Maccabeus Top AutoMobility Stories – June 2022

  • Jim Browning Jr. Named President of Ultimate Headers
  • Auto Care Association Announces Upcoming Retirements
  • Beep Appoints Simon West as Chief Experience Officer
  • Stellantis, LG Energy name joint venture NextStar, tap Danies Lee as CEO
  • VP Racing Fuels Promotes Bruce Hendel to SVP, Global Sales
  • Ben Stanley Joins Alliance Information Technology Team
  • Toyota’s Bob Carter to retire as N.A. sales boss; Jack Hollis to succeed him
  • David Castillo Named VP of National Accounts at AMALIE Oil Co.
  • Shopmonkey Welcomes Jeff Haynie as Chief Technology Officer
  • Former Santander exec Josh Baer named AutoFi president
  • Scania Appoints Camilla Dewoon Head of Communications and Sustainability
  • Walter Moore Joins Stertil-Koni as Marketing Manager
  • Centerforce Names Chris Thomson National Sales Manager
  • DENSO Names VP of North America Production Innovation Center
  • NGK Spark Plugs Announces Leadership Team Promotions
  • ISN Promotes Pete Peterson to President of US Division
  • Ferrari names luxury goods executive Carla Liuni its chief brand officer
  • Cooper Standard Promotes Amy Kulikowski
  • CVG Announces 2 New Executive Appointments
  • Ammie Forrister Appointed CEO of Roadwire Inc.
  • Blink Charging agrees to buy SemaConnect for $200 million
  • Volvo shuffles executive ranks
  • SuperSprings International Announces Adam Weisner as President
  • NABC Welcomes Alan Scrimager to Board of Directors
  • Advantage Parts Names UK Commercial Director
  • Mercedes names McKinsey exec Paul Gao chief strategy officer
  • TBC Announces Brian Maciak to Lead Big O Tires Team
  • Shyft Group Names VP, Investor Relations and Group Treasurer
  • Toyota brings back former exec Julie Hamp as media adviser to President Akio Toyoda
  • Ford’s Matt VanDyke leaving company, named president of digital marketing vendor
  • QUANTRON Names Utz Rachner as Global Sales Director
  • HDA Truck Pride Announces Leadership Expansion
  • Dean Stoneley to Lead FordDirect as CEO
  • Safelite Appoints Christina Pletnewski CMO
  • Volta Inc. Appoints Yifan Tang as CTO
  • High Bar Brands Appoints 2 to New Roles
  • Spartech Announces Three New Team Members
  • Hankook Tire America President To Step Down July 1
  • Horizon Global Announces Appointment of Jian James Zhou as CFO
  • Norbert Nusterer Leaving Cummins After 25 Distinguished Years
  • GMB Names New President for N. American Aftermarket Business

Jim Browning Jr. Named President of Ultimate Headers

Ultimate Headers has announced that Jim Browning Jr. has been appointed President of the company.  Browning has worked for Ultimate Headers for five years and has been instrumental in helping it grow its product and customer base.  Under his leadership, the company recently moved operations to a new 12,000-square-foot facility in Berea, Ohio. Prior to joining Ultimate Headers, Browning worked in the oil and gas industry for six years.  Before that, he spent 18 years in a variety of positions at CORSA Performance Exhaust, where he learned all aspects of the business. That included new product development and customer relations for original equipment boat manufacturers in CORSA’s marine business, as well as working with original equipment automotive manufacturers — experience that has served him well at Ultimate Headers. Ultimate Headers has earned a strong reputation for its unique, patented flange designs, which are made of premium 321-grade stainless steel tubing to withstand high temperatures, while also offering offer tight radius bends.  The company was founded by Jim Browning Sr., who also founded CORSA Performance Exhaust. The company’s cutting-edge header design has also redefined the boundaries of header performance and style by integrating the first-ever 3D engineered flanges, designed for maximum performance and minimal weight. The company specializes in products for Chevy LS & LT engines, as well as late-model Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang models. Ultimate Headers also offers a builder’s kit, with all the components necessary to build custom headers with 321-stainless header tubing, unique cast flanges and tight-radius header elbows.  Source: Aftermarket News

Auto Care Association Announces Upcoming Retirements

The Auto Care Association today announced the upcoming retirements of five individuals who together have contributed 83 years of service to the association and a collective 162 years of service to the automotive aftermarket industry as a whole. Paul Fiore, senior director, government affairs; Bert Hogeman, general counsel; Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, regulatory and government affairs; Larry Northup, executive director, AWDA; and Joe Register, vice president, emerging technologies, all plan to retire this year. Fiore joined the Auto Care Association in 2011 as the director of government affairs. In 2016, he was promoted to his current role as senior director of government affairs. During his time with the Auto Care Association, Fiore assisted in the Right to Repair efforts in Massachusetts early on, eventually gaining momentum across the country and all the way to Capitol Hill. Fiore assisted the association’s government affairs team in significantly growing awareness and respect from legislators and staffers for the auto care industry in general, and the Auto Care Association in particular, culminating with introduction of the “Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair” (REPAIR) Act earlier this year. He will be retiring from his role at the end of August. Read Paul Fiore’s full retirement announcement here. Hogeman joined the Auto Care Association in 2019 and in his three years has provided legal expertise on multiple major projects involving the strength and future success of the association and auto care industry at large. In his role as general counsel, Hogeman advised executives, senior management and the board of directors on all legal matters including legal rights, potential liabilities and the potential impact of new or existing laws and regulations. Hogeman also participated with and advised the association’s government relations team in the development and advocacy of its legislative and regulatory initiatives. Most notably, Hogeman provided legal support and input to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts attorney general and for implementation planning for the Massachusetts Right to Repair law. He will be retiring from his role by the end of the year. Read Bert Hogeman’s full retirement announcement here. Lowe has been with the Auto Care Association and previously with the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA) for nearly 40 years. In his most recent role as senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs, Lowe oversaw the Auto Care Association’s federal and state legislative and regulatory efforts, which focus on a wide range of environmental, vehicle safety, workplace-health and safety and international trade issues. Lowe also served as liaison to the Upholstery and Trim International Segment (UTIC) community of the Auto Care Association. One of the most significant achievements throughout Lowe’s career includes the coordination on the Auto Care Association’s successful effort in 2012 to obtain enactment of the Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Act in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He will be retiring at the end of June. Read Aaron Lowe’s full retirement announcement here. Northup’s career with the Auto Care Association began in 2000, where he served as a lobbyist for the association’s government affairs department and as the staff liaison for the Paint, Body and Equipment Specialists (PBES) community. In his latest role as executive director, AWDA, Northup worked to encourage and support the re-establishment of the Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) community’s decades-long tradition of leadership within the aftermarket. Since 2004, Northup’s efforts for the AWDA community included the integration of AWDA members into all aspects of the Auto Care Association’s leadership, including the board of directors; committees; task forces; the association’s political action committee; special projects like career promotion, Right to Repair, the University of the Aftermarket Foundation; and many other aftermarket industry advocacy efforts. He will be retiring later this summer. Read Larry Northup’s full retirement announcement here. Register joined the Auto Care Association’s technology department in 2016, serving as director, technology solutions, and brought with him more than two decades of industry knowledge and experience in data and information technologies to the association. In his most recent role as vice president of emerging technologies, Register has been responsible for bringing the aftermarket perspective to vehicle technology development as new technologies are designed and introduced to the marketplace. This includes working with his global counterparts in industry standards-setting organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and SAE International, to identify and address potential opportunities and threats that recent vehicle technology innovations create. He will be retiring at the end of June. Read Joe Register’s full retirement announcement here. “I want to thank these gentlemen for their many years of dedication and service to the auto care industry,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Each of them has contributed significantly to the security, agility, and preservation of the aftermarket. Through their work over the years—the decades—we have realized tremendous achievements not only for the industry, but for the American people, as well. From securing the right to repair your own vehicles, to developing the technology that empowers independent vehicle service and repair, these men have made life easier for the more than 283 million Americans that make up the motoring public.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Beep Appoints Simon West as Chief Experience Officer

