SEMA News—August 2014
Beth Velarde, longtime western regional sales manager for Covercraft Industries Inc., was named the company’s new national sales director. Velarde will continue in her current role and also oversee product sales in North America across all product categories except OE products. As a 32-year veteran of the automotive industry and a 14-year Covercraft team member, Velarde brings an exceptional record of success in both sales and customer service to her new position. Velarde will continue to work from her current office location in Southern California. Covercraft, Pauls Valley, OK; 405-238-9651.
ReadyLift Suspension Inc. announced that Landon List has joined the company’s sales team to further strengthen and grow the sales efforts for the company’s street and off-road products. List had previously spent more than two years with Transamerican Wholesale/4 Wheel Parts. Prior to that, he spent more than two years with Viair. While at Transamerican/4 Wheel Parts, Landon was responsible for merchandising suspension lines and was a key manager in building relationships with vendors. ReadyLift, Henderson, NV; 877-759-9991.
Road America has announced a new sponsorship agreement with RaceQuip, making the safety-equipment manufacturer its new safety partner. RaceQuip’s safety apparel and gear will be available for purchase at Road America’s Paddock Shop, and RaceQuip will also have an on-site presence at Road America events through venue signage and product displays. RaceQuip, Riverview, FL; 813-642-6644.
The Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards competition—sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation since 1965—awarded top honors in the automotive category to Stanadyne and its supplier partner, Indo-MIM. The companies were recognized for a high-pressure gasoline fuel-injection pump designed to help next-generation vehicles reach fuel-economy standards outlined by Congress. Stanadyne expects to sell approximately one million units for U.S. automobiles in 2014. Stanadyne, Windsor, CT; 860-525-0821.
Truck Accessories Group (TAG) has added Jim Blayne to its staff as director of fleet sales for the company’s commercial division. Blayne will help TAG’s customers meet their exacting budget and transportation needs. Blayne joins TAG with more than 22 years of industry experience, including senior management positions at A.R.E. Accessories in Ohio. He will establish the commercial division’s overall strategy and oversee all aspects of its sales efforts. Truck Accessories Group, Elkhart, IN; 574-522-5337.
Meyer Distributing Inc. has announced the addition of locations in Valdosta, Georgia, and Oklahoma City. The cross docks will have a direct feed from Meyer’s Jasper, Indiana, and Dallas distribution hubs. “The Valdosta cross dock will greatly enhance service to one of the few areas that didn’t have next-day delivery from our Jasper core,” said Jeff Braun, CFO of Meyer. “Cities in Georgia, such as Valdosta, Brunswick and Albany, and cities in Florida, such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee, will see four-times-a-week next-day service.” Meyer Distributing Inc., Jasper, IN; 800-MEYERUSA.
Dometic Group’s commercial and passenger vehicle unit has opened a new sales and innovation center in Troy, Michigan. Under the leadership of Brian Berlenbach, director of sales, the Michigan team will focus on the North American OEM and Tier 1 automotive market. The sales and engineering focus will include Dometic mobile comfort products and electronic solutions for mobile devices. The Dometic Michigan team will focus on products that are suitable for passenger vehicles. The new office will have sales account management, program management, engineering and quality-assurance functions. Dometic Group, Pompano Beach, FL.
Motovicity Distribution has added PLX Devices to its line of performance aftermarket products. PLX is an innovative line of performance electronics products and custom apps geared toward performance enthusiasts and retailers. The PLX products that Motovicity highlighted as key include the DM-6 wideband AFR (UEGO) combo, which includes the DM-6 touchscreen-controlled MultiGauge; a Bosch LSU4.2 wideband O2 sensor; and the PLX SM-AFR wideband controller module. Motovicity, Madison Heights, MI; 888-SPEED-16.
The Advanstar Automotive Group has promoted Pete Meier to director of training. Meier joined Advanstar in September 2010 as technical editor after spending more than 35 years as an automotive technician. In his new role, Meier will oversee the training program for Automechanika Chicago in 2015 and the development of other training initiatives within Advanstar Automotive Group, including webinars and video training projects. He will continue in his role as Advanstar Automotive Group technical editor. Advanstar, Santa Monica, CA; 310-857-7500.
LeMay—America’s Car Museum presented its Nicola Bulgari Award to McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of Hagerty Insurance, which offers insurance and valuation tools for classic vehicles. Hagerty took over the family business in 1995 and has grown the company from 30 employees to more than 500. He created the Collectors Foundation, which has awarded $2.75 million in scholarships and grants to prepare young adults for careers in automotive preservation and restoration. It was renamed the Hagerty Education Program after partnering with America’s Car Museum in January 2014, and Hagerty has committed another $1.75 million to support collector vehicle education. Hagerty Insurance, Traverse City, MI; 877-922-9701.
