Fast Facts

SEMA News—April 2018

Industry News

Fast Facts

  Chuck Sulkala
Bill Garoutte

The Chuck Sulkala NABC Appreciation Scholarship Fund was established to honor the 50-year career and legacy of the retired founder and executive director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC). The Sulkala scholarship fund will be administered by the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). Bill Garoutte, a veteran business-development, marketing and collision industry executive, was selected to succeed Sulkala. Garoutte will be responsible for developing and executing NABC’s strategic plans and fiscal objectives, membership development, marketing and administration.

Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. now offers the complete line of Champion racing and performance motor oils, chemicals, additives and lubricants. Keystone operates seven distribution centers and 47 cross-docks in the United States and Canada. Its distribution network utilizes more than 350 trucks/trailers to provide next- or two-day delivery to customers in 48 states and nine provinces in Canada. Keystone Automotive Operations Inc., Exeter, PA; 800-526-2137. Champion Oil, Clinton, MO; 660-890-6231.

Warn Industries now offers consumers the ability to purchase many of its products from and have them delivered to a Warn–Parts Via network dealer for free pickup and installation. Buyers may purchase a variety of items, including truck and powersports winches, certain bumpers and mounting systems, and select accessories. Parts Via is designed to connect brands, retail/installer outlets and consumers to improve the sales and service experience and can deliver parts to almost anywhere in North America the next day. Warn Industries Inc., Clackamas, OR; 503-722-1200.

Turn 14 Distribution expanded its diesel truck product offerings with the addition of JAMO Performance Exhaust’s line of stainless-steel race exhausts to its line card. Turn 14 Distribution Inc., Horsham, PA; 267-0350. JAMO Performance Exhaust LLC, North Las Vegas, NV; 702-649-1431.

In response to its growing customer base, the marketplace and the ever-changing diesel parts industry, Sinister Diesel launched a new, faster, easier website at Sinister Diesel, Roseville, CA; 916-772-9253.

One year after Elgin Industries’ induction into the John Deere Supplier Hall of Fame, the company has earned recognition as a Partner-Level Supplier in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program for the sixth consecutive year. Partner-Level status is Deere & Company’s highest supplier rating. A global manufacturer of engine and chassis components, Elgin earned the award based on outstanding customer support in 2017 and the internal engine components it supplies to John Deere operations around the world. Elgin Industries, Elgin, IL; 800-323-6764.

Power Automedia announced recent expansions to its editorial team and Alloy Studios video production team. Nicole James was hired as the editor of Power Automedia’s Street Muscle magazine. In addition, Alloy Studios hired Brian Petty as lead scriptwriter/talent. He will be the face of Power Automedia’s upcoming “Horsepower Wars,” many in-house editorial-style videos and occasional white-label client videos. Follow the work of James and Petty on Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626.

Heidts Hot Rod and Muscle Car Parts announced the acquisition of Chassis Engineering Inc. The two companies will continue to operate under their established brands, but Chassis Engineering Inc. will move sales, technical and manufacturing operations to the Heidts facility in Lake Zurich, Illinois. Chassis Engineering Inc. products will continue to be produced by many of the same employees currently with the company. Heidts Automotive Group, Lake Zurich, IL; 800-841-8188.

Curtis Schabath

Motovicity Distribution hired Curtis Schabath as its new marketing manager. With more than a decade in marketing, a majority of that being in the automotive (GM and VW) and agency realms, Schabath specializes in digital strategy, experiential promotions and content creation. Together, Motovicity and Schabath plan to utilize targeted campaigns, advertising and Motovicity-produced events while evolving the company’s website to become more of an overall presence in their fields. Motovicity Distribution, Madison Heights, MI; 888-773-3316.

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) welcomed Lynn Parker as president of its board of directors, following Bob Hirsch, who served as board president for the past 10 years. Parker is vice president of merchandising for Pep Boys and has served as an active AACF board member for nearly 15 years. Charles (Chuck) Rogers, vice president of professional sales for O’Reilly Auto Parts, joined the board as a newly elected trustee. In his new role, Rogers will assist the organization in reviewing applications for assistance. Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation, Sacramento, CA; 916-628-0271. 

