Race Winning Brands (RWB) named Ross Berlanga director of advertising. Berlanga brings more than two decades of marketing, agency, advertising and graphic design expertise and will lead advertising efforts for all brands under the RWB umbrella, including JE Pistons, K1 Technologies, ProX Racing Parts and Wiseco Performance Products. Additionally, Berlanga will be responsible for brand messaging, trade-show management and promotional activities. Race Winning Brands, Mentor, OH; 440-951-6600.
Voxx Automotive and UniKey Technologies announced a strategic partnership to bring secure, keyless products and vehicle access solutions to the automotive market. A contract awarded to Voxx Automotive by an electric vehicle (EV) maker has the two companies already working on a keyless solution for an EV model to be delivered in 2019. The partnership is expected to yield family key-sharing and car-sharing services as well as similar uses by car-rental firms and auto-fleet operators.
National Auto Parts Warehouse Companies (NPW) agreed to acquire the San Diego location of APW Knox-Seeman Warehouse, expanding its presence in Southern California. The San Diego location is the second NPW acquisition in the Southern California market and joins three other NPW locations in the state of California. The San Diego location has been in business since 2010. National Performance Warehouse, Miami, FL; 305-953-7270.
APC Automotive Technologies LLC (APC) announced that Kenneth L. Selinger joined the company as vice president of product management for Centric Parts. He will be responsible for all market research, competitive analysis and pricing, new-part introduction, cataloging and product lifecycle management for Centric Parts and its Qualis Automotive division. Centric Parts, Compton, CA; 310-933-1100.
Martin & Company Advertising was named to the top 20 list of advertising agencies that serve the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee, by Expertise—an online directory of experts for major markets. More than 150 local advertising agencies were reviewed against 25 variables before the final selection of 20 were selected. Primary considerations included reputation, credibility, experience, availability and professionalism. Martin & Company was ranked 10th of the 20 agencies selected. Martin & Co. Advertising, Whites Creek, TN; 615-876-1822.
Jimmy Dilamarter, mechanic, fabricator, car builder, crew chief and team manager, was named the 2018 recipient of the Peter Bryant Challenger Award for Excellence in Engineering. Dilamarter worked on cars that raced across the world’s most famous racetracks, and his name is almost always paired with that of his boss and long-time friend, Parnelli Jones. Dilamarter’s work on race cars with the “Vel’s Parnelli Jones” logo on them includes victories at the Indianapolis 500 and a host of other races.
ACL Distribution named Larry Berger Jr. product manager for the company’s new line of Ajusa-brand gaskets. Berger will be responsible for the gasket line distribution—including selling, marketing and procurement—in the United States and Canada and will also oversee the sales activities of ACL’s sales rep force. Berger joins ACL from Heartland Sales.
Premium Guard Inc. (PGI) reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Auto 7 Inc. PGI will move the entire Auto 7 inventory into its main distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee, to consolidate operations and logistics. For the past three years, Patrick Sommerfeld served as Auto 7’s vice president of sales and has now joined the PGI team as director of Auto 7.
Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI) named Carmen Fiordirosa director of e-commerce. She joined LSI in July and plans to work remotely from Chicago. In the newly created role, Fiordirosa will collaborate with cross-functional partners to grow e-commerce sales for multiple markets by ensuring a consistent brand message, robust content and online account support. Lubrication Specialties Inc., Mt. Gilead, OH; 800-341-6516.
CRP Automotive announced the retirement of longtime National Sales Director Dennis Losey, who joined CRP Automotive in 2008 and played a major role in growing its domestic warehouse distributor business in the United States. He will continue to work with the CRP team on special projects through the end of 2018. CRP Automotive also named Todd Gilbert business development manager for its OES business. He will be responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities for the company’s products.
