The Tulsa Technology Center team from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, sponsored by Design Engineering Inc. (DEI), competed in the 2015 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge Goodguys 5th Spring Lone Star Nationals, March 20–22, at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. One of four teams from Tulsa Technology Center, the DEI team qualified for the Dual National Championship playoff with a time of 32:16. The championship will be decided in competitions at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas and the PRI Show in Indianapolis. Design Engineering Inc., Avon Lake, OH; 440-930-7940.
VIPAR Heavy Duty launched VIProParts.com—an online marketplace for buyers to purchase heavy-duty truck parts. The website allows users to easily locate aftermarket products from the industry’s leading brands. VIPAR Heavy Duty facilitates the marketplace utilizing its e-commerce solutions. Visitors to the site are prompted to select a local participating distributor to fulfill their orders. Specific catalog information for that distributor is displayed to end users along with location and technical support contact information. The order, payment and delivery are then fulfilled through that local distributor with multiple shipping and delivery options. VIPAR, Crystal Lake, IL; 815-788-1725.
Power Automedia and JEGS announced a new marketing partnership to provide a collaborative marketing approach to further connect both companies with the world’s racing and performance enthusiasts. JEGS will expand its digital presence through seven Power Automedia online magazines: ChevyHardcore.com, CorvetteOnline.com, DragZine.com, EngineLabs.com, RodAuthority.com, StangTV.com and StreetLegalTV.com. In turn, Power Automedia will showcase its DragZine.com NMCA Street Outlaw project car, Blown Z, on the cover of an upcoming JEGS catalog. Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626.
Day at the Hay—a brand-new, one-day-only event—was added to the 2015 schedule of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. Goodguys-Speedway Motors Day at the Hay will take place Saturday, June 27, at Pinnacle Bank Arena festival grounds at the Haymarket district in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event will feature an outdoor show-and-shine with awards for all years, makes and models of American-made and American-powered cars and trucks. Vendor exhibits, the Goodguys AutoCross and live music will be featured. Goodguys Enterprises Inc., Pleasanton, CA; 925-838-9876.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. announced that Toyo Tires is the official tire of the Boston Red Sox baseball club. The multi-year agreement includes Toyo Tires signage in Fenway Park. The company will also promote the official tire designation through marketing efforts, including in dealerships and advertising in the New England area. Toyo Tire USA Corp., Cypress, CA; 714-236-2080.
Betts Co. appointed Bill Betts to a newly created position of president and chief operating officer. Mike Betts, formerly president of Betts Co., will actively continue in the business as chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. Betts Co. has been owned and led by members of the Betts family without interruption throughout its 147-year history. Bill Betts joined Betts Co. in June 2007 after a successful two-year stint with Protiviti Inc. In his new role, he will have primary responsibility for Betts Co.’s three business units and development of its overall strategic direction.
Brenton Productions named Andrea Nicholson account manager. Nicholson’s role focuses on expanding the company’s customer base and increasing marketing exposure for existing clients. “Ms. Nicholson brings a broad range of experience stretching over 13 years in media sales, production and distribution elements of the business, including management of advertising sales for MyClassicGarage.com and NASCAR Productions, overseeing sales efforts of competition and lifestyle content for network and digital-use clients,” said Brenton Managing Partner Jim Cozzie. Nicholson is an active member of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network. Brenton Productions, Mooresville, NC; 800-572-7798.
Denise Rondini, a writer and consultant in the medium- and heavy-duty trucking industry, joined Marx Group Advisors as a vice president and member of the advisory board. In addition to her new role, Rondini will continue as president of Rondini Communications, a company specializing in researching and writing about the medium- and heavy-duty trucking industry. Rondini has covered the trucking industry since 1982 and is a former editor of Successful Dealer and Truck Parts & Service magazines.
Auto Meter Products Inc. acquired Palmer Performance Engineering Inc. and entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Brian Palmer and the DashLogic development team. With this acquisition, Auto Meter will add the DashCommand app to its instrumentation product line. The app can turn any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet into a fully customized dashboard and diagnostic tool. Auto Meter also acquired the ScanXL and ScanXL Pro diagnostic scan tools, which will be added to its test-equipment product range. Finally, Auto Meter added the DashLogic display controller to its instrumentation business and technology portfolio. Auto Meter, Sycamore, IL; 866-248-6356.
Centric Parts and AP Exhaust Technologies announced a joint board agreement to allow AP Executive Chairman Vange Proimos to join the Centric Parts board of directors and Centric President and CEO Dan Lelchuk to join the board of AP. Proimos and Lelchuk have vast experience in the aftermarket hard-parts industry and believe that the joint board appointments will bolster the position of both companies in the marketplace and promote opportunities to collaborate to better serve customers. AP Exhaust Technologies, Goldsboro, NC; 919-580-2000.
International automotive supplier Continental announced the retirement of Jerry Gabbard as vice president and general manager of the Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket (CVAM) business unit within the company’s interior division—a position he has held since December 2007. James Bayley succeeds Gabbard. In this role, Bayley will be responsible for the organization’s strategic development and overall executive management for its commercial vehicles, specialty vehicles, aftermarket, transportation technologies and original-equipment services business segments. Bayley will also oversee the design engineering, customer support and focus factory resources at Continental’s manufacturing facility in Guadalajara, Mexico. Continental Tire The Americas, Fort Mill, SC; 704-583-3900.
TI Automotive added Michael Grimes to its aftermarket team as sales manager. Grimes reports directly to Doug Thomson, director, North American aftermarket. Grimes is responsible for raising the visibility of TI Automotive in the high-performance aftermarket segment. Grimes joins TI Automotive from Cleveland-based Accel Performance Group, where he was director of retail sales. TI Automotive, Caro, MI; 989-672-8260.
Ryan Levesque, the first apprenticeship recipient for the Hagerty Education Program (HEP) at America’s Car Museum, completed his first six months of training with Precision Motor Cars. HEP awards scholarships and grants to prepare young adults for careers in automotive restoration and preservation. Levesque’s apprenticeship is part of a program that has awarded more than $2.75 million since 2005 for automobile and antique boat restoration education and training. Levesque apprenticed with Keith Flickinger, owner and master craftsman for Precision Motor Cars (a HEP partner), to get more hours under the hood while honing his craft, restoring vehicles from the early 1900s through the 1970s. Hagerty Insurance, Traverse City, MI; 800-922-4050.