Beep, a provider of multi-passenger, autonomous electric mobility solutions, has announced the appointment of Simon West as the company’s first chief experience officer. In this role, West will work across marketing, product management and experience design to extend Beep’s market leadership in autonomous transit by ensuring a world-class user experience across the company’s software and services. West brings more than 20 years of experience helping establish technology companies as leaders in emerging and high-growth market sectors. In his prior role as chief marketing officer for Magnitude Software, he directed a rebranding and repositioning of the business and implemented marketing programs leading to strong organic growth and enhanced go-to-market capabilities prior to the company’s sale in 2021. He previously served in executive leadership roles for companies including Cyxtera Technologies, Virtustream, SoftLayer and Terremark. “The quality of our customer experience is fundamental to our vision of delivering mobility for all. Simon brings the right combination of brand, marketing and product management expertise to advance our strategy of accelerating the adoption of autonomous mobility by providing an industry-leading experience across our community of riders, transit operators, partners and employees,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “The autonomous revolution promises transformative social impact, but its success depends upon the seamless integration and delivery of technology, safety and experience,” said West. “Beep’s success in deploying autonomous mobility networks in the real world is impressive, and its commitment to customer experience is deeply held. I’m excited to be part of a team that is helping make our roads safer, our communities better connected, and transportation more accessible and sustainable.” Beep is a leader in autonomous mobility solutions, leveraging established partnerships and experience planning, managing and testing autonomous solutions in communities such as Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida, Tradition in Port St. Lucie, Florida and the City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia. The company is also working with municipalities and transit authorities including Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Jacksonville Transportation Authority to extend and enhance access to public transit in underserved and urban areas.  Source: Aftermarket News

Stellantis, LG Energy name joint venture NextStar, tap Danies Lee as CEO

Stellantis and LG Energy Solution says NextStar Energy Inc. will be the name of its joint venture battery company, and Danies Lee will be its first CEO. The automaker and battery company are building a $4 billion electric-vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., across the river from Detroit. NextStar Energy will be Canada’s first large-scale lithium-ion battery production plant. Stellantis owns 49 percent of the joint venture while South Korea-based LG Energy Solution owns the remaining 51 percent.  The facility will have an annual production capacity in excess of 45 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells and modules a year to feed the Stellantis assembly operations in Canada and the United States. The factory will employ an estimated 2,500 people. Construction is expected to begin later this year with production operations planned to launch in the first quarter of 2024. The two companies received financial investment from municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.  Lee said in a statement that he is “extremely humbled” by his appointment and that he looks forward to building NextStar’s leadership team. Lee said the factory will “meet a significant portion of Stellantis’ vehicle production requirements in North America.” Lee has held a series of global and regional sales and marketing roles for the promotion of lithium-ion batteries at LG Chem since 2001. He was responsible for U.S. market sales and was based in San Jose, Calif., from 2015 to 2018. Most recently, he oversaw the sales and program management of key EV battery programs for the North American market. Lee will be moving to Windsor in the coming months. He holds a master’s degree in International Studies from Korea University, as well as an MBA from Duke University.  Source: Automotive News

VP Racing Fuels Promotes Bruce Hendel to SVP, Global Sales

VP Racing Fuels announced that Bruce Hendel has been promoted to senior vice president, global sales. “Bruce is recognized internationally as one of our experts in race fuels and performance technology,” said Alan Cerwick, president and CEO of VP Racing Fuels. “His deep experience, years of successful leadership, and earned respect across industries make Bruce the ideal person to lead VP’s global expansion.”  In his career of nearly 30 years at VP, Hendel has held several leadership roles. In addition to his most current position, he was director of sales, consumer products, and western regional manager. In these roles, he has been the face of VP to major national and regional retailers, distributors, and race series and tracks, earning their respect and trust along the way.  Hendel is a graduate of New England College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Business Management.  Source: Aftermarket News

Ben Stanley Joins Alliance Information Technology Team

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance has announced the addition of Ben Stanley to its Information Technology team. Stanley brings a strong set of skills with almost 15 years of IT experience. He now serves as the Alliance’s manager of Software and Cloud Solutions. “We’re excited to grow our IT department with such a valuable addition. Ben joins our largest department and brings a unique viewpoint to our technology solutions,” said John R. Washbish, president and CEO of The Alliance. “His ability to manage, analyze, architect and implement is vital to the success of our efforts.” Stanley spent almost 15 years with MAM Software in a variety of roles, including most recently director of Product Management. “Ben’s cumulative set of skills are incredible. We’re confident his collaborative approach will tie in seamlessly with our current and future Alliance Technology Suite projects,” said Dale E. Hopkins, chief information officer and vice president at the Alliance.  Source: Aftermarket News

Toyota’s Bob Carter to retire as N.A. sales boss; Jack Hollis to succeed him

Toyota Motor North America announced a series of top-level executive moves, including the pending retirement of its longtime head of sales, Bob Carter, effective this month. A large number of the Japanese automaker’s North American executive team will be reshuffled. Carter, 62, has been executive vice president of sales for the Toyota and Lexus brands since 2017 and has worked primarily in sales and marketing capacities since joining Toyota as a warranty processor in 1981. He will retire June 30.  “For over four decades, Bob has been an advocate for our dealers and customers, providing insightful leadership and sound and principled judgment in sales and marketing,” Toyota Motor North America CEO Ted Ogawa said in a statement. “Bob leaves a legacy of many ‘firsts,’ including Toyota and Lexus leadership in key segments, dealer satisfaction and profitability, and sales leadership in North America, to name a few.” Carter will be succeeded by Jack Hollis, 55, who has been senior vice president of automotive operations, reporting to Ogawa. Hollis will be succeeded by Andrew Gilleland, 51, who has been head of the Lexus division since 2020. Gilleland’s top role at Lexus will be filled by Dejuan Ross, who has been vice president of sales for Toyota Financial Services, the automaker said. Carter recently recovered from neck surgery after a fall from a motorcycle, but he was on hand last week during the automaker’s Headquarters Confidential media event in Plano, Texas. Among other executive moves announced Monday:

  • Zack Hicks, 59, CEO and president of subsidiary Toyota Connected North America and chief digital officer for TMNA, will retire July 22.
  • Tracey Doi, 61, group vice president and CFO, TMNA, will retire effective Aug. 1, succeeded in the role by Tim Ingle, who had been group vice president for enterprise strategy.
  • Sandra Phillips Rogers has been appointed to a newly created role of senior vice president of corporate resources and general counsel.
  • Sean Suggs, group vice president and chief social innovation officer, has also been named president of Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina, the new battery plant that the Japanese automaker will build on a large parcel of land in the Tar Heel State.
  • Cooper Ericksen, who had been group vice president for product planning and strategy, has been promoted to a newly created position of senior vice president for product, BEV and mobility planning and strategy.
  • Mike Owens, 60, group vice president and chief risk officer for Toyota Financial Services, will retire effective July 15.

Source: Automotive News

David Castillo Named VP of National Accounts at AMALIE Oil Co.

David Castillo has been named AMALIE Oil Co.’s (AOCUSA) vice president of national accounts. Castillo will be replacing Larry Mitchell, who will retire after an illustrious career in the automotive industry. Castillo brings more than 30 years of automotive manufacturer experience to the AMALIE Team. He began his career as a territory manager with WIX Filters in San Antonio, ultimately being promoted to a merchandising manager in Gastonia with responsibilities for driving the NAPA Filter private label category nationally. Castillo spent 13 years with Valvoline in San Antonio, where he was responsible for all aspects of the Dallas direct market, as well as being named as a regional manager overseeing a team of Valvoline bulk representatives and their distributors in 13 western states. Castillo recently spent the past 14 years with Warren Distribution (now Highline Warren) as vice president of major accounts. “David’s extensive experience and background in the automotive industry and lubricants market will help to strengthen our national account partnerships and reinforces our commitment to superior customer service,” said AOCUSA’s Chief Operating Officer, Rick Barkett. “We believe his strong business development and leadership skills will enhance and expand our strategic alliances within the industry. As the largest family owned lubricant manufacturer in North America, AOCUSA is dedicated to producing quality products and providing excellent customer service. We are very excited to add David to our team.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Shopmonkey Welcomes Jeff Haynie as Chief Technology Officer

Shopmonkey, the cloud-based auto shop management platform that’s modernizing the auto repair industry, today announced that Jeff Haynie has joined the company as Chief Technology Officer. Haynie began working with Shopmonkey in May 2022 to lead innovation and accelerate product development before formally stepping into the role of CTO in June. Haynie brings 30 years of experience as a technology executive, most recently as CEO for Pinpoint and previously as CEO for Appcelerator. His immediate focus will be on scaling existing capabilities and adding new security features to support the thousands of companies and small businesses that rely on Shopmonkey to run their day-to-day operations. “As an independent shop owner myself, I know firsthand how complex our customers’ business can be. Given Jeff’s experience scaling complex products and systems, I’m certain he’s the right person to drive further growth and innovation at Shopmonkey,” said Ashot Iskandarian, CEO and Founder of Shopmonkey. Haynie steps into the CTO role to develop Shopmonkey’s ability to leverage analytics and machine learning to improve the performance of their software development efforts— ultimately expanding the platform’s overarching capabilities. “The vision and opportunity to scale at Shopmonkey captured my attention from the very first conversation I had with Ashot. The opportunity to introduce machine learning into the platform and solve complex issues that will help auto shop owners grow and scale their businesses has been really exciting for me.” said Haynie of his new role. He continued, “Shopmonkey has a talented group of engineers and a great culture I am thrilled to be a part of. I look forward to joining the team and working side by side with this talented team to continue to transform the automotive repair industry.” Shopmonkey, who recently raised $75M in Series C funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, continues to invest in strengthening their product offering. Shopmonkey has transformed operations for over 3,500 auto repair shops across US and Canada, seamlessly improving operational efficiencies and decreasing the cognitive load for business owners—its cloud-based platform eases the biggest pain points for repair shop owners, like appointment management, part ordering and payment processing. Shopmonkey allows auto shops to continue working even when the lights are off.  Source: Aftermarket News

