SEMA News—December 2012
Lokar Inc. has added chief engineer Scott Thiel to its product development team. Hired in June, Thiel brings to Lokar more than 20 years of experience developing new products and manufacturing processes for the transportation industry. The company reported that he has designed and released products for Warn Industries, Toyota, Nissan, Freightliner, Volvo, Caterpillar and Kenworth. His experience with electro-mechanical devices will help Lokar develop new products that work in conjunction with OEM systems as well as enhance the comfort and function of today’s high-performance vehicles. Lokar Inc., Knoxville, TN; 877-469-7440.
Hypertech Inc. hired Chris Fairless to its direct sales team as the western regional sales manager. Fairless will provide sales, service and marketing support to Hypertech customers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, along with additional travel/training responsibilities across the United States and western Canada. Fairless has more than 33 years of industry experience as a manufacturers’ representative, in performance retail sales and working with the performance manufacturing segment of the automotive industry. Fairless represented the Hypertech product line on the West Coast for more than 12 years as a territory sales representative. Hypertech, Bartlett, TN; 901-382-8888.
Parnelli Jones, legendary race car driver and winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1963, will be part of the 28th annual edition of the Motorsports 2013 Race Car and Trade Show, January 18–20, 2013, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks, Pennsylvania. Jones’ memoir, As a Matter of Fact, I AM Parnelli Jones, is being written with well-known writer Bones Bourcier and reportedly will be published by Coastal 181 in late fall. Both Jones and Bourcier will be at the Show on Saturday, January 19, to do a question-and-answer session that will allow attendees to learn more about the fantastic career of Jones. Bourcier and Jones will also spend time meeting with fans and autographing copies of the new book, which will be available at the Coastal 181 display.
Former race car driver Tom Gloy won the Goodguys 2012 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award for his Brizio Street Rods-built ’32 Ford roadster during the Goodguys 2nd Wix Filters Speedway Nationals. The roadster was conceived during a conversation between Roy Brizio and Gloy as the two drove to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The talk resulted in a challenge to build a channeled, traditionally styled roadster that Gloy could drive low and fast. The top five finalists for the Goodguys 2012 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award included Gloy, Incline Village, Nevada; Keith Hill, Bixby, Oklahoma (’34 Ford); Tim Kirby, Fountain Hills, Arizona (’33 Ford); Henry Richards, Mansfield, Ohio (’32 Ford); and Larry Christensen, Arvada, Colorado (’32 Ford).
A&A Midwest Auto Wrecking launched www.aamidwestautowrecking.com a new website. The company reported that the website includes new graphics and increased navigation functions, and it explains the automotive export salvage business that A&A operates in an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility in the Chicago suburb of Blue, Illinois.
Dale Dobies, exhibit manager for Mr. Gasket/Prestolite Performance, announced that he will retire on December 31. He has coordinated all trade shows, customer open houses, car shows and racing events for Mr. Gasket/Prestolite Performance for the past 17 years. Dobies first started in the tradeshow business 37 years ago with TRW Automotive Replacement Division in Cleveland, Ohio. His plans for retirement include getting started on a car in his garage in need of restoration, attending swap meets, going on a quest to find the perfect amber ale and helping his daughter in her art studio outside of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Gasket/Prestolite Performance, Cleveland, OH; 216-688-8300.
Automotive parts supplier Hella recently changed its brand message. The new message, “Technology With Vision,” replaced the company’s 20-year slogan, “Ideas Today for the Cars of Tomorrow.” Hella reported that the new slogan will be gradually introduced worldwide and that the company plans to combine the slogan with the Hella logo in the near future. Hella, Peachtree City, GA; 770-631-7557.
Scosche Industries entered into a new consumer technology partnership with Tint World. Tint World locations now offer Scosche’s line of consumer tech, car audio and portable electronics. “By integrating Scosche’s consumer tech accessories, Tint World will be able to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all of their needs,” said Vince Alves, executive vice president of Scosche Industries. “We want to help companies like Tint World stay at the forefront of consumer technology trends, and we’re excited to offer our products at more specialty retailers.” Scosche Industries, Oxnard, CA; 805-486-4450.
Classic Industries announced that it has partnered with automotive designer Chip Foose to relaunch the “Overhaulin’” TV series. Classic Industries is a restoration partner for the series, including the first episode of the season that featured a ’65 Impala. The revived series made its debut on October 1 on Discovery and is aired on Discovery’s Velocity network for the fall 2012 television season. “‘Overhaulin’’ was a truly important show that pushed automotive restoration to the forefront of TV and put the musclecar hobby in front of a new audience,” said Jeff Leonard, CEO of Classic Industries. “We’re proud to work with Chip Foose to bring ‘Overhaulin’’ back to the air.” Classic Industries, Huntington Beach, CA; 714-847-6887 x5215.
