May 2015 - Southern California People & Places

Assured Performance Network in Laguna Hills, has appointed Rick Sparks as vice president of consumer awareness, responsible for eTail marketing, leading Assured Performance’s consumer advocacy efforts, and driving its online and social media presence. “The collision repair industry is ripe for the effective use of various online and technology-driven consumer communications tools,” Sparks said. Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance, said, “I have known Rick for 37 years and have enjoyed working together in various capacities since meeting in college. I am personally thrilled to be working with someone of Rick’s expertise on such an important mission.”

On March 23, 1-800EveryRim–OEM Wheels in Pico Rivera officially took over 60-year-old Capital Wheels & Auto Salvage in Gardena, the result of an acquisition agreement between long-time friends and competitors Norman Huniu of Capital, and Billy Eordekian of 1-800EveryRim. “This is fantastic for Capital customers because of the impeccable service that my old friend Billy’s company has always provided,” Huniu said. “I have run the family business since 1982 and it has gone into the right hands.” Eordekian said, “This is huge for us. The best thing about this deal is that we have added more OEM wheel pros to our staff, making a total of 24 great people — maybe 25 if my pal Norm gets bored with retirement.”

More than 300 vehicles covered the lush hillsides surrounding historic Benedict Castle in Riverside for the 2nd Annual Benedict Castle Concours. The eclectic mix included hot rods, restored classics, muscle cars, exotics, and even the Batmobile and its creator, George Barris, who received a special achievement award. Emcee Dave McClelland hosted the award ceremonies and the legendary Ed “Isky” Iskenderian was the Grand Marshal.

Team Toyo driver and defending Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro 4 Class Champion Kyle LeDuc won Round 2 at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore in his new No. 99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford F-150 equipped with the championship-winning Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires. “We want to make a statement for the season,” LeDuc said. “Everyone has updated their trucks, and we brought out our new truck with the same ‘All or Nothing’ style. We were the fastest qualifier and took home a win.  It is an amazing feeling for me and this team to start off the year this way.”

Saleen Automotive in Corona has released the 2015 S302 Black Label Mustang, equipped with a 2.8L twin-screw supercharger, bringing the 5.0L motor up to 730 HP and 600 lb-ft. of torque on 91 octane gas; a tuned suspension; special aerodynamics; and a custom interior. As with all Saleen vehicles, the 2015 S302 Black Label will be a limited production, and each vehicle will receive a unique Saleen serialization and bumper number.

Wilwood Disc Brakes in Camarillo has partnered with Ultimate Performance, a North Carolina-based suspension tuning and performance product supplier, to enhance support for drivers at race events. As part of the partnership, Ultimate Performance owner JJ Furillo will travel to pro-touring events across the country, providing technical support and guidance to competitors on tuning suspensions to match their driving style, and the best braking application setup to create the complete performance package. “JJ has continually proven himself as an expert at optimizing suspension performance, both on and off the race track,” Bill Wood, owner of Wilwood, said. “Pairing his insight with Wilwood makes for a winning combination.”

Service King has expanded in Southern California with the acquisition of Autobody USA’s four Orange County locations, bringing Service King’s total to 14 Orange County collision shops. “This is a great step forward for both Service King and Autobody USA as we continue to provide customers in Southern California with the very best in collision repair services,” Alan Saviano, Service King market vice president, said. “We’re excited to bring Autobody USA and its great teammates on board and look forward to an exciting future.” Autobody USA owner Jeff Neufel said, “This is a very exciting moment for us. I am thrilled to partner with a company that reflects our values and high standard of excellence.”

 CAWA Board Chairman Ward Myers of WORLDPAC has appointed John Dolder of Dayco Products to CAWA’s Manufacturers Advisory Council (MAC). “Mr. Dolder and DAYCO have been long-time supporters of CAWA and we are pleased he will join our leadership team and get further involved in the association,” Myers said.

Centric Parts in Industry and AP Exhaust Technologies in Goldsboro, N.C., announced an agreement between the two companies under which AP’s executive chairman, Vange Proimos, will join the Centric Parts board of directors, and Centric President and CEO Dan Lelchuk will join the board of AP. “Vange brings a wealth of knowledge to the Centric Board,” Lelchuk said. “His vast experience in the automotive aftermarket will benefit our board and company in many ways while promoting joint go-to-market opportunities between our two companies.” Proimos said, “Adding Dan to the AP board is another step toward improving the organizational capability of the AP Exhaust team, given his relationships and knowledge of the industry.”

Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), will address the CAWA Leadership Meeting on June 18, in Pasadena. Other speakers will include Scott Luckett of GCommerce, Arfa Syed of the Auto Care Association, and Mike Rukov of One Stop Parts Source. Registration materials will be available in May. For more information, contact CAWA President and CEO Rodney Pierini at or 800-332-2292, ext. 1.

Betts Company in Fresno has appointed Bill Betts to the newly created position of COO. Mike Betts, former president of the company, will continue in the business as chairman of the board and CEO. “This is a proud day for our family and our company,” Mike Betts said. “Like all leaders at Betts Company, Bill has earned this opportunity by his passionate commitment to our associates, customers, and suppliers.” Bill Betts said. “I am humbled and grateful for the confidence and trust placed in me. Leading Betts Company has been a lifelong goal and I am excited by the opportunity to help Betts pursue its next phase of growth and excellence.”

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.