Former Santander exec Josh Baer named AutoFi president

Digital auto retail and finance platform AutoFi tapped Santander Consumer USA head of pricing and strategy Josh Baer as its president. Baer, whose resume also includes more than a decade at Capital One, will run AutoFi’s lender and enterprise segments. AutoFi on Thurday said he will focus on speeding growth in those businesses with “transformative retail and financing experiences” which will help clients meet consumer preferences. AutoFi’s software allows consumers to browse dealership inventory and see financing offers tailored to the dealership’s preferences. It handled more than 1 million financing requests to lenders and was associated with more than $3 billion in sales last year. “AutoFi is a pioneer in the digitization of the auto industry,” Baer said in a statement Thursday. “The company is uniquely positioned with manufacturers, retailers, and lenders to deliver digital experiences that will drive the future of the market. The opportunity to shape such a large and complex industry is compelling .” Baer started at Capital One in 2004 as a program finance lead and left in 2017 as its consumer credit risk analytics head, according to his LinkedIn page. He joined Santander as its head of risk of operations strategy and became its chief risk officer before taking the pricing and strategy leadership role in January 2021, according to the profile. He has an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and a finance degree from James Madison University. “Bringing finance innovation to the auto ecosystem is a critical part of our strategy and differentiation,” Kevin Singerman, who continues to be AutoFi’s CEO, said in a statement Thursday. “Josh’s experience in credit, lending, automotive and risk management brings deep domain and operating expertise to better serve our dealer, OEM and lender customers with industry-leading products.” AutoFi noted that it hired Baer after announcing in March it had raised $85 million from investors — a group that included Santander Consumer USA. While the automotive industry has encountered numerous disruptions in recent years, the current market is presenting entirely new challenges and opportunities for auto dealers. “With this additional capital we will double down on our mission to bring joy and trust in this market by enabling banks, captives and specialty finance companies to better support the massive transition of offline to online commerce,” Singerman said in a statement then.  Source: Automotive News

Scania Appoints Camilla Dewoon Head of Communications and Sustainability

Scania announced Camilla Dewoon was appointed Executive Vice President and Head of Communications and Sustainability. As of June 9, 2022, she will also be part of Scania’s executive board, reporting to Christian Levin, president and CEO. Communication has grown in strategic importance over the years and has become imperative in supporting Scania’s purpose to drive the shift toward a sustainable transport system, the company says. “With sustainability being at the core of Scania’s business strategy, communication is a tool to deliver on it. Camilla’s experience in this field, and her vast knowledge of Scania and our industry are a major contribution to our company going forward. To have her as a part of our Executive Board will enable us to take on future challenges with an even greater confidence,” says Levin. “The steps we take to transform Scania to better meet our customer’s demands in a changing ecosystem of transport and logistics require a lot of new considerations. An evolving work life with new methods and ways of operating as well as new stakeholders and business opportunities are just some. To take on this role is truly inspiring,” says Dewoon. Camilla Dewoon has a Degree of Master of Science in Economics. Prior to being Chief Communications Officer at Scania, she was a senior consultant outside the company. She has held several managerial positions at Scania since 2004, including Vice President for Sales and Marketing in Scania Latin America and responsible for Sales Development at Commercial Operations in Södertälje.  Source: Aftermarket News

Walter Moore Joins Stertil-Koni as Marketing Manager

Stertil-Koni, a provider of heavy-duty vehicle lifts, has announced that Walter Moore has joined the company as a marketing manager, based in the company’s North American headquarters location in Stevensville, Maryland. In his new post, Moore brings more than seven years of top marketing experience to Stertil-Koni, including a focus in content creation, digital media, drone photography, graphic design and social media. Most recently, Moore worked for a society of accounting and tax professionals as its marketing expert. In making today’s announcement, Paul Feldman, director of marketing at Stertil-Koni, stated, “Walter is an industry pro who brings a deep marketing skill set and a laser-focus on customer service to our company. We are delighted to welcome him to the Stertil-Koni team.” Moore is a Maryland native who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is also a DeMatha graduate. He currently resides in Bowie, MD, and enjoys his weekends in Ocean City, MD, especially on the water where he loves to fish.  Source: Aftermarket News

Centerforce Names Chris Thomson National Sales Manager

Centerforce, manufacturer of performance clutches and flywheels for classic and late-model cars and trucks for more than 40 years, has announced that Chris Thomson will join the Centerforce team as its new national sales manager. In his new position, Thomson will work to develop sales strategies, manage the sales team and explore new markets drawing on his years of experience and relationships in the aftermarket industry. “Chris is an excellent addition to our team,” said Centerforce General Manager Bryan Wilson. “Chris is a legend in the industry, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to Centerforce. We believe Chris’ passion for the industry and his years of expertise are the keys to finding new and exciting growth opportunities for Centerforce.” Thomson, a native of Arizona, brings a lifetime of experience in automotive aftermarket sales to the Centerforce team. Prior to joining Centerforce, Thomson worked for Holley Performance Products, Airaid Filter Co., Baer Brake Systems and TMG Performance Products. Thomson also served on the SEMA Board of Directors for six years and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2018.  Source: Aftermarket News

DENSO Names VP of North America Production Innovation Center

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, has named Sujit Kulkarni vice president of its North America Production Innovation Center (NAPIC). Kulkarni will ensure that DENSO’s efforts in digital transformation, advanced manufacturing, sustainability and smart productivity advance DENSO’s “Two Great Causes: Green – achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 – and Peace of Mind – creating a safe and seamless world for all.” In the role, Kulkarni will oversee North American teams in the following areas: Internet of Things (IoT), Machinery and Tools (M&T), Additive Design Manufacturing, Materials Engineering and Production Engineering. He will be based at DENSO’s North American headquarters in Southfield. “Sujit brings more than 25 years of experience in industry 4.0, smart manufacturing and IoT,” said Dave Grimmer, a senior vice president at DENSO and head of NAPIC. “His broad experience in leading innovation, combined with DENSO’s expertise in advanced manufacturing, will propel us forward for the future.” Kulkarni joins DENSO from Wipro, where he served as global head of Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing. Prior to Wipro, Kulkarni held several leadership positions at ABB and General Electric. In these roles, he supported digital transformation initiatives for both internal manufacturing operations and external customers. Throughout his career, Kulkarni has developed and strengthened digital solutions that enable businesses to transform and work smarter. “At DENSO, we’re going to build factories of the future,” said Kulkarni. “I’m inspired by DENSO’s legacy of innovation and our incredible employees’ commitment to continuous improvement. Together, we’re going to make DENSO’s philosophy of contributing to a better world come alive through manufacturing innovation.”  Source: Aftermarket News

NGK Spark Plugs Announces Leadership Team Promotions

Ignition and sensor specialist NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc. announced two promotions with its leadership team. Franchelle Thomas has been promoted to Director of Culture, Communication, and People, filling a recently vacated position. Thomas was previously the General Manager of Human Resources NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc., and will add to her responsibilities Human Resources strategies for NTK Technologies and NGK Canada. In addition, she will also be responsible for driving the company culture and communications of NGK U.S.A. Thomas has been with NGK Spark Plugs for 17 years holding positions of increasing responsibility. Paul Abbott has been promoted to Director of Corporate Strategy, Planning, and Administration. Abbott most recently held the position of General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Planning and will continue to develop business strategies to achieve company goals. In addition, in his new role, he will lead the Corporate Administration function. Abbott has been with NGK Spark Plugs for 18 months. “I am excited to announce the promotions of these highly respected leaders,” said NGK President and CEO Michael Schwab. “The contributions of Franchelle and Paul during their time at NGK have been invaluable, and I know their insight and expertise will be beneficial as they take on these additional areas of responsibility.”  Source: Aftermarket News

