intense interest in motorcycle and automobile repair, restoration and tuning, as well as a background in engineering and education, Fred will be a real asset to our company and our customers,” says Jeff Jenkins, owner and president of Fidanza Performance. Fidanza, Perry, OH; 440-259-5656.
The Automotive Lift Institute Inc. has two more scheduled workshops in Canada to serve participants of its new Lift Inspector Certification Program.
Each stop will have something to offer for participants at varying stages of the certification process. The remaining sessions will be held in Vancouver and Edmonton this summer, and a Participant’s Orientation, Pre-Course Exam and Course Exam will be offered in each city as follows: July 10, Vancouver, British Columbia; and July 12, Edmonton, Alberta. Automotive Lift Institute Inc., Cortland, NY; 607-756-7775.
|The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has signed an international cooperation agreement with Messe Frankfurt. Through the agreement, AAAA will promote six Automechanika trade fairs of interest to Australian aftermarket businesses. “The Australian aftermarket now exports about $800 million worth of product a year,” AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity said. “This agreement will increase international marketing opportunities and lower costs for innovative Australian aftermarket businesses.” Charity also said that the partnership will deliver benefits to AAAA members who exhibit or visit the Frankfurt, Dubai, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Moscow and New Delhi Automechanika trade fairs. Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, Clayton, Australia; +61-3-9545-3333. Messe Frankfurt Inc., Atlanta, GA; 770-984-8016.
Meyer Distributing Inc. has announced a partnership with American Dealer Accessories (ADA) of California.
Meyer reports that it will use its logistical capabilities to bring enhanced service to the ADA platform and will assume the operations of its Ontario, Visalia, and Stockton, California, warehouses. Meyer Distributing, Jasper, IN; 800-MEYERUSA.
Kahn Media announced that the agency will provide public relations, media outreach, strategic communications and social media marketing for Dinan Engineering. As one of its first initiatives, Kahn will help Dinan launch its latest line of tuned BMW Sport Sedans and promote its performance parts, national dealer network and motorsports programs. Kahn will also work with Dinan to promote new vehicle launches, coordinate press drives and publicize Dinan’s engineering projects. Kahn Media, Reseda, CA; 818-881-5246.
|Accessories Marketing Inc. (AMI) and Sealant Systems International Inc. (SSI), manufacturers and sellers of Slime and Fix-A-Flat tire-repair sealant products and retail and OEM tire-repair kits, have prevailed in their patent-infringement action against TEK Corporation (TEK). A jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that TEK’s tire repair kits infringed AMI’s U.S. Patent No. 6,789,581. The jury awarded damages to AMI for all of TEK’s sales of its TEK 400 and TEK 500 kits dating back to 2007. There are also on-going royalties for any future sales of such kits that are not enjoined by the court. A tire repair kit is a combination of an air compressor and sealant that is used to repair punctured or flat tires on vehicles, and it may be used in lieu of a spare tire. The Court earlier invalidated TEK’s U.S. Patent No. 7,789,110, also relating to tire-repair kits, which TEK had asserted against SSI.
National Performance Warehouse has purchased the California wholesale business unit of Performance Warehouse of Portland, Oregon. The Performance Warehouse facilities in Sacramento, California, will become a Speed Warehouse location. The companies have a transition plan in place where jobber ordering, delivery and product availability will continue without interruption and as is the tradition of an NPW acquisition, the staff and management are being retained to service the customer base. Bob Baptiste will continue to manage the sales and operations out of Sacramento. The National Performance Warehouse Companies operate five other facilities in California: Vernon, Tustin, Sacramento (Arden), Hayward and San Jose. National Performance Warehouse, Miami, FL; 305-953-7270.