In conjunction with its first-year anniversary, Get’m Garage announced the acquisition of MaxJet, a subsidiary of the COMP Performance Group based in Memphis, Tennessee. The carburetor and tuning products manufacturer will incorporate the traditional MaxJet “hex” jets, the MaxJet Phillips jets and the MaxJet Junior jets into its Get’m Garage brand. MaxJet products will continue to be made in the United States. Get’m Garage, Winter Park, FL; 904-509-0329. Comp Performance Group, Memphis, TN; 901-795-2400.
Covercraft Industries LLC named Donna Henson vice president of finance. Henson previously operated as the company’s controller from 2013–2017 and returns to Covercraft in her new role after serving as treasury services supervisor at Western Farmers Electric Cooperative from 2017–2018. Henson is based in the Covercraft home office in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. Covercraft Industries LLC, Pauls Valley, OK; 405-238-9651.
Luverne unveiled a new logo featuring an updated design. Curt Group created the concept. According to Luverne, the logo represents the company’s dedication to continually improving its customers’ experience with its brands. The new logo will be featured at the 2018 SEMA Show and in all print and digital assets in the next several months. Luverne Truck Equipment, Brandon, SD; 605-582-2001.
Truck Hero Inc. CEO and President Bill Reminder was selected to receive the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award in consumer products. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who excel in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. As a Michigan and Northwest Ohio award winner, Reminder is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 National Awards, to be announced in November. Truck Hero Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; 734-372-8126.
Liqui Moly hired Salvatore Coniglio as its new export director. He joined Liqui Moly in 2001 and was previously the deputy export director for more than 10 years. In his new position, he follows CEO Ernst Prost, who provisionally took over management of the export department in 2016. Liqui Moly, Santa Ana, CA; 714-986-6292.
A new Mickey Thompson Visualizer allows customers to select their specific pickups or Jeeps by make, model and exact matching factory color and virtually outfit it with the company’s wheels and tires, giving a preview of what their vehicles would look like. Users can click on individual wheels and tires to learn more about their features and size availability and then share their preferred products on social media, save or print for future reference, or use the MT Fast Finder to locate Mickey Thompson dealers. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Stow, OH; 330-928-9092.
Hot Shot’s Secret has a new website that expands the company’s focus on new markets identified as Semi, Motorcycle, RV, Automotive and Construction. The website features additional market landing pages such as Powersports, Marine, Lawn & Garden, and Racing, and it includes multiple product pages with in-depth product descriptions. For prospective customers, the website has a store dealer locator that will guide visitors to the retail store within 50 or 100 miles of their locations.
Motovicity Distribution announced that Jason Shatrowskas will join the company to fill the newly created role of vice president of purchasing. Shatrowskas brings more than 18 years of automotive aftermarket experience to Motovicity, with a proven track record in purchasing, merchandising, category management and vendor relations. Motovicity Distribution, Madison Heights, MI; 888-773-3316.
Fel-Pro Gaskets has reached its 100th year. Founded in July 1918 in Chicago and a brand from global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Motorparts since 1998, Fel-Pro’s anniversary celebration included customer promotions and other activities and culminated in a party for more than 1,400 employees and their family members at the Fel-Pro engineering, product management, manufacturing and distribution complex in Skokie, Illinois. Fel-Pro Gaskets, Southfield, MI; 248-354-9838. Federal-Mogul Motorparts, Southfield, MI; 248-354-7700.
Starting in 2020, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will make a transformational move to June, starting the week of June 8. The reimagined event will take the show from inside Cobo Center to a canvas of brand activation and engagement opportunities. While the foundation of the show inside Cobo Center will continue with vehicles and mobility technologies being showcased, transformation plans call for growth in branding and event opportunities at multiple venues.
Wiseco Performance Products hired Chris Whitworth as the organization’s automotive product manager. Whitworth arrives at Wiseco with more than 12 years of automotive industry experience and will focus his efforts on managing the development of the Wiseco Automotive and K1 Technologies automotive product lines while working alongside both divisions’ product development, supply chain and quality teams to ensure that new products are developed to specification and delivered on time. Wiseco Performance Products, Mentor, OH; 440-951-6600.