ISN Promotes Pete Peterson to President of US Division

Integrated Supply Network (ISN), international distributor of automotive tools, garage equipment and supplies, announced the promotion of Pete Peterson to President of its U.S. division. In this position, Peterson will lead ISN’s growth across the United States, and he will be responsible for unifying all of ISN’s unique sales channels, marketing and category management, the company says. Peterson’s promotion comes as Mark Majeske steps into the role of Interim CEO of ISN following the departure of Tim Kolbus. Majeske moves into the interim leadership role for the global company after serving as Executive Chairman of the Board. He has served on the ISN Board of Directors for six years and will lead ISN’s search for a permanent CEO. “We have a very strong senior leadership team at ISN who are running the business,” said Majeske. “Pete will build the frontline relationships with suppliers and customers, which allows me to maintain the focus on overall profitability and to find a CEO who will lead and direct ISN as an international business.” Peterson joined ISN in 2020 as Chief Commercial Officer, after consulting roles with the company. He successfully led ISN through a sales transformation initiative, which streamlined and reorganized the company’s business-to-business channels, ISN says. As part of this role, Peterson oversaw the sales and marketing teams, as well as commercial operations. Now, category management and digital solutions will also be within his scope. “ISN experienced double-digit growth in 2020 and 2021 as the market leader, and we’ve made strategic investments in our people, platforms and programs to support our growth and expand on the customer experience,” said Peterson. “We plan to build on that success by further aligning the brands and building strategic commercial relationships.” Prior to joining ISN, Peterson held leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies including Tech Data, Brocade, and Xerox where he led sales, marketing and operations business units. His achievements have been recognized through numerous awards which include Channel Reseller News’ “Top 100 Executives,” and “Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Ferrari names luxury goods executive Carla Liuni its chief brand officer

Ferrari has named Carla Liuni, an executive with experience in jewelry, luxury goods and at consumer goods corporation Proctor & Gamble, as chief brand officer. Liuni, 55, starts her new post in September and will report to CEO Benedetto Vigna. She will be based in Milan. Vigna said Liuni’s experience in building global luxury brands would be an asset for Ferrari, which is preparing for the transition to electrification and will soon release its first SUV, the Purosangue. Since coming to Ferrari from STMicroelectonics in September 2021, Vigna has overseen multiple changes in the company’s management structure. He will unveil Ferrari’s strategy for the coming years at an event in Maranello, Italy, on Thursday. “It is increasingly critical to be able to build and maintain a relevant brand identity that resonates with our community and is reflective of the world in which we live,” Vigna said in a news release. “Carla has the experience, the leadership and skill set to protect and nurture our brand as it grows.” Liuni’s appointment underlines the importance Ferrari places on exploiting its brand as the automaker pushes ahead with its strategy launched a year ago to diversify beyond cars. Ferrari has previously said it hoped its so-called brand extension move would account for 10 percent of profits within a decade. The automaker last year launched a wide brand diversification strategy, including a regular fashion collection for both men and women. Liuni was most recently chief marketing officer at Pandora, a jewelry company. Before taking that post in 2019, she led global marketing and communication at the luxury group Bulgari starting in 2015. Prior to joining Bulgari, Liuni spent almost 20 years at the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, where among other roles she was general manager for the Prestige division.  Source: Automotive News

Cooper Standard Promotes Amy Kulikowski

Cooper Standard has announced the promotion of Amy Kulikowski to vice president, chief accounting officer, effective July 11. She replaces Becky McCabe, who is departing the company to pursue other career opportunities. In her new role, Kulikowski will be responsible for the company’s accounting function, financial reporting including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting, financial systems and the company’s global business services. Based at the Cooper Standard’s world headquarters in Northville, Michigan, Kulikowski will report to Jonathan Banas, executive vice president and CFO. “Thanks to our effective succession planning and the depth of talent on our finance team, we are able to easily transition Amy to the role of vice president, chief accounting officer,” said Banas. “In this position, Amy’s 24 years of progressive experience and her exceptional background in accounting and financial management all provide a strong platform for continued success.” Kulikowski previously served as vice president, global internal audit, where she led the team toward world-class execution and value-added partnerships across the company. Prior to joining Cooper Standard, Kulikowski served as assistant controller, Delphi accounting and integration, for BorgWarner Inc., which acquired Delphi Technologies PLC in 2020. From 2017 to 2020, she served as vice president and assistant controller at Delphi and was responsible for corporate accounting and reporting functions. She previously held accounting, finance and controller positions of increasing responsibility at Delphi since joining the company in 2001. She began her career in the audit practice of Deloitte LLP in Detroit in 1998. Kulikowski earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is a certified public accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of CPAs.  Source: Aftermarket News

CVG Announces 2 New Executive Appointments

Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) has announced that Daniel (Dan) Mehringer has been appointed senior vice president of strategic planning and business development. As part of his responsibilities in this new role, Mehringer will be instrumental in leading new value-creation by overseeing the acceleration of CVG’s strategic initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing initiatives. “Dan has a proven record of strategically growing highly regarded companies across the global marketplace, especially within the EV space,” said CVG President and CEO Harold Bevis. “Dan is walking in the door game-ready and with an excellent network, and bringing with him a gift for creating unique value by building lasting partnerships and inspiring new ways of thinking. He is going to lead CVG to the next level of strategic endeavors – it’s going to be hard work and tremendous fun.” Mehringer brings with him more than 20 years of experience in business development across a range of industries including automotive, manufacturing and finance, executing strategic partnerships with some of the most successful companies in the world. Most recently, Mehringer served as the head of corporate development at Harley Davidson, where he was instrumental in developing their electric vehicle strategy and driving growth in their aftermarket and accessories segment, both of which are key markets for CVG’s future. “CVG is strategically expanding into areas that will shape the future, and is already experiencing excellent growth as a result. I want to be part of that momentum,” Mehringer said. “Although CVG is at the front-end of their market entry in multiple areas, they are already working with and producing for some of the biggest global players – that impresses me. I’m thrilled to be joining the team, and can’t wait to contribute to CVG’s success.” Prior to his role at Harley Davidson, Mehringer served at Tradeweb Markets, Citigroup and General Electric, and lived in Europe for several years. Mehringer graduated in 2000 from Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University with a B.S. in Business Logistics. CVG also announced that Minja Zahirovic has been appointed to the role of president of Warehouse Automation. This new role was created to advance the company’s warehouse automation program as it continues strategic expansion in the market. “Automated material handling is a strong growth industry fueled in part by e-commerce and labor shortages. CVG has a small position in this huge global industry with the intention to grow and strengthen our customer roster and solutions portfolio,” said Bevis. “Minja is a leader in the industry who will provide big wins for the business and bring better value to our customers in this evolving market. We are all excited to have him join us.”  Most recently, Zahirovic served as the vice president of system solutions at Festo North America, and prior to that held leadership and engineering positions at Irco Automation and Liburdi Engineering. His proven success in business development and increasing profitability for companies within the warehouse automation industry will make him an asset in CVG’s ongoing revenue profile improvement initiatives.  “CVG has just begun to scratch the surface of possibilities within warehouse automation, so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to join the team and put my skills to work,” said Zahirovic. “I’m looking forward to putting my experience to use in order to elevate the company’s portfolio of customers and capabilities.” Zahirovic holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from McMaster University, as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering also from McMaster University. He also holds an Executive MBA from his studies at Northwestern University and York University.  Source: Aftermarket News

Ammie Forrister Appointed CEO of Roadwire Inc.

Roadwire Inc., a provider of automotive leather interiors and other specialty automotive products, has announced the appointment of Ammie Forrister as CEO. In perpetuating the company’s third-generation legacy, she succeeds her father, former CEO pro tem Dwight Forrister, who has resumed his position as chairman of the Roadwire Board.  Forrister brings decades of experience to her new role, having previously served as vice president of manufacturing. As CEO, she remains focused on the continuous growth and improvement of Roadwire and its subsidiaries: Roadwire Leather, Classic Soft Trim, Signature Automotive, Distinctive Industries and Roadwire RV Furniture. “I am thrilled to carry on our family’s amazing heritage and to lead the company into the future,” said Forrister. “Our management team is focused and determined, and our vision is clear.” “It has been an incredible honor, both personally and professionally, to have worked with the Forristers for nearly two decades,” added Dave Edmondson, senior vice president of Roadwire Inc. “With Ammie leading the organization, we look forward to strategic leadership and significant business growth across all of the subsidiaries.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Blink Charging agrees to buy SemaConnect for $200 million

Blink Charging Co. has agreed to acquire North American EV charging infrastructure manufacturer SemaConnect Inc. for $200 million. Blink, an electric vehicle charging station developer, said the acquisition will add nearly 13,000 chargers and 3,800 locations to its business. Blink said it will update SemaConnect’s charging stations to “a single state-of-the-art network” and expand Blink’s geographic reach, according to a Tuesday statement. Blink CEO Mike Farkas told Automotive News that the company, based in Miami, previously designed Level 2 chargers but hired a third-party contractor to manufacture them. With the acquisition, Blink will have control over the operation, development and manufacturing of charging stations, he said. “We’re the only EV charging infrastructure company in the United States that designs the hardware, manufactures the hardware in its own facilities, develops and maintains a network that operates the charging stations and owns and operates those charging stations in the field,” Farkas said. Farkas said the vertical integration allows Blink to produce more robust products and deploy its infrastructure more effectively. The statement said Blink will also acquire the SemaConnect manufacturing facility in Maryland and that it intends to capitalize on resources from the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year, which allocates $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure. The acquisition “opens the door to us being able to participate in the Build in America component of the $7.5 billion Biden administration EV infrastructure program,” Farkas said. “It gives us the ability of reducing our costs tremendously on a per port basis.” The deal is subject to customary adjustments for working capital and other closing conditions. Farkas said the deal was expected to be finalized within the coming days. Blink shares fell 10 percent to $13.81 in morning trading on Thursday.  Source: Automotive News

