SEMA News—July 2018
TMG Performance Products named Chris Thomson national account manager, based in Peoria, Arizona. Thomson joined the TMG Performance Products Group officially in late March and is serving as both a national account manager and a strategic advisor to the leadership team, adding input into the future strategies and tactics of the air-intake business unit. TMG Performance Products LLC, Berea, OH; 440-891-0999.
Continental named Anouré V. Fenstermaker marketing communications manager for its commercial vehicles and aftermarket (CVAM) business unit. Fenstermaker’s core responsibilities include managing all communication, press, creative and marketing services as well as corporate branding for CVAM overall and for each of the company’s market divisions. She will also direct and manage all tradeshow activities and assist the management team with product sales/marketing activities as well as the development of sales tools and training materials, promotions and customer-specific programs. Continental Automotive Systems Inc., Allentown, PA; 610-289-0488.
Joe Meyer joined VIPAR Heavy Duty and its family of companies as the organization’s new program manager, where he is responsible for developing programs with suppliers. Meyer has more than 28 years of experience in the heavy-duty aftermarket. Before joining VIPAR Heavy Duty, Meyer was most recently a national account manager for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. VIPAR Heavy Duty Inc., Crystal Lake, IL; 815-788-1725.
Radians Inc. hired Kirstin Stone as a digital marketing analyst. In her new role, she will oversee all digital marketing efforts for the company while growing the brand in the enthusiast and hardware channels. With more than a decade of experience in sales and marketing within the aftermarket, Stone will help Radians expand and grow in this new market.
Polaris Industries Inc. named Craig Scanlon president of Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP). Scanlon will succeed Greg Adler, who is assuming a new role as executive vice chairman for TAP. Scanlon and Adler will both report to Steve Eastman, president of aftermarket, parts, garments and accessories for Polaris. In his new role, Adler will be responsible for supporting long-range strategy, pursuing inorganic growth opportunities through TAP’s strategic acquisition framework, and serving as a TAP brand ambassador. Transamerican Auto Parts LLC, Compton, CA; 310-900-5500.
Discovery Inc. announced that its auto-related consolidated joint venture, previously called The Enthusiast Network, has become Motor Trend Group. As part of this rebrand, Velocity will also be rebranded Motor Trend Network in fall 2018. The JV’s Motor Trend OnDemand digital product will continue to be available to consumers on mobile and connected devices as the Motor Trend app, and it will be available online at Motortrend.com. Discovery’s joint venture partner is GoldenTree Asset Management LP, with Motor Trend Group being a portfolio company for them.
Power Automedia announced recent growth to its editorial department. With the acquisition of Xceleration Media and its corresponding titles, Shawn Brereton has joined the team as editorial director. Brereton will oversee several Power Automedia digital magazines, including Street Muscle, OneDirt, Chevy Hardcore, Turnology and Rod Authority. Elizabeth Puckett joins the team as senior associate editor of Power & Performance. Power Automedia’s newly re-acquired dirt-track-racing magazine, OneDirt, will be lead by Group Editor Bobby Kimbrough. The new editor of Rod Authority will be Corvette Online Editor Dave Cruikshank. Power Automedia, Murreita, CA; 951-677-2626.
Brake Parts Inc. (BPI) announced that Patrick Keane, vice president of global distribution, and Dave Sather, vice president of global sourcing, will retire at the end of the second quarter. Al Biemer will take on an expanded role in the company as vice president of supply chain, and Chris Mapes has joined BPI as vice president of global sourcing. Brake Parts Inc., McHenry, IL; 800-323-0354.
Falken Tires launched an all-new programming network called “Falken Digital TV” that features content from top networks and original videos supplied directly from Falken’s on- and off-road racing teams in action. Falken Digital TV also includes product overviews, training and general automotive shows and news of interest for dealer personnel and retail consumers. Each morning, a “Falken Tire Tech” segment hosted by Falken Product Training Supervisor Bakari Howard will offer relevant information that educates dealers and retail customers. Falken Tire Corp., Rancho Cucamonga, CA; 909-466-1116.
Clearlake Capital Group LP acquired Wheel Pros Holdings LLC in partnership with the company’s management team. Founded in 1995, Wheel Pros serves more than 10,000 retailers with a growing global network of 33 distribution centers spanning North America and Australia. The company has a portfolio of 12 proprietary brands with more than 300 custom wheel styles. Wheel Pros Inc., Greenwood Village, CO; 800-959-1969.
4 Wheel Parts presented a donation of $16,873 to the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) at an ORBA board meeting during Easter Jeep Safari week in Moab, Utah. The donation was part of the 4 Wheel Parts “Round-Up” fundraising initiative, where 4 Wheel Parts customers were encouraged to “round-up” to the next dollar at checkout, with proceeds benefiting ORBA. 4 Wheel Parts, Compton, CA; 310-900-5500. Off-Road Business Association, Bakersfield, CA; 661-323-1487.
Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI) announced the addition of Brian Merz as the company’s director of national account sales. With two decades of experience in strategic planning, new-business development and sales management, he has worked for some of the largest companies in the lubrication industry, including Shell Oil Products and Penzoil-Quaker State Co., both as a senior national account manager. Merz reports directly to LSI President Chris Gabrelcik and will work remotely from Cleveland. Lubrication Specialties Inc., Mt. Gilead, OH; 800-341-6516.
Tenneco signed a definitive agreement to acquire Federal-Mogul for a total consideration of $5.4 billion, to be funded through cash, Tenneco equity and assumption of debt. Tenneco also announced its intention to separate the combined businesses into two independent, publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff to shareholders that will establish an aftermarket and ride performance company and a powertrain technology company. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and other customary closing conditions, with the separation occurring in the second half of 2019. Tenneco Inc., Monroe, MI; 734-243-8000. Federal-Mogul, Southfield, MI; 248-354-7700.
Rydeen Mobile Electronics unveiled a new website at www.rydeenmobile.com, designed for enhanced navigability and mobility. The new site emphasizes advanced driver assistance systems and features Rydeen’s new products for 2018. Rydeen North America Inc., Torrance, CA; 310-787-7880.
David Barbeau, an aftermarket business expert, has rejoined Hart Marx Advisors as a vice president and member of the advisory board. Barbeau will contribute his extensive aftermarket knowledge to the firm, ranging from Tier 1 supply to parts distribution and business consulting. Barbeau is also a consultant for businesses in the aftermarket as Barbeau Consulting LLC, with a focus on the China aftermarket.
Ranch Hand Truck Accessories is investing $1.25 million in its manufacturing facilities in Shiner and Beeville, Texas. That brings capital investment for the past 12 months to more than $2 million. In addition, Ranch Hand has hired more than 50 employees since the beginning of 2018 and is offering signing bonuses to welders. Ranch Hand, Shiner, TX; 800-366-9712.
Daystar Products International named Jim Chick the company’s new chief operating officer. Chick has held high-level management positions at several manufacturers, including Mr. Gasket, Mickey Thompson, Trailmaster, Smittybilt, Mastercraft Safety and, most recently, Bestop. He has also served on the SEMA Board of Directors, the Off-Road Business Association board of directors, and the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Daystar has additionally acquired the assets of BumperSuperstore.com, which offers aftermarket bumpers from more than two dozen manufacturers for most models of trucks and Jeeps. Daystar Products International Inc., Phoenix, AZ; 623-907-0081.
Marx Group promoted Samantha Young to associate creative director and digital marketing manager. Young joined Marx Group in 2015; she previously held the position of marketing manager and designer. In her new role, Young will continue to lead marketing initiatives for Marx Group and its clients, with an increased focus on search-engine optimization, search-engine management, user-interface design and web development, while taking an expanded leadership role in design for advertising, branding and content development. Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415-453-0844.
Schwartz Advisors (SA) acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor to SCA Performance in its successful sale to Kinderhook Industries LLC. SCA Performance, owned by the McSweeney family and headquartered in Trussville, Alabama, is an OEM authorized specialty vehicle manufacturer for light-duty trucks. Kinderhook Industries is a private-equity firm that focuses on middle-market companies in a variety of industries. The SA team assisting SCA was led by Managing Partner Keith Zar, along with Managing Partners Rick Schwartz and Curtis Draper and Partner Rick Guirlinger. Schwartz Advisors, La Jolla, CA; 858-336-2088.
Denso Products and Services Americas Inc. announced promotions to its senior management team: Steve Corey to director of independent aftermarket sales; David Keller to senior manager of commercial and industrial sales–heat management and automatic data capture; Peter Cavallo to senior manager of commercial and industrial sales–robotics; Hiroshi Yanone to senior manager of connected services; Reggie Cruz to senior manager of independent aftermarket sales–product development; Jose Ramirez to senior manager of independent aftermarket sales; and Yasodara Grijalva to senior manager of Murrieta operations. Denso Products and Services Americas Inc., Long Beach, CA; 310-952-7934.
APC Automotive Technologies LLC (APC) announced that Frank Frederick was appointed executive vice president of sales for the combined APC sales team. Frederick will oversee all of the customer-facing and channel strategy functions for AP Emissions and Centric Parts.
Hypertherm announced its selection as a Forbes magazine “America’s Best Employers” honoree, earning the number-30 spot on its list of the 500 best midsize employers and the number-two spot among engineering and manufacturing companies. Hypertherm Inc., Hanover, NH; 603-643-3441.
Brake Parts Inc. (BPI) was named a 2017 GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during its 26th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony in Orlando, Florida. GM recognized 132 of its best suppliers from 17 countries. The companies have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value or brought new innovations to the company. The announcement represented the most suppliers GM has recognized since debuting the event in 1992. This is the second time Brake Parts Inc. has received the award. Brake Parts Inc., McHenry, IL; 800-323-0354.