The SPEED TV series “Chop Cut Rebuild” has partnered with DS Media to create a new online web series that began in December. “Chop Cut Rebuild” Online will provide a weekend-warriors’ look at automotive repairs and upgrades. According to the producers of the show, the new online web episodes feature simple and cost-effective projects using aftermarket bolt-on parts. The ccr.tv website will also be refurbished to showcase the new online series as well as additional news and articles. The web videos will primarily focus on the installation and understanding of how to enhance a vehicle’s performance and appearance. DS Media, Corona, CA; 714-334-5799.
Delta Kits reported that longtime company advocate Brian Fenner of Safe Glass Technologies took home the gold medal in the 2012 Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics. As a previous 2008 and 2009 gold medal winner, Fenner went against 10 of the world’s best repair technicians using Delta Kit products. Fenner’s first-place victory earned him a trophy, a gold medal and a check for $10,000. Delta Kits, Eugene, OR; 541-345-8554.
Wilwood Engineering added Dave Brzozowski—a motorsports veteran with more than 33 years of involvement in USAC, World of Outlaws, CART, Champ Car and IRL—to the company’s outside sales team. Brzozowski’s résumé includes working as a mechanic in World of Outlaws, chief mechanic in CART, Champ Car and USAC, Team Manager in Champ Car and IRL, engine builder for Ilmor Mercedes (VDS) Champ Car and, most recently, director of competition for USAC. Brzozowski will support Wilwood’s technical sales effort out of his office in Indianapolis. Wilwood Engineering, Camarillo, CA; 805-388-1188.
Identifix Inc. has named Richard J. Gunderson as its new vice president of business development. He will be responsible for the implementation of the company’s long-term strategic business plan, including expansion into new markets overseas and in the United States, product development and extending sales channels. Identifix reported that Gunderson brings a wealth of expertise to his new position, including his abilities to form strategic alliances, develop and implement new programs and to support market expansion. His most recent position was vice president and general manager at Autodata Publications.
GrindMedia, Source Interlink Media’s sports group, reported that it is acquiring Dirt Sports and Off-Road Industry magazines and related assets from Ryan Communications Group. Jim Ryan will head up the newly formed Dirt Sports Group that will also include current GrindMedia market-leading brands of Dirt Rider, ATV Rider, Endurocross and Motocross.com. GrindMedia also produces leading titles, such as Surfer, Snowboarder and Powder; websites such as grindtv.com and newschoolers.com; and events such as Surfer Poll and Superpark. Source Interlink Media, El Segundo, CA; 310-531-9900.
A&A Midwest Cores announced that it has a new website, www.aamidwestcores.com. The company reported that the graphics and navigation functions are improved, and that visitors will learn the value of A&A Midwest’s engine, transmissions and internal parts cores.
WyoTech has appointed John Allen to the position of vice president of the Long Beach campus, where he will provide administrative and leadership support to the students and staff. WyoTech reported that Allen has 19 years of experience in the automotive industry. His automotive career began when he became general manager at Strauss Auto, a full-service auto parts and tire chain in New Jersey. In 1999, he was hired as a store manager for EZ Lube, where he moved from managerial positions to vice president of operations and finally vice president of compliance in 2010. WyoTech-Long Beach, Long Beach, CA; 562-624-9530.
Firestone Industrial Products hired Volker Muschel to lead the company’s worldwide automotive OEM sales division. Based in Germany, Muschel is responsible for sales of Firestone’s Airide air springs to strategic light-duty accounts. Prior to joining Firestone, Muschel served as sales manager at Tenneco Automotive for the company’s emissions control product division in Edenkoben, Germany. He also previously worked as the business manager for Peak North America in Troy, Michigan. Firestone Industrial Products, Indianapolis, IN; 800-247-4337.
Infiniti announced that it selected JMPR Public Relations as the agency of record of its products and communications efforts in the United States. JMPR is responsible for media relations activities and will provide strategic brand-building counsel as Infiniti broadens its product line and presence in the performance luxury segment. Infiniti and JMPR will work together to develop and implement creative lifestyle public relations campaigns designed to help Infiniti reach new audiences, utilizing vehicles such as the Infiniti JX. JMPR will also help ramp up communication efforts for Infiniti’s upcoming zero-emissions luxury sedan. JMPR Public Relations, Woodland Hills, CA; 818-992-4353.