Volvo shuffles executive ranks

Volvo CEO Jim Rowan has made sweeping changes to his leadership team, naming two deputy CEOs and moving four of the 11 executives off the automaker’s highest management tier, as Volvo gears up to become an electric-only brand by 2030. It is Rowan’s biggest personnel move made thus far. The former Dyson Group executive succeeded longtime CEO Hakan Samuelsson in March. The executives gaining promotions are Bjorn Annwall and Javier Varela. Annwall, who is Volvo’s chief financial officer, will become deputy CEO and chief commercial officer. In his second role Annwall succeeds Lex Kerssemakers, who will retire this year and move into an advisory role, joining a newly formed board below Volvo’s top-level executive management team. Annwall was named Volvo’s chief financial officer last April and played a key role in the automaker’s stock exchange listing last October. Prior to serving as CFO Annwall was Volvo’s head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), where he led the automaker’s aggressive move into online sales, which will be a key part of his new job since Volvo wants half of its global sales to be done online by 2025. During the search for Annwall’s successor Johan Ekdahl, head of global accounting and group reporting, will serve as interim CFO. Varela, who is responsible for R&D, manufacturing, procurement, supply chain and quality, will become deputy CEO and chief operating officer. He played a key role in the 2018 opening of Volvo’s U.S. plant near Charleston, South Carolina. He has also been overseeing major production changes that include switching to megacasting for large aluminum body parts. The four members of Volvo’s executive management team who will move to the group management team are: Asia Pacific President Xiaolin Yuan, Americas President Anders Gustafsson, Europe Middle East and Africa President Arek Nowinski, and Henrik Green, who will transition from head of product creation to head of advanced technology and sustainability (see complete board memberships below). Green will be tasked with solidifying Volvo’s position as a provider of enhanced consumer experience through technology and sustainability and to align this with Volvo’s aim to be climate neutral by 2040. “Our strategic direction is clear … we will create value through technology and product development, digital and software capabilities. That’s why we have decided to simplify our structure with clear responsibilities and increase execution and closer collaboration across the entire business,” Rowan said in a statement. The changes take effect June 20.  Source: Automotive News

SuperSprings International Announces Adam Weisner as President

SuperSprings International—the manufacturer of suspension solutions and products based in Carpinteria, California—has announced Adam Weisner as president.  Formerly chief commercial officer managing company direction and revenue, Weisner will now oversee the company’s five business units and run the day-to-day operations.  Weisner reports to Gerry Lamberti, who remains the company’s chairman and CEO.  “We have all witnessed the impact that Adam has had on the leadership… and the magnificent changes he has implemented so successfully. I have never been so excited about the future of SuperSprings International as I am now,” Lamberti said.  Source: Aftermarket News

NABC Welcomes Alan Scrimager to Board of Directors

The National Auto Body Council is proud to announce that Alan Scrimager, who is with Pinnacle Financial Partners,is the Chairman’s appointee as an interim board member to the vacated seat of Anthony Natalie on the NABC Board of Directors. His appointment is in accordance with the NABC Bylaws. Scrimager has more than 20 years of experience in banking and serves as senior lending officer for PinnacleFinancial Partners’ Client Advisory Group in Memphis, TN. In his role, he leads a team that provides distinctive service and effective advice to commercial and private clients. Pinnacle is a full-service financial institution founded and headquartered Nashville, TN. Prior to his work in financial services, Scrimager worked in the motorsports industry with Peterson Publishing and served as the Director of the National Muscle Car Association and Event Director for the Hot Rod Magazine Power Festivals. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Memphis and a Master’s in Business Administration from Union University. He is also a graduate of the Barret School of Banking at Christian Brothers University and Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. Scrimager and his wife Shannon reside in Collierville, TN. “We are honored to welcome Alan Scrimager to the NABC board,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the National Auto Body Council. “He brings a fresh perspective to our leadership team, along with his experience serving clients in the automotive industry. We look forward to his involvement and contributions to the organization.” Pinnacle has had a relationship with the NABC since 2020 and became a Level One sponsor in 2021. Pinnacle and the NABC collaborated on its first gifting that involved a NABC Recycled Ride presented to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. Scrimager played a lead role in the gifting. In addition to helping a very needy cause, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis event provided the NABC with additional partnership opportunities with National Ronald McDonald House Charities organization and the McDonald’s Corporation. Scrimager will join the Marketing Committee where he will help the committee gain exposure to a wider range of local and national organizations that can benefit from the three NABC philanthropic programs and our other initiatives.  Source: Aftermarket News

Advantage Parts Names UK Commercial Director

Advantage Parts Solutions has announced the appointment of Mark Willis as UK commercial director. Willis will work closely with the UK’s senior leadership team, including David Shepherd, Advantage Parts Solutions’ non-executive director; Darren Clark, Advantage Parts Solutions’ UK managing director, and Bob Kirstiuk, Advantage Parts Solutions’ CEO and co-founder, to elevate the brand’s profile throughout Europe and advance the company’s market position forward. Advantage Parts Solutions connects OEM wholesale parts suppliers with automotive industry customers like repair shops, body shops, and auto insurers to improve existing sales channels. “It’s incredibly exciting to join Advantage and work with this award-winning team. I’ve always admired Advantage and held the brand in such high regard for what it offers the industry through its valuable platform,” said Willis. “I look forward to helping propel Advantage as the preeminent brand that insurers, vehicle manufacturers and collision repair brands turn to for valuable OEM parts solutions throughout Europe.” Willis comes to Advantage with more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, having most recently served Volkswagen Group UK based in Milton Keynes, and held other leadership positions with General Motors and Nissan. “We’ve always remained committed to investing in the business and bringing the right individuals on board, and we see tremendous opportunity in Mark. He brings additional knowledge and bandwidth that will enable Advantage to offer additional value-added services to the marketplace,” said Advantage Parts Solutions UK Managing Director Darren Clark. “Mark brings a wealth of industry experience that we’re looking forward to leveraging. With his leadership, we’re looking forward to, ultimately, expanding our presence beyond the United Kingdom and into other European countries, so they, too, may benefit from the Advantage Performance Platform.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Mercedes names McKinsey exec Paul Gao chief strategy officer

Mercedes-Benz has named Paul Gao, most recently a senior partner at McKinsey in Hong Kong, to the newly created post of chief strategy officer, with a special focus on Asian markets. Gao has spent the last 20 years at McKinsey, where he has advised international and Chinese automakers on all aspects of the business, from product development to corporate strategy, Mercedes said in a news release on Tuesday.  At Mercedes, he will report to CEO Ola Kallenius and will steer the company’s overall strategy. Gao has “essential know-how about China and other Asian growth markets,” Kallenius said in the release. “This makes Paul the right choice to further enhance the international profile of our brand, our management and our company.” China is Mercedes’s largest market, with 758,863 sales in 2021, a decline of 2 percent over 2020. That represents about 36 percent of Mercedes’ global passenger car sales. Chinese buyers prefer the automaker’s high-end offerings such as the S-Class, Mercedes-Maybach and G-Class, adding to the market’s importance as Kallenius seeks to raise Mercedes’ pricing and brand positioning across the board. The automaker’s two largest individual shareholders are Chinese, with BAIC holding 9.98 percent of voting rights, and Geely Chairman Eric Li holding 9.69 percent.  Source: Automotive News

