SEMA News—March 2014
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has added John Sonnefeldt as its director of sales and marketing. Joining the ACT team marks Sonnefeldt’s return to the auto aftermarket from Marmon-Herrington Aftermarket Truck Parts. Sonnefeldt has 15 years of experience in the performance automotive aftermarket with well-known brands such as Auto Meter, Eaton and Holley. Advanced Clutch Technology, Lancaster, CA; 661-940-7555.
Royal Purple has appointed two separate agencies—Harmelin Media and Circle One Marketing—to handle media planning/buying and brand-advertising strategy and creative for the company. The two companies will partner to develop annual marketing plans but will split print, broadcast and digital advertising responsibilities. Harmelin will be responsible for negotiating and managing Royal Purple’s media buys across all platforms, and Circle One will oversee the development of brand strategy as well as creative development and execution. Royal Purple, Porter, TX; 281-354-8600.
Motul USA has appointed Ron Aparicio as the company’s new director of sales and marketing. A veteran of the automotive aftermarket industry, Aparicio previously served as director of sales for Walker Products Inc. Aparicio currently serves as chairman of CAWA, a non-profit trade association representing automotive aftermarket parts manufacturers, jobbers, warehouse distributors and retailers. He has served in several positions in CAWA for more than five years, including as a board member. Aparicio also serves on the board of the Automotive Warehouse Distributor Association–Manufacturers Advisory Council. Motul, Pomona, CA; 909-625-1292.
Camee Edelbrock has joined ProMedia LLC as director of marketing. She will oversee all of the company’s marketing efforts in order to promote its street-legal drag races to fans and racers. Her duties will include working with the existing team on press releases, national print advertising, digital marketing, social media marketing, sponsor promotions and much more. Most recently, Edelbrock was public relations manager for Schiefer Media, where she worked with several automotive aftermarket clients to raise awareness and build their brands. ProMedia, Santa Ana, CA; 714-444-2426.
Painless Performance has selected InGear Media to assist with media and promotional support. According to the companies, InGear Media will help Painless target the best media outlets, including print and Internet, as well as other projects and opportunities for the Painless product mix and promotional plans. Painless Performance, Fort Worth, TX; 817-244-6212.
The University of the Aftermarket Foundation has announced its newly elected officers for the coming year. They are Chairman Rusty Bishop, AAP; Vice Chairman Jack Creamer, MAAP; Vice Chairman Kathleen Schmatz, MAAP; Secretary John R. Washbish, MAAP; and Treasurer Tim Lee, MAAP.
Perfect Equipment Inc. has updated its operating name to Wegmann Automotive USA Inc. The newly adopted operating name reflects the overall parent company, Wegmann Automotive GmbH & Co. KG of Germany, which has been the parent company of Perfect Equipment since 2005. According to the company, the name change helps galvanize the Wegmann automotive global platform and provides consistency to markets worldwide.
Vipar Heavy Duty has acquired Power Heavy Duty, based in Pearland, Texas. As a result of the transaction, Power Heavy Duty will become part of the Vipar Heavy Duty family of companies and continue to serve the marketplace as a separate brand. As part of the integration, all corporate functions will be performed by Vipar Heavy Duty. Brett Upton, with his 20-year tenure and knowledge of the Power Heavy Duty membership and its needs, will continue to be the point of contact for member development, recruitment and other member needs for Power Heavy Duty. Vipar Heavy Duty, Crystal Lake, IL; 815-788-1700.
Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) will rebrand 63 of its Expert Tire locations to Firestone Complete Auto Care stores and two Expert Tire locations to Hibdon Tires Plus stores. According to BSRO, the Firestone Complete Auto Care brand received attention this past year following the launch of the “Drive a Firestone” campaign. BSRO expects the conversion to be completed by Q2 2014. The products and services offered by all BSRO stores will remain the same during and following the transition. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Nashville, TN; 615-937-1000.
Autobytel Inc. announced the acquisition of AutoUSA, a web-based auto leads and services provider owned by AutoNation Inc. The purchase price included $10 million in cash, a $1 million, 6% convertible note payable in one lump sum in five years and convertible to Autobytel common stock at a conversion price reflecting a 20% premium over the price of Autobytel’s common stock on the date of closing, and warrants giving AutoNation the right to purchase approximately $1 million of Autobytel’s common stock at an exercise price reflecting a 5% premium over the price of the stock on the date of closing.
Performance Accessories launched a newly redesigned website that allows visitors to easily find the correct leveling kit, body lift or premium lift system for their specific vehicle applications. New website features include larger product photos and the ability to print, e-mail and share information on social-media outlets such as Facebook. Some of the company’s more popular products may also feature additional resources such as links to videos, additional photos, installation articles and the ability to download product information sheets and installation instructions.