Maccabeus Top AutoMobility Stories – September 2022

  • Porsche to hire Mercedes’s former tech chief ahead of potential IPO
  • ChargePoint CEO Appointed to Nat’l. Infrastructure Council
  • HDT Automotive Names James Habel New CFO
  • Aston Martin Appoints Regional President for Japan, S. Korea
  • CLEPA Welcomes Benjamin Krieger as New Secretary General
  • Stellantis hires chief digital information officer
  • Mazda Financial Services President Pete Carey to retire
  • Harman acquires Caaresys for its car-occupant monitoring system
  • Safelite Announces Two New Executive Team Members
  • ZF Group’s Raj Vazirani Joins StradVision Board
  • Tendeco Taps Scott Howat as National Sales Manager
  • CREF Board of Trustees Welcomes Two New Members
  • REV Group Promotes Brian Stout to VP & GM
  • Software supplier Aptiv to bolster EV power portfolio with $600 million acquisition
  • Lightning eMotors Announces CFO Transition
  • Former Ford President Hinrichs named CEO of railroad giant CSX
  • Center for Auto Safety names executive director after long vacancy
  • Autel Energy Appoints John Thomas as COO
  • LKQ Announces Executive Leadership Appointments
  • TecAlliance Appoints David Williams New CEO of OptiCat/JNPSoft
  • Mahle, ZF replace executives in management shakeups
  • VP Racing Fuels Names Kevin Temple Vice President, Branded Retail
  • Alltech Automotive Announces Sales Leadership Appointments
  • BorgWarner Taps Sailaja Shankar as New Board Director
  • Lightning eMotors Adds New Board Director
  • Junior Word Promoted to Advance EVP
  • EGR USA Announces 2 Executive Appointments
  • Brent Wolak Named Director of Sales for TBC Brands
  • Auto Care Association Names Senior Vice President
  • Grote Industries Adds 3 to Leadership Team
  • Lev Peker Joins the PARTS iD Inc. Board of Directors

Porsche to hire Mercedes’s former tech chief ahead of potential IPO

The Volkswagen Group-owned sports-car maker intends to appoint Sajjad Khan to its executive board, according to an emailed statement. Khan was chief technology officer at rival Mercedes-Benz until a year ago, when he left to start a venture capital fund. Khan, 48, is expected to take on a similar role at Porsche, focusing primarily on car tech, the Stuttgart-based brand said. It’s not yet been decided exactly when the company will make a final decision on his appointment and start date. Handelsblatt reported earlier Thursday that Khan’s move to Porsche was imminent. Porsche has lined up investor interest for its initial public offering at a valuation of as much as $85 billion, signaling one of Europe’s biggest-ever listings is poised to go ahead despite market headwinds, people familiar with the matter said last week. Khan would be a major addition to a management team led by Olive Blume, who became CEO of VW on Thursday. Khan is an Automotive News Europe 2019 Eurostar.  Source: Automotive News

ChargePoint CEO Appointed to Nat’l. Infrastructure Council

ChargePoint, an electric vehicle charging network, has announced that President and CEO Pasquale Romano has been appointed to serve as a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). Established in 2001, National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) comprises executive leaders from the private sector, as well as state and local government, responsible for operating the critical infrastructure essential to modern life. The Council advises the President of the United States on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. “As our country continues to make the transition to electric mobility, it’s essential that there is reliable, equitable, and accessible EV charging everywhere that people live, work and spend their time,” said Romano. “It is an honor to represent the electric vehicle charging sector as part of the NIAC, as the Biden-Harris administration seeks to accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure and I look forward to working closely with the NIAC to ensure its integrity and safety.” Romano joined ChargePoint in 2011, bringing more than 30 years of technology industry leadership and executive management experience to the company. Prior to ChargePoint, he co-founded 2Wire, a manufacturer of home networking hardware, software and services platform prior to its acquisition by Pace plc in 2010 and he also co-founded Fluent Inc., a digital video networking company prior to its acquisition by Novell Inc. in 1993.  Source: Aftermarket News

HDT Automotive Names James Habel New CFO

HDT Automotive Solutions (HDT Automotive), global supplier of fluid-handling systems and precision aluminum parts, announced the appointment of James Habel as its Chief Financial Officer. Habel will be based at the company’s Michigan headquarters and will report to CEO Patrick Paige. Habel replaces John Anselmi, who, after serving as HDT’s CFO for more than four years, will retire effective September 1st. Anselmi will continue to work with HDT Automotive in an advisory role and vice chairman. John will also join the HDT Board of Directors, the company says. “After knowing John professionally for more than 12 years, including the last several years as CFO here at HDT, I cannot adequately describe the value he has brought to our business,” said CEO Paige. “John is an incredible team member and has worked successfully with all our stakeholders. I know I speak for the entire HDT Automotive team in congratulating John on reaching this retirement milestone, and we look forward to him continuing to guide our company in his new role.” Habel will be based at the company’s Michigan HQ and will report to CEO Patrick Paige. Habel, who has more than two decades of experience in multiple industries including automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, medical and packaging, was most recently CFO for Foam Holdings, Inc. In his role, he was responsible for overseeing Foam Holdings’ finance, IT and legal functions across 14 locations in North America.  Source: Aftermarket News

