Fast Facts

SEMA News—June 2017

Industry News

By Amanda Gubbins

Fast Facts

Patrick Hébert

CRP Automotive named Patrick Hébert as its Canadian national sales manager. Hébert will be responsible for the development of customer relations and customer service initiatives in the Canadian market, as well as the management of CRP Automotive’s Canadian sales team. Prior to joining CRP, Hébert was the general manager of B-Line Tire and Auto Supply. Hébert is a TIA-certified automotive tire service instructor and an AIA import parts specialist.

Stunt motorcycle rider Bill Miller will ride Avon Tyres throughout 2017, as the company continues to support his performances throughout the United States. Avon will provide the freestyler pro with 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Super-sport tires on the front and Storm 3D X-M tires on the rear.

Truck Hero Inc. and CCMP Capital Advisors LP announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which CCMP affiliates will acquire a controlling interest in Truck Hero. TA Associates, the current holder of a majority interest in Truck Hero, and Truck Hero’s founding CEO Bill Reminder and COO Kelly Kneifl will remain significant investors in the company as part of the transaction. Reminder and Kneifl will retain their current leadership positions. Truck Hero Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; 734-372-8126.

Mickey Thompson
Perry Lease

Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels named Perry Lease vice president of sales. Lease will be responsible for driving profitable sales and growing global market share for Mickey Thompson across all segments, including street, strip, racing, off-road and others. Lease reports to President Dominick Wycoff. Lease joined Cooper in 1996 as a management trainee and has held a number of positions with the company, including roles in operations, finance and sales. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Stow, OH; 330-928-9092.

Champion Oil announced that Pacific Marketing is its newest rep agency, covering the Western United States. Champion Oil, Clinton, MO; 660-890-6231. Pacific Marketing, Tustin, CA; 714-836-7667. 

Aries Automotive officially launched the Team Aries website,, which features a unique page for all current Team Aries Pro Builders, including video profiles about their vehicle builds and images of the vehicles in action. In addition to the Pro Builder pages, Aries also features profiles for all Team Aries Ambassadors. Aries Automotive Inc., DFW Airport, TX; 888-800-2743.

VP Racing Fuels introduced VP Fastlube, a quick-lube concept that will complement VP’s retail branding program for gas stations and convenience stores. While standalone facilities are the primary focus of the program, others will be incorporated into VP-branded stations. VP also recently announced a long-term trademark license agreement with Maverick Performance Products LLC to market, manufacture and sell VP-branded lubricants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Maverick will service VP Fastlube facilities with bulk and packaged VP-branded lubricants. VP Racing Fuels, Elmendorf, TX; 210-635-7744.

Holley announced the addition of EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona, where West Coast racers, builders, tuning shops and performance enthusiasts can receive the same software training offered at Holley headquarters and learn advanced tuning techniques. Courses are available at three different levels: Introduction to EFI, Advanced EFI Concepts and High Performance Engine Tuner Certification. In addition, two online courses are offered: Introduction to EFI and Advanced EFI Concepts. Holley Performance Products, Bowling Green, KY; 270-782-2900.

Race Winning Brands Inc. (RWB), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, announced the acquisition of Diamond Pistons and Trend Performance—two manufacturers of high-performance engine components for the automotive performance market. The acquisition of the brands represents the first add-on acquisition for RWB and Kinderhook’s 45th automotive-related transaction. Trend Performance/Diamond Racing Products, Warren, MI; 586-792-6620.

Omix-ADA will hold its second annual Jeep Heritage Expo at its company headquarters in Suwanee, Georgia, on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Omix-ADA will open its doors to the public, offering a behind-the-scenes look at its 230,000-sq.-ft. facility. The company’s Jeep collection, featuring more than 30 of the world’s rarest Jeeps, will be on display. The Jeep Heritage Expo will also feature a Jeep show-and-shine area, where attendees can showcase their personalized Jeeps. Omix-ADA Inc., Suwanee, GA; 770-614-6101.

