SEMA News—January 2014
Jonathan Goolsby and Josh Henning of Alabama’s Goolsby Customs were the dual recipients of the Goodguys Trendsetter Award, which is presented by Goodguys to rising talents in custom car building. The award was presented at the 2013 SEMA Show during the Hot Rod Industry Alliance’s (HRIA) industry reception. SEMA’s HRIA is dedicated to ensuring the future prosperity of the hot-rod industry and advancing awareness of the hobby. In the past five years, the Goolsby team has won Street Machine, Street Rod and Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist awards. Past recipients of the Goodguys Trendsetter Award include Chip Foose, Troy Trepanier, Alan Johnson, Eric Peratt, Tim Strange, Dave Lane, Zane Cullen, Dean Livermore, Jesse Greening, Troy Ladd, J.F. Launier, Phil and Jeremy Gerber, Mike and Jim Ring and Dave Kindig. Goolsby Customs, Bessemer, AL; 205-428-2169.
Meyer Distributing Inc. announced that it has added a new location in Shreveport, Louisiana. The company reports that the cross-dock will have a direct feed from Meyer’s distribution hub in Dallas, Texas, which houses one of the largest inventories of automotive accessories in the nation. In addition to the new location, Meyer also formed a partnership with Omix-ADA through which Meyer will stock many of Rugged Ridge and Omix-ADA’s Jeep Wrangler accessories. Meyer Distributing currently distributes from 43 locations, and the new partnership boosts efficiency and helps Omix-ADA reach thousands of jobbers and customers nationwide using Meyer’s distribution system. “This partnership essentially allows us to get more of our products into the hands of jobbers, industry enthusiasts and consumers quicker and more effectively,” said Omix-ADA President Al Azadi. “Meyers has a quick turnaround, which is crucial for jobbers and installers, and their reputation helps bring awareness to our family of brands.” Omix-ADA, Suwanee, GA; 770-614-6101. Meyer Distributing, Jasper, IN; 800-MEYERUSA.
CTEK Group has acquired Inelco Group’s battery-charging business through a deal that became effective November 1. The deal was announced at the 2013 SEMA Show. According to CTEK, the acquisition of the battery-charging business will strengthen CTEK Group’s business and increase its competitiveness within the professional and industrial segments. Inelco Group consists of the Danish company Inelco A/S and the Polish company Inelco Polska Sp. z.o.o. The company has 30 employees. CTEK, Twinsburg, OH; 330-963-0981.
ESAB Welding & Cutting Products announced that the company has added an enhanced distributor locator to its websites, www.esabna.com and www.esab.ca. According to ESAB, the enhanced feature makes it easier for users to locate and contact the nearest authorized ESAB sales and service support anywhere in the United States and Canada. ESAB provides complete sales and service assistance at the local level through a national distribution network. ESAB, Florence, SC; 843-679-5823.
Online truck-accessory retailer RealTruck.com presented its first annual vendor awards at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to recognize the company’s partners for exemplary achievements in four unique award categories. The winners were Husky Liners as 2013 Most Valuable Partner; Pro Seat Covers as 2013 Rookie of the Year; WeatherTech for 2013 Best Customer Service; and Lund International as 2013 Data Geek of the Year. RealTruck.com, Jamestown, ND; 877-216-5446.
The board of directors of the Quarter Mile Foundation has selected award-winning motorsports television producer John B. Mullin to create an initial pilot for the Project 1320 documentary. Mullin Production Group (MPG) is headquartered in Westlake Village, California, and is a producer of major network motorsports programming, including the Champ Car World Series (ABC, ESPN, NBC, CBS) and, in association with Chet Burks Productions, the AMA Superbike series for CBS Sports Network. MPG is noted for its vast experience with all forms of motorsports and for its approach to topflight production that places the emphasis on storytelling and building the marketplace presence of the sport being covered. Quarter Mile Foundation, Parma Heights, OH; 440-888-0088.
The Timken Co. appointed Mark D. Ritucci as its regional manager for commercial vehicle aftermarket sales for the eastern regions of the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Timken, Ritucci served as district sales manager at a leading commercial-vehicle parts manufacturer and as territory sales manager at a major commercial-vehicle distributor. Timken reported that Ritucci possesses broad experience in the automotive industry, specifically in wheel-end
Omix-ADA announced the creation of the Rugged Ridge Trail Access Program at the company’s Off Road Success Center during the 2013 SEMA Show. Through the new program and its Rugged Ridge brand, the company will provide grants to non-profit organizations as a way of keeping recreational trails open on public lands and advancing and protecting the off-road hobby. Following the announcement, Omix-ADA made an initial $50,000 donation to the program in support of organizations fighting for trail access. Beginning immediately, non-profit organizations can apply online for grants of up to $5,000 by visiting here. Under the program, only one grant per year will be awarded to any given organization. Grants can be designated for use toward education, stewardship, litigation or any other activity advocating the conservation of public land and access to recreational trails. Omix-ADA, Suwanee, GA; 770-614-6101.
Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, a manufacturing subsidiary of Yokohama Tire Corp., announced that it hired its first employee: Human Resources Manager Melissa Orman. Orman will be responsible for hiring personnel at the company’s new commercial tire plant in West Point, Mississippi. Orman was director of human resources at Navistar Defense in conjunction with Griffin Armor. Groundbreaking for the $300 million facility, which is set to open in October 2015, took place in September 2013. Yokohama Tire Corp., Fullerton, CA; 714-870-3800.
Rampage Products has hired Scott Johnson as marketing manager. Johnson will focus on brand communication and managing and maintaining the company’s critical marketing assets. Rampage Products, Corona, CA; 951-277-4949.
The Aftermarket Foundation appointed existing board member Murray Sullivan—business development director for National Pronto Association—to the foundation’s executive committee of the board. Sullivan’s experience in the automotive industry spans more than 30 years as a senior executive with APS Holding and Parts Pro Xpress. He has become an expert in the industry and has built relationships with customers, employees and colleagues on a foundation of trust, loyalty and mutual respect. Sullivan joins colleagues Robert Hirsch, chairman of Gold Eagle Co.; Larry Magee, CEO of Bridgestone Retail; Joe Mittleman, retired; John Nicholson, Auto Gard Triple P; Terry O’Reilly, CEO of Pricedex Software Inc.; and Don Schlenger, chairman emeritus of the Aftermarket Foundation.
As part of a rebranding strategy and growth initiative launched in 2012, Accel has changed its name to Accel Performance Group. The original announcement was made at the company’s press conference at the 2013 SEMA Show. According to the company, each of the brands manufactured by Prestolite Performance will continue to benefit from a host of marketing assets, however the Mr. Gasket and Accel brands will undergo significant branding identity and positioning overhauls with the focus of making them flagships of the group with clearer, separate, target markets. Accel accommodates performance-minded enthusiasts with the latest ignition and fuel system technologies, while Mr. Gasket will serve restorers and nostalgic hot-rod builders. Prestolite Performance, Cleveland, OH; 216-688-8300.