Tom Marx (Hart Marx Advisors and Marx Group) and other industry leaders met with Chinese aftermarket business leaders to discuss the fundamentals of mergers and acquisitions as well as marketing within the U.S. automotive aftermarket. Shanghai’s AMInsight Consulting, in partnership with Dave Barbeau of Barbeau Consulting, designed and delivered the educational program to representatives from 11 Chinese aftermarket companies comprised primarily of suppliers and distributors. Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415-453-0844.
International E-Z Up Inc. selected R&R Marketing Consultants Inc. to promote its products in the automotive and powersports segments across the nation. E-Z Up has more than 150 design patents, award-winning custom printing and a large selection of products and accessories. R&R Marketing Consultants Inc., Kansas City, MO; 650-588-3404.
Lumileds appointed Tina Smith national sales manager for the traditional U.S. aftermarket. In that role, Smith will manage all aspects of the U.S. aftermarket sales program and oversee its sales team and independent sales representative organizations. She will also be responsible for increasing market share with traditional distributors and achieving revenue growth objectives.
Service King Collision Repair Centers announced the appointment of David Cush as chief executive officer. He replaces Chris Abraham, who has departed from that role. Cush most recently served as CEO of Virgin America. Earlier this year, Cush was appointed to the board of Service King.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. announced several changes within the sales department. Joining the company as director of sales for national strategic accounts is Rob Lovi. In the commercial sales division, Mike Graber was promoted to director of sales for commercial tires. Bill Barfield, former director of sales for commercial tires, has taken on the new role of corporate training manager. All report to Randy Gaetz, senior vice president of sales for Toyo Tires. Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., Cypress, CA; 714-236-2080.
Denso announced the partnership of its Silicon Valley office with Plug and Play in its mobility program. Denso will work with Plug and Play’s network of startups to accelerate its business and technology development in four core areas: connectivity, autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification. Denso Products & Services Americas Inc., Long Beach, CA; 310-952-7934.
Mark and Dennis Mariani’s ’29 Ford Tudor sedan was named Goodguys 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. The handcrafted sedan was built by Troy Trepanier at Rad Rides by Troy. The winner of the Goodguys 2018 PPG Street Machine of the Year was Stuart Adams’ black ’69 Camaro, built by Detroit Speed. Goodguys Enterprises Inc., Pleasanton, CA; 925-218-9137. Rad Rods by Troy, Manteno, IL; 815-468-2590. Detroit Speed, Mooresville, NC; 704-731-0989.
SpeedVideo and Duck X Productions announced a multi-year agreement to live broadcast three of the most popular drag-racing events of the year: No Mercy, Lights Out and Sweet 16. In addition to the live HD broadcast on SpeedVideo.com, the high-definition coverage will be broadcast via Facebook Live, YouTube and Dragzine.com. The official schedule for the new events will be released soon.
JohnDow Industries launched a new branding campaign, including a new JohnDow.com website, product branding, cataloging, and the launch of multiple social-media channels. JohnDow.com was relaunched with multiple benefits, including a mobile-responsive design, related parts listings, constantly updated news and events information, and product user manuals. JohnDow also launched its Facebook and Twitter channels to keep customers up to date with the latest product information and industry news. JohnDow Industries, Barberton, OH; 330-753-6895.
Classic Instruments, in conjunction with Kindig-It Design, raised $3,000 to benefit the MSRA Scholarship Foundation during the Twin Cities Classic Car Auction at the MSRA Back to the ’50s weekend. The companies collaborated on the design and production of a one-off set of gauges that was donated to the cause. Dave Kindig designed the gauges, while Classic Instruments handled the production. Classic Instruments Inc., Boyne City, MI; 231-582-0461. Kindig-It Design, Salt Lake City, UT; 801-262-3098.