TBC Announces Brian Maciak to Lead Big O Tires Team

After a successful 17-year career at Big O Tires, LLC, a subsidiary of TBC Corporation and one of North America’s largest retail tire and auto service franchisors with 460 locations in the United States, Jim Bull, Vice President & general manager of Big O Tires, will retire effective July 1, 2022. In this capacity, he provided leadership and vision to deliver innovative ways to grow and adapt in the marketplace, reconfirming the brand’s commitment to be The Team You Trust by providing straight answers and legendary service. Over the past two years, and under Jim’s leadership, Big O has achieved record sales and record profitability. He has helped expand the brand’s geographic footprint and implemented strategic initiatives to grow and support the organization. “It has been both my honor and privilege to be a member of the Big O Tires and TBC family for the last 17 years,” said Jim Bull. “Over the years, I have been able to play a small part in helping our existing and new Big O franchisees achieve their dreams of successfully owning a small business. Helping franchisees achieve their personal and professional goals has provided me some of the most rewarding and fulfilling moments that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” Succeeding Jim will be Brian Maciak, currently Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and a member of TBC’s Management Council. Brian joined TBC in April 2009 as Vice President, General Counsel. In 2012, he was promoted to Senior Vice President with management responsibilities for several departments, including human resources, risk management, safety, asset protection, and internal audit. In 2018, Brian accepted the additional responsibility for compliance as Chief Compliance Officer, and in 2020 he was promoted to Executive Vice President before becoming a member of the four-member Management Council in 2021. Earlier this year, he assumed shared oversight of the Tire Automotive Group, which consists of TBC’s business-to-consumer locations (Big O Tires, Midas, Tire Kingdom, and NTB). While an attorney by training, Brian has successfully led numerous business initiatives during his 13-year tenure with TBC. In addition, his extensive industry experience and customer-centric focus will serve him well as President & Chief Operating Officer of Big O Tires. Brian is committed to building strong relationships with each Big O franchisee and assisting them to reach their full potential. “Big O is poised for growth driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and commitment of its franchisees,” said Brian Maciak. “I am looking forward to having the opportunity to build upon the solid foundation that has led Big O to much success throughout the co’s 60-year history.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Shyft Group Names VP, Investor Relations and Group Treasurer

The Shyft Group has named industry veteran Randy Wilson as Vice President, Investor Relations and Group Treasurer, effective June 20, 2022. In his new role, Wilson will be responsible for all aspects of the investor relations and treasury functions at The Shyft Group. He brings extensive experience in investor relations, finance, capital markets and sustainability, having most recently led the Investor Relations function at Terex Corporation.  “We are pleased to welcome Randy to The Shyft Group and we’re confident that his broad experience will be integral in communicating our strategy and investment thesis,” said Jon Douyard, chief financial officer. “We’ve made considerable progress in advancing our investor relations program over the past several years and we are excited to continue highlighting the value of The Shyft Group to both new and existing investors.” Wilson brings extensive experience in leading investor relations and treasury functions, supplemented with deep capital markets knowledge gained early in his career. Most recently, he served as Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Treasury at Terex Corporation, managing buy-side and sell-side communication, leading the company’s sustainability efforts, and supporting the company’s capital markets activities. Prior to Terex, Wilson held various leadership positions at Bank of America with a focus on capital markets. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Lawrence University and a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University.  Source: Aftermarket News

Toyota brings back former Exec Julie Hamp as media adviser to President Akio Toyoda

Julie Hamp, the global communications executive who broke the glass ceiling at Toyota Motor Corp. only to be arrested in Japan and sent to the U.S., is back at the world’s biggest automaker, this time as a special media adviser to President Akio Toyoda. In 2015, Hamp was jailed for 20 days but never charged after a family member had allegedly mailed Oxycodone pills to her to alleviate knee pain. Japanese media reported at the time that prosecutors found little criminal intent in the case. Hamp returned to Toyota Motor Corp. effective June 20, Toyota North America said in an internal announcement seen by Automotive News. She will support Yumi Otsuka, chief sustainability officer, and report directly to Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata and Chris Reynolds, executive vice president of corporate resources at Toyota Motor North America. She will also be “senior media adviser” to the company’s global boss, Toyoda. “In this role, Julie will work with the TMC President’s office to develop communications strategies and messages across all forms of media, including TMC’s owned media, to help achieve business objectives,” Toyoda said in the June 21 corporate notice. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Hamp will be based in the U.S., Japan or elsewhere.  Toyoda made waves in April 2015 by appointing Hamp as the Japanese juggernaut’s first female senior executive — an American no less — to oversee global communications from Toyota City. It was a part of a major diversification drive to inject fresh perspective into the company at a time when Toyoda saw the need to better relate to overseas markets amid globalization. But her tenure was cut short just months later, with her bombshell June 18 arrest for suspected violations of Japan’s drug laws. Her shocking arrest at the Tokyo hotel where she was still staying until she settled in sent shock waves through Japan’s international business community. Toyoda, who invited Hamp to Japan as the company’s first chief communications officer, defended her at an emergency press conference the following day saying: “In addition to being a close friend of mine, Julie Hamp is an invaluable member of Toyota’s team.” While in jail, she resigned her post at the company. On July 8 — after the 20-day lockup — Hamp was released from custody without being formally charged of any crime and returned to the U.S. Like the arrest of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn years later, Hamp’s case shocked the auto industry and shined a light on some of the peculiarities of Japan-style law and order. Hamp started her career in the automotive world giving factory tours at General Motors’ now-defunct Buick City plant in Flint, Mich., and spent 20 years at GM. She then went on to become the top PR exec at PepsiCo Inc. before first joining Toyota on its North American team in June 2012. Back in the U.S. following her arrest in Japan, Hamp quickly rebuilt her career.  She took advisory roles at Finsbury and the Hawksbill Group, and in 2019 she was appointed chairman of Motus One, the fleet-management company. Japan has strict drug laws that often are at odds with those of the U.S. It is even illegal to bring in some over-the-counter drugs common in the U.S., such as certain allergy medicines.  Source: Automotive News

Ford’s Matt VanDyke leaving company, named president of digital marketing vendor

Matt VanDyke, a longtime Ford Motor Co. marketing executive who last year became CEO of the company’s FordDirect joint venture with dealers, is leaving the automaker to become president of Shift Digital, a digital marketing vendor. VanDyke will assume the new role June 28. “Consumer purchasing habits are dramatically changing as more individuals embrace the digital buying experience, and it is critical that automakers and dealers deliver an exceptional consumer experience at the brand level and dealers’ individual sites,” VanDyke said in a statement. “The opportunity to join Shift Digital enables me to expand my knowledge and impact more brands and retailers as the industry goes through this digital evolution.” Shift Digital said it is in the midst of expanding its automotive clients and adding new ones in the powersports, heavy equipment and hospitality industries. It has more than 600 employees with five offices in North America. Dean Stoneley, currently Ford’s general manager of North America trucks, will succeed VanDyke as CEO of FordDirect, the company said in a release. In an emailed statement, Suzy Deering, Ford’s CMO, thanked VanDyke for his contributions to the automaker. “A passionate marketer, Matt led Marketing in the U.S. and Europe, and served as the Global Director of Lincoln,” she said. “He brought that deep knowledge to FordDirect and was instrumental in modernizing the digital marketing experience since he joined the team in 2021. “We are excited that Dean Stoneley – who brings deep experience with Ford and Lincoln – will be leading FordDirect during an incredible time of transformation. We are supporting our dealers for a digitally-connected ecosystem and FordDirect will play an important role in making that transition and moving our dealers forward into the future.” VanDyke spent 14 years at Ford in a variety of marketing roles. From 2018 to 2021, he was the company’s director of marketing, in charge of leading Ford’s integrated communications, digital consumer experience, brand alliances, revenue management and retail go-to-market strategies. In recent years, he helped guide the marketing strategy around the launch of the redesigned F-150 and new Bronco SUV, and led the company’s “Built for America” and “Built to Lend a Hand” ad campaigns. Since early 2021 he has served as CEO of FordDirect, a joint venture between the company and its retail network tasked with helping dealers sell more vehicles with data-based marketing and advertising.  Source: Automotive News

QUANTRON Names Utz Rachner as Global Sales Director

As part of its global expansion strategy, Quantron AG is expanding its international sales team. As Global Sales Director, Utz Rachner will be responsible for setting up and expanding the international sales team and sales partners at QUANTRON. Rachner most recently worked at Mercedes-Benz as head of Sales & Marketing General Distributors. He was responsible for more than 130 markets in South America, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe. Previously, he was senior general manager operative sales Europe at Mitsubishi Motors.  “I am very much looking forward to a very positive global launch with the QUANTRON team and to win over the rapidly growing potential of the international commercial vehicle markets through our attractive range of battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles along with our system solutions,” said Rachner. “At the same time, we can also offer our customers our complete ecosystem, Quantron-as-a-Service, as a sustainable 360-degree solution.” Michael Perschke, CEO of Quantron AG, commented, “With our QUANTRON brand vehicles as well as with the retrofitting business that has already been successfully established in Europe, we are targeting additional international markets. Our current focus is on developing the hydrogen ecosystem with vehicles and the corresponding infrastructure. Here we are looking more closely at North America and would like to drive forward our hydrogen offensive there together with our partner, Ballard Power Systems. With Utz Rachner’s international experience, we are ideally positioned to achieve these global objectives. I am very pleased to welcome him to our team.” Quantron AG also is expanding its team in other important areas of the company. In the meantime, more than 100 employees from four generations are now employed. More than 50% of them are active in the technical R&D and product areas. The international team is highly qualified with numerous staff members from the automotive industry and is strongly diversified with its 14 nationalities from such countries as the U.S., Japan and, since June, also from the Ukraine.  Source: Aftermarket News