Now celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Fel-Pro brand remains a popular choice for performance engine professionals, racing champions and consumers. The Fel-Pro story began in Chicago in 1918 with the creation of the Felt Products Manufacturing Co. The business quickly transitioned from its first product line—horse blankets—to an offering of felt-based seals used in Ford Model T engines. The Fel-Pro performance line now covers nearly every engine-sealing need, featuring the latest materials and designs developed in the brand’s one-million-plus-square-foot engineering, manufacturing and distribution complex in Skokie, Illinois. Fel-Pro Gaskets, Southfield, MI; 248-354-9838.

Bestop Premium Accessories Group (BPAG) announced that it has acquired PRP Seats, Status Racing and SpeedStrap, all owned by KAMM Industries, based in Temecula, California. The acquisition follows BPAG acquiring two other manufacturing brands in 2016: Baja Designs and Tuffy Security Products. Bestop Inc., Louisville, CO; 800-845-3567.

Hypertherm is celebrating its 50th year by introducing new programs designed to deliver greater value to its long-time customers. In addition, the company’s anniversary year events will include the unearthing of a long-buried time capsule and celebrations at all its global locations with founder Dick Couch. Hypertherm Inc., Hanover, NH; 603-643-3441.

Workhorse Group Inc. announced that Kevin Vincent joined the company as vice president of government, regulatory and safety affairs. In that role, Vincent will oversee regulatory compliance, including the areas of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards compliance, Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations and ZEV Mandate, NHTSA guidance, and state and local regulations, among others.

Covercraft announced a partnership with TEN: The Enthusiast Network to be the official vehicle cover sponsor of the “Week To Wicked” program in 2018. The program started in 2016 with two builds: a ’67 Chevelle and a ’72 C10 truck. A total of five vehicle builds were completed in 2017, and Covercraft was involved with two builds in late 2017. Covercraft Industries LLC, Pauls Valley, OK; 405-238-9651. TEN: The Enthusiast Network, El Segundo, CA; 310-531-9900.

President of Brandmotion Jeff Varick was elected to the SAE International (SAE) board of directors and will serve as board director through 2021. Varick brings three decades of experience across an array of industry specializations to the SAE board. Before forming Brandmotion, he held a variety of product-development, business-development and marketing strategy leadership roles within the global automotive industry. Brandmotion, Southfield, MI; 734-619-1250.

Highline Aftermarket announced that the company has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Levin’s Auto Supply LLC, a warehouse distributor headquartered in Sacramento, California. Levin’s is a supplier of automotive aftermarket products to retailers and automotive parts stores and has served the West Coast for more than 90 years. Hart Marx Advisors was engaged by Highline to facilitate the transaction. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Omix-ADA is partnering with the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer on a Jeep build to raise awareness and increase support for the cause. Inspiration for the build comes from the rare ’71 Jeep Hurst Edition Commando. Based on a basic two-door wagon, the Jeep Commando starting point is a brand-new ’17 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited, donated by Mountain View Chrysler Jeep of Ringgold, Georgia, and treated to a host of styling upgrades by Hurst Performance. Omix-ADA will provide design guidance and build support, and the physical transformation will take place at Truck ‘N Trailers USA in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Omix-ADA Inc., Suwanee, GA; 770-614-6101. Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, Chattanooga, TN; 423-802-7398.

Transamerican Wholesale (TAW) commenced operations at its newest of six national distribution centers, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The new facility encompasses more than 200,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space while housing millions of dollars in new truck, Jeep, SUV and UTV aftermarket parts and accessory inventory. The new Carlisle distribution center will offer TAW customers significant benefits, including reductions in freight costs and more attractive shipping rates. Next-day delivery will also be expanded with three new delivery routes to Philadelphia and Baltimore.

APC Automotive Technologies LLC launched its new replacement parts category program for light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The complete offering, covering all classes of commercial vehicles, now includes a range of manufactured components from APC’s DieselTech (exhaust and emissions), recently acquired DuraFit (aftertreatment) and Centric Parts (brake systems) brands. The announcement was made during 2018 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week by APC Automotive Technologies CEO Hugh Charvat.

Power Automedia debuted a completely redesigned next-gen platform across 12 of its digital automotive magazine properties. The new platform optimizes reader, content and advertising experiences across desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The following Power Automedia titles are launched on the new platform: Ford Muscle, Next-Gen Ford Performance, Chevy Muscle Cars, Corvette, LSX GM, Hot Rods & Muscle Cars, Drag Racing, Street Rods, Off Road, Diesel Trucks, Engine Performance and Performance Driving. Power Automedia, Murrieta, CA; 951-677-2626.

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