Steven Levine

ITW Evercoat announced Steven Levine as its new vice president and general manager. Levine will have global responsibilities that include the Evercoat and Auto Magic businesses. Most recently, he was a vice president at The Chamberlain Group. He also held senior leadership roles at Newell Rubbermaid and The Stanley Works. ITW Evercoat, Cincinnati, OH;

The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members at its 2017 Induction & Awards Gala Ceremony, July 20, at Cobo Center in Detroit. The Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2017 inductees include Alberto Bombassei, president of Brembo; August Fruehauf (1868–1930), inventor of the semi-trailer and founder of the Fruehauf Trailer Co.; Jack Roush, founder, CEO and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of Roush Enterprises; and Edward Welburn, retired General Motors vice president of global design.

Tom Hurvis, chairman of Old World Industries LLC, parent company of the Peak automotive brand and co-founder of the Al Hurvis/ADAMM Education Foundation, announced a $3-million challenge grant to expand Milwaukee Area Technical College’s automotive programs and kick off fundraising to create the Al Hurvis/Peak Transportation Center. Grant funding will provide seed money to launch expanded academic programming, including additional personnel and equipment expenses for the new transportation center.

Roadwire Leather recently opened a state-of-the art warehouse in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, designed to offer fast delivery turnaround. The new, centrally located facility, open 24 hours daily, guarantees one-day ground delivery to key East Coast markets, allowing Roadwire’s restyler customers to fulfill client orders on a just-in-time basis. Same-day pickup and delivery, including weekends, is also available, as is two-day delivery to several regions, including Puerto Rico. Roadwire, Santa Fe Springs, CA; 951-965-6390.

Michael Maines of Durand, Michigan, was selected as the winner of the inaugural Belmor “I Did My Duty…Now I Drive Heavy Duty” contest. Open to all U.S. military veterans who are currently commercial truck drivers, candidates entered by submitting a brief essay about their military service, why they entered the heavy-truck driving field, and their connection to the trucking world and fellow drivers. Maines received an all-expense-paid trip to the 2017 Mid-America Truck Show and a gift certificate for products from Lund International brands.

AM General and the U.S. Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) announced a new partnership to develop and demonstrate an autonomous driving vehicle that may revolutionize how military service members, equipment and supplies are transported inside U.S. facilities. Under the Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations initiative, AM General and TARDEC are developing an autonomous vehicle, with demonstrations expected to begin this spring at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. The program’s aim is to advance the state of military robotics while creating reliable military robotic technology and reducing operational and personnel costs.

The Automotive Marketing Foundation announced that the Tire Dealers Association of Canada joined its United States counterpart, the Tire Industry Association, as the latest association to join the Automotive Social Portal (ASP). The ASP, powered by Rallio, provides a cloud-based infrastructure that allows associations, manufacturers and other content providers to create and distribute consumer educational content on national, provincial, state and regional governmental issues through the dealer network to consumers. The ASP is free to all associations and independent dealers in North America.

VanDyne SuperTurbo Inc. announced a corporate name change to SuperTurbo Technologies Inc. The company has also named Dan Hancock, Frans Westenbrink and Andy Savarie to its board of directors. Hancock is president of DMH Consulting LLC. Westenbrink is vice president and general manager for the aftermarket, power, steam and compressor business unit at Woodward Inc. Savarie has more than 25 years of investment banking and entrepreneurial business experience.

Robert J. Struble has been appointed CEO of Directed. Most recently the CEO and founder of iBiquity Digital, Struble’s appointment was the culmination of an extensive national search by DEI. Struble will sit on and report directly to the DEI board and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Vista, California. He will lead a team of more than 200 associates in the United States and Canada.

Lear Corp., a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, announced that the Wyoming Department of Transportation has selected it as an exclusive partner to supply advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure roadside units and onboard units. In addition to supplying all related safety applications to the pilot program, Lear’s E-Systems will supply its Locomate Roadstar product with features such as dedicated short-range communications, high-precision GPS, Wi-Fi, security and more.

ididit launched a fresh, modern logo and an all-new website,, providing resources for dealers, installers and drivers. The new ididit tech center, one click away from any page, features nearly 50 tech tips covering general and model-specific topics; a growing library of video tutorials and exclusive content; downloadable instructions for every ididit product; custom column diagrams; and FAQs. Additionally, the new site features dedicated product pages for ididit’s catalog while providing a complete spec list and special notes plus recommended and applicable accessories for each product. ididit LLC, Tecumseh, MI; 517-424-0577.

