SEMA News—June 2020


Fast Facts

Ashton Robinson

Performance Racing Industry hired Ashton Robinson as marketing coordinator. With a passion for racing, Robinson said that her entire life revolves around motorsports and the automotive industry. “I currently compete in a few local series driving a ’15 Camaro 1LE,” she said. “This year, I will be starting my journey competing in the Optima Batteries Search for the Ultimate Street Car. So far, I’ve driven Auto Club Speedway, Streets of Willow, and Big Willow (my favorite), and I plan to drive Chuckwalla Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway this year.”

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the election of Mike Dever to its board of trustees. Dever is with Genuine Parts Co. and is general manager for NAPA major accounts. Prior to joining NAPA, Dever spent many years in the industry with Exide Batteries, NASCAR Inc. and Bulldawg Marketing.

Accudraft announced the appointment of Brandon Lowder to the newly created position of senior vice president of auto and truck. Lowder will oversee the automotive and truck industries for Accudraft’s growing operation. He brings more than 20 years of experience in product sales, revenue management and business development. Prior to joining Accudraft, Lowder was the general manager of Pro Spot International and had six years of experience as vice president of auto refinishing at Global Finishing Solutions.

Stertil-Koni announced that the company’s business development manager, Radu Pop, was named chairman of a new Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) task force for the Technology & Engineering Policy Committee. TMC supports the American Trucking Association with research, analysis and policy development. The goal of the policy committee is to develop best practices to safely use vehicle lifting systems and related equipment.

Hot Shot’s Secret announced the title sponsorship of Firepunk Diesel’s Save the Racks Chevy S-10 and unveiled an all-new Hot Shot’s Secret-branded design. The world-record holder was used the last two years to support Save the Racks to promote breast cancer awareness. In 2019, the S-10, driven by Larson Miller, clinched the world’s fastest diesel door slammer title at 4.25 at 177 mph and the 2019 Outlaw Diesel Super Series Pro Mod points championship.

Dana Chairman and CEO Jim Kamsickas (center) at the grand opening of the new manufacturing facility in Slidell, Louisiana.

Dana Inc. announced that it opened the doors to a nearly 32,000-sq.-ft. facility in Slidell, Louisiana, for the repair, service and assembly of industrial gearboxes. The new facility replaces the company’s current operations in Slidell. The company also invested in gear-grinding and hobbing equipment as well as in skilled personnel to more quickly turn around gearboxes for customers.

Derive Systems announced that the company’s board of directors appointed H. John Oechsle as CEO. Oechsle, a consumer and capital market veteran, has more than 30 years of experience with product development that led to many successful product lines in the technology and e-business market segments.

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is celebrating its 40th year serving and protecting the automotive aftermarket industry. In 1980, the AAAA was founded by a group of businesses that became concerned with regulatory developments in Australia and their impact on the automotive aftermarket. AAAA will celebrate its 40th anniversary with members and industry stakeholders over the course of the year.

H&S Autoshot announced a partnership with Steve Darnell of WelderUp (famous for “Vegas Rat Rods” on the Discovery Channel) for its welding and plasma cutting products. The partnership confirms Darnell as H&S Autoshot’s official brand ambassador. Darnell is the creative mastermind behind the motorized works of art that emerge from the WelderUp shop.

Melling Engine Parts CEO Mark Melling announced the acquisition of Performance Springs UK Ltd., based in Blackpool, England. Performance Springs specializes in the design and manufacturing of springs for the automotive and industrial sectors. The new company will be renamed Melling Performance Springs Ltd., and all management and sales staff are staying with the company.

Transtar Industries Inc. named David Haynes vice president of U.S. domestic distribution. Haynes is based in Cleveland and reports to Tim Bowes, president and CEO. Haynes brings a significant track record in leading corporate strategic growth initiatives, according to the company, and joins Transtar from Honeywell International, where he served as vice president of marketing for its Novar and Inn divisions.

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