HDA Truck Pride Announces Leadership Expansion

HDA Truck Pride is a sales and marketing organization focused on supporting the heavy-duty independent aftermarket to buy better, operate more efficiently and grow. To accomplish these goals, HDA Truck Pride has announced the expansion of its leadership team.  “As HDA Truck Pride continues to mature in support of its members, we are very fortunate to have the following industry thought leaders join our team,” said Tina Hubbard, CEO.  “They will be instrumental in helping our member base strengthen their portfolios from a business development, end-user experience and marketing program vantage point.” Ron Fleischhacker, business development manager: With more than 35 years in the aftermarket industry and having spent more than 12 of those years with the organization previously, HDA Truck Pride welcomes Fleischhacker back to the organization. Prior to HDA Truck Pride, he worked for Affinia Commercial Vehicle group, where he represented filters, brakes and brake blocks. Previous to Affinia, Fleischhacker held various roles within the NAPA Auto Parts organization, from counterperson to filter representative all the way up to managing a group of NAPA stores and he also spent five years with the Dana Corp. as a NAPA representative for Hydraulics, Engine, Chassis and Seals.  Curt Westphal, director of program development: Westphal brings more than 25 years of experience in the heavy-duty aftermarket in progressive roles within operations and sales management. In his most recent role as vice president of distribution for Jim Hawk Truck Trailers, he was responsible for an eight-location organization with points throughout the Midwest. Prior to that, Westphal spent five years as a regional sales manager, growing the parts and service business for an 11-state territory. Before his time with Jim Hawk Truck Trailers, Westphal was instrumental in the launch of a national fleet program for Great Dane Trailers that expanded service and parts offerings for all his customers.  Danielle Orlando, director of marketing & communications: In this role, Orlando will be responsible for leading all marketing, communications and education programs for the organization. Orlando comes to HDA Truck Pride leveraging her 20-plus years of marketing experience in the automotive industry. Most recently, she worked as general manager, brand marketing for NGK Spark Plugs, where she led the brand strategy and marketing communications for the entire NGK product portfolio. Prior to NGK, Orlando was the global director of marketing, brand management for Trico Products, where she was responsible for strategy and execution of B2B and B2C marketing campaigns and affinity partnerships for all TRICO brands. Prior to joining the aftermarket, she managed owner loyalty and collateral programs for Audi of America Inc.  Source: Aftermarket News

Dean Stoneley to Lead FordDirect as CEO

FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its franchise dealers, announced today that Dean Stoneley will become the company’s new CEO and a member of the FordDirect board of managers. He succeeds Matt VanDyke, who has resigned to pursue external interests. In his new role, Stoneley will lead the team responsible for bringing together the worlds of digital, data, and technology to deliver best-in-class marketing and advertising solutions to Ford Dealers and Lincoln Retailers consistent with the customer-focused Ford+ plan for growth and value creation. “We are excited to welcome Dean Stoneley to the FordDirect team,” said Mike Pallotta, president of Pallotta Ford Lincoln in Wooster, Ohio, and chairman of the FordDirect board of managers. “His tremendous relationships within Ford and his marketing experience will enable a strong and smooth transition and continuation of FordDirect’s positive momentum as we help Ford Motor Company, Ford Dealers, and Lincoln Retailers provide great customer experiences and win at retail.” After joining FordDirect in early 2021, VanDyke was instrumental in significant change and success at FordDirect. During his tenure, FordDirect earned “Top Workplace” recognition from the Detroit Free Press for the first time. The company scored all-time satisfaction survey highs from Dealers and Ford in 2021 following significant changes to the product portfolio, including evolving the former third-party lead delivery platform into an enhanced service. VanDyke oversaw the start of foundational work in project management and innovation and the launch of new inventory solutions to help dealerships through the unique challenges of the past two years. “Matt VanDyke has done a terrific job at FordDirect,” Pallotta said. “His leadership skills, mentoring, and knowledge of the digital landscape have really been a big advantage for Dealers and FordDirect. He will be missed and we wish him all the best.” An accomplished industry veteran, Stoneley most recently held the newly created role of general manager, North America Truck at Ford. In this role, he built a team with end-to-end responsibility for Ford’s successful pick-up truck portfolio. During his tenure, F-Series was the best-selling truck in America for the 45th consecutive year. Stoneley also launched the all-new Ford Maverick, the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2022 North America Truck of the Year. “I want to thank Mike Pallotta and the board of managers for their support,” Stoneley said. “I could not be more excited to be taking on this role. Marketing has been a lifelong passion for me, and I have been inspired by the work at FordDirect as I have modernized marketing functions across a number of markets globally. This is a business performing at a high caliber with an incredible level of sophistication. I can’t wait to learn more as we strive for continued success while serving Ford Motor Company, Ford Dealers, and Lincoln Retailers. I look forward to the chance to meet the FordDirect team.” Previously, Stoneley was president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company of Canada, where Ford is the No. 1 brand in the market. During his tenure, Stoneley worked closely with the Canadian government and Unifor to secure Oakville Assembly Complex as a BEV manufacturing site for the company. Stoneley’s background with Ford has been predominantly in the marketing space, where he has held key marketing leadership roles in the U.S., Canada, Southern Africa, and Asia-Pacific markets. While based in China, Stoneley was vice president and director of marketing for a new joint venture with ChangAn Ford, responsible for marketing, sales, and service of Ford vehicles in China.  Stoneley is a past chairperson of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council and member of the board of the Canadian Marketing Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western University in London, Ont.  Source: Aftermarket News

Safelite Appoints Christina Pletnewski CMO

Vehicle glass services and recalibration company Safelite announced the appointment of Christina Pletnewski to Chief Marketing Officer. “Christina’s journey since joining our business in 2016 as Vice President of Marketing demonstrates her vast talent and ability to manage multiple key areas of our business successfully,” said Renee Cacchillo, Safelite’s president and CEO. As Vice President, Pletnewski led TV creative and media, market research, B2B marketing, corporate communications, internal creative and ancillary products and services. Under her leadership, Safelite experienced substantial growth in top-of-mind awareness, brand visibility and brand recognition, the company says. Pletnewski expanded her role by building a new customer experience team in 2020, focusing on creating meaningful experiences for customers, clients and associates, resulting in additional business value and results. “Christina is a seasoned marketer, and through her new role as CMO, she will continue to lead Safelite’s marketing vision through new and innovative brand and customer experience strategies,” added Cacchillo. Before joining Safelite, Pletnewski held marketing leadership roles at Abbott, Nestle, SC Johnson and L Brands. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA at The Ohio State University.  Source: Aftermarket News

Volta Inc. Appoints Yifan Tang as CTO

Volta Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Yifan Tang, an innovative engineering executive who has helped lead the development and commercialization of EV technologies, as Chief Technology Officer. Tang will report directly to Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer. Tang is widely recognized as an industry leader and product pioneer in the emerging EV space. He has led the successful advancement of numerous products, including electric vehicles, electric powertrains and autopilot farming vehicles. Most recently, he served as Chief Technology Officer and board member at SERES EV, a next-generation intelligent, autonomous EV company. He is also the co-founder of TeraWatt Technology, a company developing and manufacturing ultra-high energy density batteries. Previously, he served as President of SF Motors Japan and held various positions at Meta (formerly Facebook), Lucid Motors and Tesla Motors. Tang has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University and a BE in Electrical Engineering from Fuzhou University. Tang is also widely recognized as a thought leader and visionary innovator in the EV space. He is an inventor or co-inventor of 99 granted US patents, in addition to numerous pending patents and international patents, and has authored numerous technical industry papers. While at Tesla Motors, he was responsible for the design and integration of industry-leading electric motors and helped to invent and develop dual motor all-wheel drive technology. His areas of technical expertise include power electronics, electric power systems, electric vehicles, battery technology, artificial intelligence, and control systems. “Yifan’s impressive credentials, deep industry knowledge and technological acumen will further strengthen Volta’s leadership position and ability to win in the EV marketplace,” said Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “Yifan brings unique expertise and a record of innovation that will help us achieve our immediate goals of accelerating our technological capabilities and expanding our reach to stay at the forefront of the industry. I could not be more thrilled to welcome him to the newest generation of Volta leadership.” “I have long admired Volta’s leading position in the electric mobility space, and I am honored to join the team at this pivotal moment in the Company’s growth story,” Tang said. “I have devoted much of my career to pushing the limits of electric transportation, and I have been consistently impressed by Volta’s product leadership and innovative business model. I see enormous potential for the Volta team to build on its existing technological infrastructure capabilities to become the industry standard for EV charging.”  Source: Aftermarket News

