Fast Facts

SEMA News—January 2017


Fast Facts

  Wayne Murray
Wayne Murray

Skyjacker appointed Wayne Murray as an outside salesperson who will join the sales team to call on customers nationally. He will be available to service new and existing customers on the wholesale and jobber level. Murray started his career in the industry in 1984 and has more than 30 years of experience in the off-road market and the automotive aftermarket. Most recently, Murray worked for another suspension manufacturer as sales manager, focusing on sales and customer service, tech support and sales calls. Skyjacker Suspensions, West Monroe, LA; 318-388-0816.

Vipar Heavy Duty announced that Chris Baer will be the organization’s new president. Steve Crowley will remain with the organization as CEO during a transition period. In addition, David Wanhala was named program manager. He will be responsible for developing industry-leading programs with suppliers for Vipar Heavy Duty and its family of companies. Andrei Katibnikov has been named the organization’s director of information technology. Vipar Heavy Duty, Crystal Lake, IL; 815-788-1725.

Jon Apogee
Jon Apogee

Gale Banks Engineering appointed Jon Apogée to the position of director of corporate communications. Apogée is responsible for all aspects of brand management, strategic marketing, press releases and media planning. His duties include providing direction and implementation for social-media marketing and relaunching the Banks Power brand. Gale Banks Engineering, Azusa, CA; 800-816-4396.

Remington Industries announced the addition of Ed Knight and Jon Peddie to its executive team. Knight will serve as executive vice president, and Peddie will fill the role of vice president of sales. In addition, CEO Tim Parkes assumed the duties of president, and Lisa Moses is now executive vice president of marketing and product management. Tom Norwell will transition to the role of president of international sales and business development. Ray Gonsalves was promoted to senior vice president of operations, with responsibility for both Remington Industries Inc. and its domestic manufacturing sister company, RemSourceUSA. Remington Industries Inc., Ooltewah, TN; 800-237-9296.

  Doug Evans
Doug Evans

Doug Evans, SEMA chairman of the Board, has joined Bonnier Corp. He will lead sales in the events division as director of business development. Evans joined Bonnier Corp. from Luken Communications—a national multicast television network provider—where he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In this newly created position, Evans will spearhead a progressive marketing sales strategy for Bonnier Corp.’s extensive portfolio of niche events. He will develop multichannel programs for key national accounts and drive program crossover among all experiential, print and digital properties. Bonnier Corp., Winter Park, FL; 407-628-4802.

The Petersen Automotive Museum presented motorsports icon Dan Gurney with the 2016 Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award at its 22nd annual gala. Barry Meguiar presented the award in recognition of Gurney’s six decades of achievement in racing as a driver, team owner and manufacturer as well as his contributions to engineering, safety and even the space program. Gurney accepted the award via a video that was shown to the capacity crowd at the gala. Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; 323-964-6320.

The Marx Group—a full-service agency for the automotive aftermarket—announced the launch of its corporate rebranding. Long known to the industry as The Marx Group, the company has simplified its name to Marx Group and launched a new website at, featuring a new logo. Visitors to the website will find it easy to navigate, allowing them to access information about the agency’s services and portfolio of work. The new website is fully responsive on all devices. Marx Group, San Rafael, CA; 415-453-0844.

Power Automedia is expanding its all-Ford magazine StangTV into two new magazines: FordMuscle and FordNXT. To lead the new titles, Power Automedia hired magazine industry veteran Steve Turner as executive editor. will cater to traditional Ford performance—Fox Mustangs and earlier, more traditional Ford hot rods. It will feature engine tech ranging from the pushrod 5.0L to three-valve and earlier Modulars. Both magazines will feature Ford tech articles, car features, event coverage, the latest industry news and the scoop on the newest and hottest products. Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626.

Flex-a-lite hired Alan Beals and Lowell Klapperich as sales account managers and Michael Clifton as manufacturing manager. Beals brings more than 30 years of automotive sales experience to this new position as eastern North American sales account manager. Klapperich joins Flex-a-lite as the western North American sales account manager with 25 years of experience. New Fife Plant Manager Clifton has 30 years of production and manufacturing experience. Flex-a-lite Consolidated, Fife, WA; 253-92-2700.

Maverick Performance Products (MPP) announced a long-term trademark licensing agreement with VP Racing Fuels to market, manufacture and sell VP-branded lubricants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The agreement comes on the heels of VP’s recent introduction of VP Racing Lubricants—a family of professional-grade racing oils, high-performance motor oils, engine break-in oils, assembly lube and high-performance gear oils. The product line will boast an initial portfolio of more than 90 SKUs, available early in the first quarter of 2017. With the agreement, MPP will manufacture VP Racing Lubricants according to VP’s specifications, and both companies will market the product line through targeted retail channels and select wholesale petroleum distributors, according to Shane Terry, managing director of Maverick Performance Products. VP Racing Fuels Inc., Elmendorf, TX; 210-635-7744.

Transamerican Auto Parts announced that the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) is now a preferred partner in the management and distribution of product data for its Pro Comp, Rubicon Express, Smittybilt, LRG, G2 Axle & Gear and Poison Spyder brands. Additionally, the SDC provides product data to power Transamerican Wholesale’s warehouse systems and 4 Wheel Parts retail stores’ points of sale and websites. Industry owned and operated, the SDC offers a full range of product data-management services and support. Transamerican Autoparts LLC, Compton, CA; 310-900-5500.

Thermo-Tec announced a new advertising agency of record—Performance Business Media. The two companies have worked together closely over the past year. The marketing firm has designed and trafficked all creative on behalf of Thermo-Tec since November 2015. Performance Business Media now handles all strategy, buying, reconciling and creative for Thermo-Tec. Thermo-Tec, Greenwich, OH; 419-962-4556. Performance Business Media, Lafayette, CO; 303-219-7575.

