December 2014 - Southern California People & Places

Grote Industries in Madison, Ind., has added two people to its aftermarket and OEM sales teams. Malin Lewis, who will cover the Southern California aftermarket territory, “has wide and successful experience selling in the financial marketplace,” said Matt Forner, Grote’s director of aftermarket sales. A new addition to the sales team is Ryan Taylor, who will cover Grote’s Western OEM territory, including heavy-duty trailer, equipment, body builder and other OEM accounts. Taylor has “deep experience in the heavy-duty arena, including servicing both aftermarket and OEM customers,” Grote Director of OEM Sales Kent Bode said.

Galpin Auto Sports in North Hills displayed several full-custom vehicles in the Ford Motor Co. booth at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, including a Ford Transit designed to show off the latest in luxury accompaniments, Galpin’s million-dollar GTR1 supercar, and a black-and-gold, 725-HP 2015 Mustang celebrating the model’s 50th anniversary.

Ed Pink, owner of Ed Pink Racing in Van Nuys, was presented with the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award by special guest Barry Meguiar during the New Products Awards Breakfast at the SEMA Show on Nov. 4. “The SEMA Show is the most logical and best home for the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award,” Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, said. “As a pioneer in the industry, Mr. Petersen was an inspiration and mentor for many.”

The Rally Historico Transpeninsular vintage road race of Baja California has named Mike Satterfield to the position of U.S. spokesperson, spearheading public relations, marketing, and B2B communications initiatives in the U.S. for the rally at events such as the SEMA Show. Satterfield will be racing a one-of-a-kind classic Austin-Healey in the 1,100-mile road race in May 2015, along with his co-driver AJ Anderson, and will also be part of a film project about the race debuting at the AutoMoto Film Festival during Monterey Car Week in 2015.

Centric Parts in Industry has opened the Chassis Center of Excellence at its new 16,000-square-foot facility in Madison Heights, Mich., consolidating and expanding its chassis research and development programs under one roof and combining Centric personnel with the experienced team of chassis specialists and engineers from its Qualis Automotive division. “Opening our Chassis Center of Excellence will allow us to bring our industry-leading support and coverage to entirely new levels for our customers,” Paul Stewart, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles honored three industry icons at its 2014 Bold Moves Gala benefit for the Robert E. Petersen Free School Bus Program: Mike Love, co-founder of The Beach Boys; Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of Global Marketing; and Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications. 

Team Toyo off-road driver Kyle LeDuc was crowned the 2014 Pro 4 Unlimited Class champion at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) finale in Lake Elsinore. “A big congratulations to Kyle LeDuc on winning the 2014 championship,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports for Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “LOORRS is the premier short-course off-road racing series in the country, and the perfect platform to show off the performance and durability of our Open Country tires.”

Assured Performance in Laguna Hills has appointed Mike Miller national director of certified network development, responsible for developing and managing Assured Performance’s national network of on-site business analysts, business coaches, and body shop inspector-auditors. “We are very proud to have Mike’s proven management capabilities added to our team. He is exactly the kind of leader and technical expert we need,” Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance, said. “He also provides a natural liaison with I-CAR, an organization with which we work closely.”

Takaharu Fushimi, a managing corporate officer with Tokyo-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., has returned to the U.S. to assume the post of CEO for Yokohama Corporation of North America in Fullerton. Fushimi will be responsible for strategic operations in North America, as well as oversight of the multiple subsidiaries and business units responsible for sales and marketing, OE business, and manufacturing.

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) is relocating its corporate headquarters from Fullerton to a new 57,000-square-foot facility occupying two-and-a-half floors of a building in nearby Santa Ana. “Unlike other companies that moved out of the state, we wanted to stay in California,” Tom Masuguchi, YTC’s chief strategy officer, said. “We looked at several buildings in multiple cities and considered many factors. The Santa Ana location provided the best match for all our requirements now and in the future as we continue to expand our business.”   

PowerBass USA in Ontario has announced the return of Brad Fair to the PowerBass team as sales director, bringing the car audio manufacturer the benefit of his more than 36 years of industry experience. “Brad will be focusing on sales and is looking forward to re-establishing old relationships as well as building new ones,” Robin McNeal, vice president of sales and marketing, said.

The California Autobody Association (CAA) has launched a new website for its members. “We wanted something simple to navigate through, yet packed full of information that will be useful to our members,” CAA Executive Director, David McClune, said. “We created a Member’s Only section that gives CAA members access to statewide labor-rate information and a host of legal resources, and a Member’s Only legislative group on LinkedIn that will keep our members informed of the most pertinent things going on in Sacramento and Washington that affect their businesses.” The site can be translated into Spanish by clicking on the Mexican flag at the top right corner of the page.

David Moreno, a senior at Upland High School, has won a $33,000 full-tuition scholarship for the automotive technology program at the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Rancho Cucamonga campus, offered by the MikeRoweWORKS Foundation and UTI to students across the nation. Moreno won after recording a video for a national competition stating why he deserved to win. “Moreno is a great fit for the technical school,” Sean Carlson, president of the UTI-Rancho Cucamonga Campus, said. “He’s going to walk in the door having a lot of skills that some other students don’t. He’s going to be that much further ahead of everybody else.”

Meridian Auto Parts in San Diego has appointed Chris Struempler as CFO, responsible for leading the company’s financial operations and strategic planning activities. Struempler will report to CEO Dara Greaney. “We really wanted to bring someone in who could help take our finance department and the company to the next level,” Greaney said. “Chris has world-class experience at P&G, Amazon and JCP, and fills a key need for us in implementing solid strategies for growing the company.”



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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