Turn 14 Distribution added Advanced Clutch Technology’s (ACT) lineup of clutch and driveline products to its line card. The products manufactured by ACT are proven on the street by its customers and at the track by a wide range of champions in many forms of racing competition. Turn 14 Distribution Inc., Horsham, PA; 267-468-0350. Advanced Clutch Technology Inc., Lancaster, CA; 661-940-7555.

Meyer Distributing Inc. announced the addition of a location in Salina, Kansas. The cross-dock will have a direct feed from Meyer’s distribution hub in Jasper, Indiana, which houses one of the largest inventories of automotive accessories and RV parts in the country. Meyer Distributing Inc., Jasper, IN; 800-639-3787.

Topp Performance Race Parts announced the acquisition of Gaerte Engines. Topp Performance Race Parts, under the leadership of President and CEO Kevin Birchmeier, is now the sole owner of Gaerte Engines, which was previously owned by Joe and Brenda Gaerte. The Gaerte name will continue to be a part of the Topp Performance Race Parts business, having Gaerte Engines sold as an exclusive line by Topp Performance Race Parts.

Missouri Great Dane is the newest company to join the Vipar Heavy Duty network of distributors as a stockholder. Established in 1980, Missouri Great Dane operates out of its headquarters in Benton, Missouri, and from a St. Louis branch that opened in 1993. Missouri Great Dane serves a customer base of fleets, independent service facilities, municipalities, owner-operators and farmers in the greater St. Louis area, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. Vipar Heavy Duty Inc., Crystal Lake, IL; 815-788-1725.

Bruce Besancon
Bruce Besancon

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) announced that veteran tire executive Bruce Besancon has joined the company as senior director of OTR sales. Besancon will report to Jeff Barna, Yokohama’s COO, and will be responsible for OTR sales. Besancon, who was vice president of marketing at Alliance Tire Americas, takes over for longtime YTC OTR Sales Director Tim Easter, who is returning to the field to work more closely with customers. Yokohama Tire Corp., Santa Ana, CA; 714-870-3800.

Power Automedia announced a partnership with the Custom Automotive Network (CAN), previously known as the Performance Warehouse Association. Power Automedia’s video production division, Alloy Studios, will help CAN’s freshly overhauled brand take shape as its preferred video production partner. CAN will also be promoted throughout Power Automedia’s magazines and via its live broadcast company, SpeedVideo. Additionally, Power Automedia will provide CAN members with promotional opportunities. Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626. Custom Automotive Network, La Quinta, CA; 760-346-5647.

King Engine Bearings is now a certified data supplier to TecDoc—the European catalog of spare parts. Partnering with TecDoc allows King to showcase its data in a user-friendly, accessible format. The platform allows linking the company’s products to more engines and models and enables easy product identification. TecDoc is a global information system, providing the spare-parts market with relevant and detailed information needed to identify a part. The current base contains about 3 million items for cars and trucks. King Engine Bearings Inc., Cedar Grove, NJ; 973-857-0705.

In 1887, Dake opened its doors in Grand Haven, Michigan. Shortly thereafter, the company went on to manufacture more than 10,000 steam engines for the war effort. Over the years, Dake has expanded its product line to include band saws, cold saws, drill presses and a variety of other machine tools.

Aaron Zeigler celebrated the opening of the automotive group’s first multi-line powersports dealership and entertainment complex. Zeigler Motorsports is now located at 5001 Park Circle Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49048. The 50-acre facility features a 30-ft. mountain and waterfall, birch trees, a 300-sq.-ft. video wall, 36 motorcycles suspended from the ceiling, and a Tap House Restaurant & Bar. It also includes an indoor service write-up area and a 150-person training and development center.

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