Yakima Products Inc. is partnering with JAC Products Inc. to provide integrated rack solutions to global vehicle manufacturers. On behalf of Yakima, JAC Products will manage relationships with a select group of automotive vehicle manufacturers and drive innovative solutions to market as a development partner. Yakima Products Inc., Lake Oswego, OR; 971-249-7512. JAC Products Inc., Pontiac, MI; 248-874-1800.

Brembo President Alberto Bombassei inaugurated the company’s new plant in Escobedo, Mexico. The facility features state-of-the-art manufacturing processes that combine high efficiency with the latest technically integrated solutions. Once fully operational, the plant will be capable of making two million aluminum calipers per year. The 377,000-sq.-ft. plant will add sales of more than $100 million per year and create about 500 new jobs. Bombassei also announced the construction of a new cast-iron disc foundry that will be adjacent to the new plant and operational by the end of 2017. Brembo North America Inc., Plymouth, MI; 734-468-2100.

Denso Products and Services Americas Inc. captured the National Pronto Association’s 2016 Original Equipment Supplier of the Year Award at the aftermarket buyer group’s fall membership meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. Denso also named Daniel Muramoto marketing manager of the company’s aftermarket automotive products and services as well as its MovinCool, Robotics and ADC divisions. In this position, Muramoto is responsible for directing the marketing team, handling advertising campaigns, product websites, social media, trade shows, product catalogs, technical publications, external affairs and corporate communications. Denso Products & Services Americas Inc., Long Beach, CA; 888-963-3676.

Xceleration Media Group announced that its print magazines will now be available to U.S. troops deployed overseas through Operation Care Package—a volunteer 501(c)(3) charity. Operation Care Package’s developed distribution network reaches thousands of service members throughout the world. This partnership means that military car enthusiasts now have access to all of Xceleration Media’s print titles, including Drag Racing Scene, OneDirt, Power & Performance News, and Street Rod Life. Military members may contact Operation Care Package via Xceleration Media LLC, Memphis, TN; 901-260-5910.

AM General announced that General (Ret.) Jack Keane has joined the company as its executive chairman. General Keane is widely recognized as one of America’s most insightful and trusted thought leaders on national security issues. In his new role, General Keane will work closely with AM General President and CEO Andy Hove and AM General’s parent corporation, MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., to provide strategic oversight and counsel on the company’s strategic growth initiatives.

Kooks Headers & Exhaust is moving into a new facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. The new 20,000-square-foot. facility will be home to the sales, marketing, logistics and R&D departments. By opening the new facility, Kooks can expand its Statesville manufacturing capabilities. With the new equipment, Kooks has the ability to laser cut up to ¾-inch stainless-steel plates, which will enable the company to produce its own flanges and cut and bend its own brackets, making the company’s production entirely self-reliant. Kooks Headers & Exhaust, Statesville, NC; 866-586-5665.

Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine redesigned the brand for the first time in 28 years, revamping everything from the logo down to the features and departments in its pages. The first redesigned print issue, December, kept to its fundamental roots in bringing to the forefront hard-hitting tech and featuring some of the fastest Ford cars in the country as well as Mustang builds that enthusiasts can relate to.

Cargo-Ease announced the hiring of Ryan Colvin as customer support and client sales assistant. With more than 12 years of experience in sales and management, Colvin will be a key part of the ongoing growth and success of Cargo-Ease. Cargo Ease Inc., Hagersville, ON, Canada; 905-768-2650.

Kahn Media announced that it has been selected as the public relations and marketing agency of record for Lloyd Mats. Kahn Media will assist Lloyd Mats as it rolls out several new licensed products and will raise consumer awareness of the brand. Kahn Media will also oversee public and media relations for Lloyd Mats and manage its product placement and promotion strategies, search-engine marketing and remarketing strategies, social-media management and video production. Kahn Media Inc., Moorpark, CA; 818-881-5246.

Westin Automotive Products Inc. added Kunzman & Associates as its newest rep agency, covering the eastern region and parts of the midwest region of the United States. The company added two regional managers and district sales support to its Westin sales team. Junior Calvert was promoted to director of national accounts covering Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas as well as the OEM and national accounts. Mike Stickney was promoted to national sales manager. David Crockett is the new eastern regional and Canada sales manager. Jason Morrison is the new western region sales manager. As western district sales representative, Cameron Quiroz will assist Morrison in his territory. Westin Automotive Products Inc., San Dimas, CA; 626-960-6762.

Permatex unveiled a new, user-friendly website, specifically designed to help customers learn all they can about the solutions that are available for their threadlocking, gasketing, sealing and general maintenance problems. The Permatex website,, features a search function called “Find Your Solution,” which helps customers locate the exact products for their application needs. It also incorporates advanced product filtering and search options that allow selection by brand, product category and project type. TDS and SDS documentation for all products is searchable by both U.S. and Canadian part numbers. Permatex Inc., Hartford, CT; 860-543-7548.

Creative Werks entered an exclusive agreement to act as the North American sales, distribution and engineering center for Italian-made GC Cooling OEM and aftermarket high-performance cooling fans and blowers. Through the arrangement, Creative Werks will launch the product line made by General Cab of Asti, Italy, to both OEM and automotive aftermarket customers throughout the United States and Canada. Under the guidance of Creative Werks President Bob Folkestad, the company will debut the wide range of high-performance cooling solutions that GC Cooling provides for the automotive, specialty-vehicle, truck, bus, motorcycle and off-highway market segments. Creative Werks Inc., Des Moines, IA; 515-264-8222.

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