SEMA News—May 2020


Fast Facts


Aeromotive Inc. announced the promotion of two employees into senior management roles. Johnson Barrick has been named vice president of sales and marketing, while Jeff Stacy has been promoted to executive vice president of both Aeromotive and its Waterman Racing Components sister brand. Barrick, who formerly held the position of sales and marketing manager, surpassed sales goals and pushed Aeromotive into double-digit growth in 2019. Stacy, previously company vice president, pushed Aeromotive into new markets and expanded its body of distributors.

Icahn Automotive, which owns and operates Pep Boys, has completed its acquisition of Tecnicentros Mundial—a six-location automotive service chain in Puerto Rico. The Tecnicentros Mundial locations in Caguas, San Juan Centro, Rio Piedras, Campo Rico, Dorado and Ponce will be converted to Pep Boys-branded service centers, and employees at those locations will join the Pep Boys team. The acquisition will increase the number of Pep Boys locations on the island to 33, of which 30 will provide automotive service. The company will also acquire an existing warehouse facility.

Rigid Industries announced that Brian Hosford is its new director of marketing. Hosford has more than 30 years of experience in the motorsports and automotive industries and 20 years of marketing experience. Prior to accepting his new role, Hosford was a project manager with Rigid’s new-product development engineering team, where he led new-product introductions. Hosford’s experience includes NASCAR and the Go Motorsports Professional Sprint Car Team, where he managed and created sponsorship programs. He has also been a professional driving instructor with Bondurant, a precision driver with Universal Pictures, and has driven in the Baja 1000, Baja 500, San Felipe 250, Mint 400 and Vegas-to-Reno races.

AirPro Diagnostics LLC announced the addition of Eric Newell to its senior leadership team as its vice president for field operations/business development. Newell has a background in collision-repair operations and remote and on-site diagnostics. He most recently held the position of director of field operations with Astech. Newell has been a presenter at SEMA Repair Driven Education programs and served as a panelist on various Collision Industry Conference panels.

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the selection of Larry Magee as vice president of the board of trustees. Magee has been involved with the AACF for more than 25 years and currently serves on the Foundation’s executive committee, recipient review committee, strategic planning committee and golf committee. During his career in the aftermarket, Magee held CEO/president positions with several companies, including Bridgestone/Firestone, Heartland Automotive and Magnolia Enterprise Group.

Adient sold its Recaro Automotive Seating business to Raven Acquisitions LLC. The license agreement to use the Recaro brand for the development, production and marketing of premium car seats is transferred to the new owners. The brand license is granted by Recaro Holding GmbH, Stuttgart/Germany, the holding company of Recaro Aircraft Seating and Recaro eGaming.

Racing Electronics announced that Guy Gauthier is its director of motorsports technology and development, the newest division within Racing Electronics’ professional services department. The motorsports technology and development department will expand Racing Electronics’ research, development and deployment capabilities for all forms of competitor and spectator communication technology. Gauthier joins Racing Electronics following a 22-year career with Diversified Electronics’ racing radios division.

The ASE Education Foundation announced the officers for its 2020 board of directors. The new chair is Chris Wallace, technical training integration manager for General Motors. Vice Chair Ted Hood is the division sales manager for Genuine Parts Co. Donna Schaar, AVP talent at CarMax Inc., is the new treasurer. The secretary is Michael Godson, a professor at Clark College. Lenora Jackson, manager of training operations for American Honda Motor Co., serves as past chair. New members of the board are Todd Berman of Berman Auto Group and Rafael Garcia of Hill Country European Autoworks. Two others joined the board in mid-2019: Mike Hoffman of FedEx Freight and Trey Michael of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Jesse Jones

Engine Parts Group Inc. appointed Jesse Jones as president of the engine parts distribution group. Jones has vast experience with both automotive aftermarket and OE suppliers, including senior management positions at Mahle Clevite, Dana Inc. and Cometic Gaskets. Jones will be responsible for the group’s overall leadership, including growth initiatives and strategic planning. His focus will include strengthening the group’s supplier programs and relationships, expanding product line coverage, and developing new market opportunities.

Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. welcomed BMR Suspension, a leading suspension manufacturer in the street-performance, stock suspension drag-racing and Pro Touring markets, to its performance handling category. Founded in 1998, BMR builds performance suspension products for more than 22 different late-model and classic musclecar applications at the company’s manufacturing facility near Tampa, Florida.

QA1 announced that the company moved into a brand-new headquarters, located just 2 mi. from QA1’s previous facilities. The new building combines all of QA1’s operations under one roof, providing more than 100,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing, office and distribution space. The new address is 9574 217th St. West, Lakeville, MN 55044.

VP Racing Fuels announced a strategic business relationship with Meyer Distributing to provide distribution of VP’s packaged consumer products to its full network of branded gas stations, fast lubes, car washes and marinas. For VP’s retail owner/operators, that translates to increased service levels for ordering and stocking VP race fuel, automotive additives, two- and four-cycle fuels, sportsman’s container and apparel.

Driven Brands announced that Tiffany Mason joined the company as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mason will oversee all finance, accounting and IT functions for Driven Brands while working across the business to drive continued strong performance, further strengthen the Driven shared service platform, and drive its organic and acquisition growth agenda.

Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has announced a strategic marketing and services partnership with the Utah Valley University (UVU) Transportation Technology program and the UVU Auto Expo in conjunction with the inaugural Goodguys 1st RaceDeck Salt Lake Nationals, May 15–17, at Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City. The goals of this partnership are to produce an annual automotive event with UVU, help raise funds for the UVU Transportation Technologies students and to prepare and train both UVU students and automotive enthusiasts for a career in the automotive industry.


Hennessey announced the hiring of Nathan Malinick to the position of director of design. He reports to Founder and President John Hennessey and will serve as director of design, overseeing design direction for both Hennessey Performance Engineering and Hennessey Special Vehicles. Malinick will be responsible for developing the company’s design strategy, philosophy and principles in conjunction with the engineering and manufacturing functions as well as the marketing and customer insights team.

MOTOR Information Systems will deliver its line of manuals and guides through a new distribution network. MOTOR has announced a partnership with Matco Tools. Customers can now purchase MOTOR’s collection of manuals exclusively from Matco’s nearly 2,000 distributors. Matco customers can now purchase all their repair manuals, labor time guides and automotive tools from a single point of contact.

Yukon Gear & Axle presented its first Master Installer Training Program, February 20–22, at LetzRoll Offroad in Mesa, Arizona. Through the new training program, led by owner Andrew McLaughlin, six Master Installers were certified. Graduates of the inaugural class included Klimek Bachleda from Defiant Motorsports Inc., Lucas Kowalski from Pro Trucks Inc., Art Geahr from Geahr Offroad, Quinn Thomas from All J Products and Aaron Pullen from Aaron’s Olympic 4X4.

Automotive Racing Products Inc. (ARP) has taken over sponsorship of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award, beginning with the 2020 edition of the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS). Additionally, ARP has gotten behind the Al Slonaker Memorial Award. Named after the founder of the Oakland Roadster Show, from which the GNRS evolved, it honors the best non-roadster in the show. Winners of both the AMBR (Monte Belsham’s ’32 Ford) and Slonaker (Ron Ernsberger’s ’36 Willys) awards received trophies and a check for $12,500.

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