CRP Automotive was presented with the Best-in-Class NCMA President’s Award for Electronic Data Excellence for 2013–2014 at the most recent National Catalog Managers Association Knowledge Exchange in Chandler, Arizona. CRP Automotive was nominated for the prestigious award by Epicor. The award announcement was made by Daniel Schildge, president of CRP Industries. “It’s an honor to be recognized by both Epicor and the NCMA for our cataloging efforts,” he said. “This award validates the process improvements that we have enacted within our cataloging activities and is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our entire catalog team.”
Quantum Automotive announced that Tim Watts was promoted to president of Superlift Suspension, reporting to CEO Bob Crockett. Watts will have total oversight for Superlift Suspension, including strategic direction and expansion. Watts will assume the role of president, immediately vacating his former position of vice president of sales and marketing for Superlift. The role of vice president of sales and marketing will be evaluated as Superlift Suspension looks to grow the management team. Superlift Suspension, West Monroe, LA; 800-551-4955.
Curt Manufacturing has acquired Aries Automotive, manufacturer of tubular-style truck accessories and 3D floor- and cargo-liner interior accessories. All contact information for Aries, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses, will remain the same. Jeff Perez and his team will continue to be the contacts for Aries Automotive. Curt Manufacturing, Eau Claire, WI; 715-831-8713.
Dust and Son, an automotive parts and power equipment retailer and wholesaler, announced that the company is now a distributor for the RKI Inc. product line. RKI is a manufacturer of specialty truck boxes, service bodies, wenches, cranes and aerodynamic window grilles. Dust and Son is celebrating its 85th year in business, with Illinois retail locations in Effingham, Charleston, Urbana, Marion, Decatur,Grayville, Salem and Sullivan.
Silver Sport Transmissions in Rockford, Tennessee, has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Keisler Engineering, which filed for bankruptcy in early 2014. Silver Sport will continue to market Tremec TKO 500/600 and T56 Magnum transmissions using PerfectFit technology, providing restoration enthusiasts with high-quality products with the best fit and performance possible. Silver Sport, Rockford, TN; 865-609-8187.
Direct Lift is helping the MustangMedic restoration show boost productivity by providing the shop with its first vehicle lift. The show received its 9,000-pound-capacity Direct Lift DL9 two-post lift in May. The company has restored Mustangs and posted more than 4,000 YouTube videos documenting each project and can now perform work under the car with the vehicle in the air. At MustangMedic, each element of the restoration process is filmed from day one until the vehicle is sold. All videos are posted to YouTube, so clients can watch as their Mustangs are brought back to life. Direct Lift, Madison, IN; 800-578-5438.
Jon Holder has joined K&N’s executive team as chief sales officer. Holder was most recently the senior vice president of sales and business development for MagnaFlow/Car Sound Inc., where he was responsible for all global sales activities. K&N began a formal search for this position in January 2014 when Tim Martin was promoted to chief operations officer and relinquished his oversight of sales in order to focus on his new position. Other members of the K&N management team include Steve Williams, chief engineering officer; Jesse Spungin, chief marketing officer; Doug Hood, chief financial officer; and Jean Franks, vice president of administration. K&N Engineering, Riverside, CA; 951-826-4000.
Effective July 1, 2014, Tomo Mizutani began his new role as president of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. (TTC)—the U.S. sales-subsidiary for the Toyo Tires brand of premium replacement tires. Mizutani currently serves as president of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. (TTHA). A corporate officer of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. (TTR), Mizutani will retain his current position at TTHA and his role as general manager of TTR’s Nitto business unit. Outgoing TTC president Tatsuo Mitsuhata will help lead Toyo Tire Europe as general manager of the company’s European business unit. He will also serve as president of Toyo Tire Europe and president of Toyo Tire Deutschland GmbH. Mitsuhata has led TTC for two and a half years. Toyo Tire USA Corp., Cypress, CA; 714-236-2080.
Tenneco’s Walker Emissions Control brand has launched a new counterperson promotion to encourage the sales of premium Walker mufflers and welded assemblies, Walker Ultra and CalCat direct-fit catalytic converters. The Exhaust Extravaganza promotion, running through August 31, offers a $5 prepaid card for every qualifying Walker product sale. Participants look up qualifying parts at www.walkerexhaust.com/qualify to locate parts that are eligible for the promotion. Tenneco, Monroe, MI; 734-243-8000.