Southern California People & Places - March 2013


PPG’s custom-painted, 75-foot 2007 Freightliner Coronado tractor-trailer rig will make an appearance at 20 major car, truck, and hot rod shows in 18 states this year. It will be on display at the 13th Del Mar Nationals, presented by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, April 5-7. The truck is a self-contained rolling display of exhibits featuring PPG paint products. The main attraction is the truck itself, painted with flames, colorful graphics, and an eye-catching paint scheme by PPG master painter Paul Stoll and a team from Kelly & Son the Crazy Painters, in Bellflower.


McCune Chrysler Jeep Dodge, in National City, was acquired by the Perry Dealer Group. McCune Parts Manager Armando Zaragoza said that although the name will be changing, nearly all of the dealership’s long-tenured personnel will stay on board. “The high level of service our parts customers have become accustomed to isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “We’re excited to become a part of the Perry family, and look forward to what the future has in store.”  


North County Ford Parts Manager Darin Pearcy assumed responsibilities as the dealership’s parts and service director in December 2012.


FinishMaster announced the appointment of Southern California Regional Sales Manager Herb Butler as vice president of national sales. “As a member of FinishMaster’s Senior Management team, based at the Indianapolis home office, Herb will be responsible for developing, implementing, reinforcing, and supporting sales strategies and initiatives to drive continual sales and profitability growth,” Steve Arndt, president and COO, said. “Over the several weeks, Herb will begin transitioning to his new role and will begin recruiting his replacement in Region 4.”


Arlon Graphics, in Santa Ana, announced the promotion of Lisandra Torres to logistics coordinator, responsible for the logistics of Arlon’s products, customer delivery, freight vendor, and outside warehouse management. “Lisandra brings strong logistics and service experience to this role,” Ivonne Uruena, customer service manager, said. “She has achieved high-quality customer service, always anticipated and exceeded customer needs, has contributed greatly to our lean journey, and has led service improvements for our Asia customers.”


Chris Olvera has been named the new manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s (AAA) Lompoc branch after having worked for AAA for more than eight years in a variety of professional roles in Los Angeles and Orange counties, San Diego, and Honolulu. “I’m looking forward to becoming part of the Lompoc community,” Olvera said. “As a Santa Barbara native, it’s a homecoming to be back on the Central Coast and I’m excited to join the Lompoc team, which has been delivering quality service and serving our members since 1966.”


After the completion of a strategic branding initiative, Betts Co., formerly Betts Spring Co., in Fresno, announced its new name, new logo, and new overall corporate tagline, “Improving the Way Things Move Since 1868,” acknowledging its historic roots. “We have come far in our 145-year history, evolving into a diversified manufacturing and distribution concern with four operating units in 11 locations,” Mike Betts, president and CEO, said. “Our branding initiative consolidates our business into three distinctly branded operating divisions which position Betts Co. for future growth in transportation and industrial markets.” 


Optima Batteries will return to Team Lucas, in Corona, in 2013 with a advertising/marketing and sponsorship program for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by Loan Mart, and the Lucas Oil Off Road Southern California Regional Series presented by Kartek. “The Lucas Oil viewers and customers are completely in line with who and where our target customers are — the hardcore enthusiasts of grass roots racing,” Optima Batteries Marketing Manager Ryan Hoffins said.


The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) announced that 2012 new vehicle registrations in California increased 25.3 percent over 2011, outpacing national sales, which were up 13.4 percent versus 2011. “With California’s economy on the rebound, consumers feel confident again about buying a new car and there has never been a wider selection of models to choose from,” said Darryl Holter, CNCDA Chairman, who operates the Downtown L.A. Auto Group of eight dealerships.


Seidner’s Collision Centers recently acquired Loma Linda Auto Body, in Loma Linda, and after a remodel of the 12,500-square-foot facility, opened its 13th location. “Our latest acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy in select markets in the Southern California region,” Co-owner Rick Seidner said. “As always, our focus is on customer service, cycle time, and cost; with this new location we will continue to be a leader in collision repair,” Co-owner Steve Seidner said. “Expanding our footprint in the growing Inland Empire has always been part of our growth strategy.”


Fleet Friction, in San Diego, a new full-line commercial vehicle parts distributor, has joined the HDA Truck Pride group, which enhances the group’s presence in the San Diego and Otay Mesa markets. The Fleet Friction management team includes Owners Mike Buscher and Richard Harrigan, as well as General Manager Craig Dawson. “Fleet Friction is an exciting opportunity for HDA Truck Pride to continue our growth,” Tina Alread, HDA director of sales and marketing, said. “Their expertise of the market needs in San Diego and the Otay Mesa area will be a tremendous benefit to us, especially their experience with medium duty, diesel engines, and truck, body, and equipment.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.

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