High Bar Brands Appoints 2 to New Roles

With an eye toward innovation, High Bar Brands has announced the addition of Chandler Nault as Product Development Director. “Our brands – Minimizer and Premier – are known for bringing exciting new and innovative products to the trucking industry, and Chandler is extremely qualified and experienced to help us further that reputation,” said Christopher ‘CT’ Thorpe, HBB president & CEO. “I was initially drawn to Premier and Minimizer’s reputations within the trucking industry,” Nault said.  “As I got to know the company, I was most attracted by High Bar Brands’ talented team and the potential to innovate on a wide range of products.” Chandler has more than 20 years of engineering and product development experience.  He spent the last seven years at Mercury Marine, where he helped develop several diesel inboard engines and a new large outboard motor that will launch later this year. “I look forward to building a culture of innovation that encourages everyone to participate in the product development process and help High Bar Brands consistently launch new products,” Nault said. High Bar Brands also announced the hire of Midwest Territory Manager Kyle Feltham. Feltham comes from the construction industry, where he spent more than a decade in building material sales.  He says he looks forward to growing High Bar Brands in his territory – Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas – by meeting new people and building relationships.  Source: Aftermarket News

Spartech Announces Three New Team Members

Spartech is pleased to announce the addition of three new team members. They include: Jessica “Jess” Sekely as Director of Environmental Health & Safety; Mario Columbia as General Manager, Polycast Acrylic Sheet Division; and Larry Baer as Plant Manager.  “Jess, Mario, and Larry are all talented individuals who are valuable additions to the Spartech team,” said John Inks, Spartech CEO. “Their collective experience and leadership expertise will help us continue to serve as a reliable and responsive partner to our valued customers.” Sekely will be working remotely but traveling on a regular basis to all of the locations in the Spartech network. She will be instrumental in the development of Spartech’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy and overall employee engagement. Prior to joining Spartech, Sekely held various Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) leadership roles with: Johnson Matthey in Smithfield, Pennsylvania;  Anheuser-Busch, Columbus, Ohio brewery; and PPG Industries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Columbia will direct the Goodyear, Arizona, Stamford, Connecticut, and Greenville, Ohio locations and has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing management. Prior to his new role with Spartech, he served as General Manager/CI for Kuehne & Nagel, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, and a Lean/Sustainability Consultant and Vice-President of Operations & Corporate Quality with Lodi in Phoenix, Arizona. Columbia is Six Sigma Certified. Baer will lead the Paulding, Ohio location and has over 25 years of management experience in the composites industry. Most recently he was President of R3 Composites in Grabill, Indiana. Prior to this he was assigned as Chief Operating Officer for a joint venture between Continental Structural Plastics & Victall Railway Company in Tangshan, China for two years. He was also the Director of Operations for Continental Structural Plastics overseeing their Tijuana and Saltillo, Mexico locations.  Source: Aftermarket News

Hankook Tire America President To Step Down July 1

Curtis Bryson is moving on from his role as president of Hankook Tire America Corp., effective July 1. According to a statement from Hankook Tire, Sooil Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology, will assume the role of interim president. Lee previously served as president of Hankook Tire America Corp. from 2009-2012 and also from 2020-2021. According to the statement, Hankook says the U.S. market is fundamental to its global business strategy. Hankook says its management team will continue to ensure consistent operations during this transition. The statement thanked Brison for his contributions to the company, and Hankook wished him the best on his next endeavor.  Source: Aftermarket News

Horizon Global Announces Appointment of Jian James Zhou as CFO

Horizon Global Corporation has announced that the Company’s Board of Directors appointed Jian James Zhou as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Zhou most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Joyson Safety Systems, a leading global supplier of mobility safety components and systems. Prior to joining Joyson, Zhou served as vice president and chief financial officer for Tesla China and supported Tesla’s successful entry into China’s electric vehicle market. Mr. Zhou previously served in divisional chief financial officer roles for Ingersoll Rand and General Electric. Terry Gohl, CEO of Horizon Global, stated, “We look forward to James’s immediate contributions to Horizon Global. James brings tremendous global operational finance leadership across multiple industries, as well as substantial capital structure and business development expertise, which we expect to fully draw upon to accelerate our current turnaround efforts.” Gohl continued, “With our iconic brands and deep customer relationships as a strong foundation, we remain laser focused on our business improvement initiatives, all of which are tied to long-term value creation for our shareholders. James is a great addition to a leadership team that is completely aligned in this regard.” Zhou replaces Dennis Richardville, who is stepping down as the company’s chief financial officer. Richardville will remain with the Company as its principal financial officer through the filing of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2022, following which Mr. Richardville will generally support the financial leadership transition in a consulting capacity. “On behalf of Horizon Global, we would like to thank Dennis for his leadership in an unprecedented global business environment,” stated Gohl. “We greatly appreciate his continued support of Horizon Global and our global finance team.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Norbert Nusterer Leaving Cummins After 25 Distinguished Years

Cummins Inc. has announced a change in the leadership of the company’s Power Systems segment, one of the company’s five business segments. Norbert Nusterer, vice president and president of power systems, has made the decision to leave Cummins after 25 years with the company. Jenny Bush, who is currently vice president, Cummins Sales and Service – North America, will assume the role of president – Power Systems effective upon Norbert’s departure from that role on August 1. “During his 25 years with Cummins, Norbert has invested significantly, and intentionally, in our people and his understanding of our markets and customer needs,” said Cummins Chairman and CEO, Tom Linebarger. “He has contributed those skills to multiple leadership roles across the company – from manufacturing to supply chain and aftermarket – and driven sustained improvement that has benefited our people and business. His impact on our business can be seen in the results of his efforts during his time overseeing New and Recon Parts, advising our India Business as they navigated local leadership changes and achieved strong financial performance, and most recently as President of our Power Systems business segment. Norbert’s leadership and mentoring have extended across the company and into the Columbus community. He will be missed, and we wish him the best as he moves forward.” Linebarger continued, “Given the varied demands of the markets and applications that our Power Systems segment serves, Jenny Bush is uniquely positioned to assume this role, advance the strategy, and focus on key opportunities for the segment. She has broad experience across our power generation, industrial markets and our Distribution segment. In addition, Jenny has strong business acumen, and a focus on painting a vision and energizing teams to deliver outstanding results for our customers and the business. Most recently, Jenny has led our North America Distribution business and been intensely focused on successfully executing an effort to ensure an optimal experience for our stakeholders. She has always been focused on delivering results and the transformation of the North American distribution business is no exception. We are excited about adding her capabilities, leadership vision and record of delivering results to Power Systems and to the Cummins leadership team. There is no doubt, she is the right person for this role.” Nusterer joined Cummins in 1996, and currently serves as Vice President and President of the Power Systems segment. Prior to that, Nusterer served as Vice President of New and Recon Parts, Nusterer oversaw a comprehensive integration of Cummins’ global aftermarket supply chain and transformed its parts business, Nusterer and his team doubled the size of Cummins’ service parts and remanufacturing businesses and transformed them into a global shared service organization supporting all five Cummins businesses. Over his career, Nusterer has contributed to the company in multiple leadership roles. These positions included global responsibilities for and collaboration with OEM customers, Cummins global distributors and multiple key suppliers. Bush joined Cummins 25 years ago as a parts writer in the U.K. after completing a technician apprenticeship with Shell Oil – the program’s first female graduate. Since then, Bush added her expertise and passion for process improvement as a Six Sigma Blackbelt in Power Systems, Alternator Division (CGT), and led sales, purchasing and supply chain globally for this business. Bush also led the Global Commercial Marine Engine business, and later moved into the Distribution segment, leading the former Mid-South & Southern Plains and then the Gulf region. For the past few years, Bush has led the transformation of the North American distribution business with the goal of building the world’s best distribution business for Cummins by ensuring a unified customer experience, standardizing internal operations, and leveraging the scale and benefits of ownership. Her efforts have enhanced employee engagement, simplified how the company works, accelerated growth, improved how Cummins serves its customers, and produced cost savings.  Source: Aftermarket News

GMB Names New President for N. American Aftermarket Business

GMB announced that Jay Kim has been appointed president of its North American Aftermarket Business Division. Kim, an energetic entrepreneur and global business leader, brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for building strong relationships with partners. Kim most recently served as executive vice president at GMB. Since the start of his career almost two decades ago, Kim has paved the way for various global automotive companies’ strategic paths and creative insights for the future of the industry.  In his new role, he will lead the organization to deliver best-in-class marketing and product solutions to improve the GMB North America’s customer experience. By following the innovation vision that the GMB group has globally, GMB North America says it will continue providing the right part at the right time for the success of our customers.  “We are continuously listening to our customers’ valuable feedback and investing in data and market research to facilitate smarter purchases for our customers based on their needs, the market trends, and the region they do business. In addition to vehicle application expansion, Kim has plans to expand into other product categories with the same OEM quality customers know and trust,” GMB stated in a news release announcing Kim’s new role.  Source: Aftermarket News

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