National People & Places - July 2019
Kukui Corporation has announced it has secured $27 million in Series A funding. The strategic growth investment from Memphis-based SSM Partners will provide Kukui with resources to accelerate continued platform innovation, rapid market expansion, expanded customer services, and support accelerated growth in the automotive aftermarket industry. As part of the strategic growth investment, Jim Tallman, Executive Chairman of Innovative Interfaces and a former CEO with multiple companies, will be joining Kukui as Executive Chairman to support the management team as an advisor.
Brake Parts Inc (BPI) recently received a silver Content Excellence Award for its Raybestos web catalog from the Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN) during its recent conference for catalog and content managers. Judges evaluated all web catalog entries based on the following criteria: design, navigation, catalog content, technology, interactivity and innovation. Located at www.raybestos.com, the Raybestos web catalog contains features such as competitor interchanges, enhanced sorting and filtering, new number announcements, buyer’s guides and search history.
APC Automotive Technologies has announced the appointment of Tribby Warfield as CEO and James McCoy as COO. Their addition builds out the company’s leadership team following the merger of AP Emissions and Centric Parts in 2017. Warfield served as the Sr. Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Nitta Corporation (industrial belting, tubing and hoses) with responsibilities spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa. McCoy most recently worked for Forterra Inc. as a Senior Vice President of Operations.
MANN+HUMMEL was named a Supplier of the Year by General Motors during its 27th annual “Supplier of the Year” awards ceremony held in Detroit in May. It is the 24th time MANN+HUMMEL has received the award. Kurk Wilks, president and general manager OEM at MANN+HUMMEL, accepted the award together with Bill Peers, director Global Sales for GM. Winners were selected based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales, and Logistics.
Northwood University is now enrolling for the Automotive Aftermarket Executive MBA, set to begin on Aug. 26. The program is designed to serve a wide-range of professionals employed by aftermarket organizations that provide products and services purchased for passenger and light to heavy-duty vehicles. That includes manufacturing, retail distribution, wholesale distribution, service and repair, as well as the aftermarket’s many support organizations, including associations, technology, training and sales. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NGK Spark Plugs was recognized as a top-performing global supplier at the 21st annual Ford World Excellence Awards. NGK was presented with a Smart Brand Pillar Award by Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer, and Linda Cash, Ford vice president, quality and new model programs. “This is quite an accomplishment, and it is an honor to be recognized by Ford for exceeding expectations for quality, cost and performance,” said Michael Schwab, president and CEO of NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc.
Tom O’Brien, president for SKF Vehicle Service Market North America (VSM NA), has retired from the company. O’Brien has held the position of president for SKF VSM NA since early 2014. He joined SKF as vice president of sales for automotive in 2007 and was promoted to his current position in January 2014. During this period, he managed the sales, marketing and operations of the company’s automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket businesses in North America and collaborated on the company’s strategy and growth initiatives with its customers and associates.
Tickets to SEMA’s Installation & Gala, Friday, July 26, in Anaheim, Calif., are now available at www.sema.org/gala. Open to all SEMA members, the Gala is one of the industry’s most prestigious celebrations where new Hall of Fame members are honored, incoming and outgoing board members are recognized and pinewood drag cars are raced for SEMA Cares, the industry’s charity.
Jasper Engines & Transmissions recently announced its New Part Supplier Award winners for calendar year 2018 performance. There were nine corporate recipients named in the following three categories: Growth Awards — Aisin World Corp. of America, Cometic Gasket Inc., ElringKlinger AG; Service Awards — BorgWarner Inc., Elgin Industries, Robert Bosch; and Quality Awards — Eaton Corporation, Euroricambi, NPR of America. Each supplier received a JASPER trophy honoring their key role and performance in 2018.
MAHLE has announced the official launch of its MAHLE Service Solutions Facebook page. The company will use the platform to provide automotive service professionals with technical content, product updates, photos and videos focused on the tool and equipment segment. The page is designed specifically for diagnostics and equipment users in the professional technician industry. It is located at facebook.com/MAHLEServiceSolutions.
Permatex has been named the Official Gasket Maker of Formula Drift and will provide the gasket makers for all vehicles competing in Formula Drift’s nine races during the 2019 season. Paco Agrafojo, Permatex director of marketing, said, “Permatex gasket makers, threadlockers, and sealing products have been used for generations by race teams across the world, and we are incredibly excited to help the teams of the Formula Drift series ensure that their vehicles’ gasketing holds up to the extreme conditions of drift racing.”
The Group Training Academy has been expanded with courses on hybrids, anti-theft systems, European schematics as well as new classes for shop owners and managers. In addition, members of The Group Training Academy can upgrade their memberships and receive an all-access pass that includes additional courses, such as technical training offerings from Bosch and Standard Pro Training on-demand. The training is presented in a video format designed especially for automotive professionals. To learn more, visit www.thegrouptrainingacademy.com.
CIECA is conducting an industry-wide search to fill the position of executive director. It is a contract position and all applicants must apply by July 12. The ideal candidate for the executive director position should have excellent leadership skills and interpersonal communication with multiple stakeholders as well as solid management experience, office computer proficiency and be technically savvy. Email Roy Schnepper at email@example.com for more information.
Mopar has launched a redesigned version of the brand’s official online headquarters, Mopar.com, featuring an owner-focused experience that provides most vehicle information and customer-care resources. It was redesigned with the ability to schedule service, purchase a Mopar product, get answers to vehicle questions and more. “Mopar’s mission is to provide a helpful and fulfilling ownership experience for all FCA US vehicle owners. With this website redesign, we are placing important information and resources front-and-center for our customers,” said Kim Schachinger-Nowak, Director of Marketing, Mopar.