Aston Martin Appoints Regional President for Japan, S. Korea

Aston Martin Lagonda has strengthened its senior leadership in Asia with the appointment of luxury automotive leader Greg Adams as the company’s new regional president, Japan and South Korea.  Adams brings to Aston Martin more than 30 years’ experience in the global automotive industry in both North America and Asia and joins the company from his previous position as representative director and president of Maserati Japan. His career includes positions with Daimler Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Ford, in addition to establishing and running Ferrari Japan and serving as the brand’s head of marketing & brand experience in North America.  Prior to returning to Japan two years ago to oversee Maserati’s Japan business, Adams held electrification product strategy positions with international EV start-ups. The appointment of a dedicated Regional President for Japan and South Korea, to be based in Tokyo, forms part of Aston Martin’s strategic growth plans in Asia, with the brand seeking to capitalize on the region’s huge commercial potential and increasing consumer demand. Amedeo Felisa, CEO of Aston Martin, said, “I believe that in collaboration with the global commercial team and Freda Wang, our regional president of Greater China, Greg can play an important part in accelerating our plans in Asia, a region which holds a huge growth opportunity for Aston Martin.”  Source: Aftermarket News

CLEPA Welcomes Benjamin Krieger as New Secretary General

As of today, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) welcomes Benjamin Krieger as its new secretary general. Krieger succeeds Ms. Sigrid de Vries, who held the position for the past five years. The appointment was announced on June 9 in Brussels during the association’s annual General Assembly by Thorsten Muschal, CLEPA president and EVP Sales & Program Management at Forvia Group. Originally from Germany, Krieger has led CLEPA’s government affairs department over the past four years, focusing on carbon and pollutant emissions standards, the wider sustainability agenda, digitalization of mobility, international trade and competitiveness. “I am both pleased and honored to take on the role of secretary general at CLEPA during such a transformative time,” Krieger said. “Today, automotive suppliers are confronting unique challenges, undergoing the twin transition towards digitalization and climate neutrality, in an unpredictable economic environment. The role of the vehicle in society may be changing, but mobility, and specifically personal mobility, will stay important in the future. We stand ready to contribute to a balanced debate on the responsibilities but also society’s needs for mobility.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Stellantis hires chief digital information officer

Stellantis has named Chris Taylor its chief digital information officer, a newly created position as the automaker works to become a “mobility tech company.” Taylor reports to Xavier Chéreau, chief human resources and transformation officer, and Ned Curic, chief technology officer. The move was effective Sept. 5. Stellantis said Taylor will drive its digital strategy and technologies and “be responsible for improving IT project execution and organizational efficiency.” Chris brings deep knowledge of cutting-edge digital technology to support our sophisticated business needs, both at Stellantis and for our customers,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “His background in cyber security, new business models and customer-centric solutions will drive the business value we require to meet our aggressive Dare Forward 2030 targets.” Taylor has nearly 30 years of global information technology experience in multiple industries, including aviation, manufacturing, software and telecom. He most recently served as chief transformation officer of ServiceNow. Before that, he was global vice president at Airbus Group, where he led the digital transformation and cybersecurity.  Source: Automotive News

Mazda Financial Services President Pete Carey to retire

Mazda Financial Services President and Toyota Financial Services private label Group Vice President Pete Carey will retire Sept. 30 after nearly 30 years with Toyota. He will be succeeded by Toyota Financial Savings Bank COO Brock Bayles, who was named Toyota Financial vice president of private label on Aug. 29. Bayles has been handling Carey’s private label role and helming Mazda Financial, though Carey, who is working on special projects the rest of his tenure, retains his titles. Bayles also has served as vice president of sales for Mazda Financial. Toyota spokesman Vincent Bray called him “instrumental” in establishing the captive finance company. Carey created the Toyota Financial private label finance company business, which serves Bass Pro Shops as well as Mazda. In 2019, he and Toyota Financial marketing Group Vice President Karen Ideno won Mazda’s captive finance business away from JPMorgan Chase. Two and a half years later, Mazda Financial’s penetration had reached “north of 60 percent,” Carey said in April. Carey has worked at Toyota since 1993. His roles have included leading the Toyota Motor North America San Francisco regional team and holding commercial finance, sales and service operations positions at Toyota Financial Services. Bayles also is a Toyota veteran, having worked for the company since 2004, according to his LinkedIn page. He has held Toyota Financial Services roles in sales, product and marketing, and finance and analytics.   Source: Automotive News

Harman acquires Caaresys for its car-occupant monitoring system

Harman International has acquired Israeli startup Caaresys for its car-occupant monitoring system. Caaresys’ technology uses low-emission radar to monitor adults and children in a vehicle cabin, marking the locations of passengers and measuring their vital signs, such as respiration and heart rate. Harman said the company is working with major automakers to provide a production-ready system that detects pets left in vehicles, as well. The Caaresys technology consists of small-millimeter radar sensors using signal-processing algorithms that can be integrated into a vehicle cabin. “The low-emission radar transmits power at levels similar to and often lower than Bluetooth, much like headphones and other smart devices,” Caaresys co-founder and CEO Ilya Sloushch told Automotive News. Unlike in-car cameras, Sloushch said a primary benefit of the system is that seats, passengers and other objects do not block the radar signals. The technology is designed to operate in the constantly changing conditions of a vehicle cabin, since it’s unaffected by fluctuations in light and temperature and functions whether a car is in motion or parked. “The acquisition of Caaresys will significantly enhance Harman’s capabilities in the in-cabin safety and wellbeing space,” said Christian Sobottka, president of the technology supplier’s automotive division. Sloushch, 38, will head up the newly established in-cabin radar division of Harman, while Caaresys’ remaining team of four employees will join the company’s automotive division.  Source: Automotive News

Safelite Announces Two New Executive Team Members

Safelite, one of the nation’s leading vehicle glass services and recalibration companies, has announced the appointments of Scott Koenigs as EVP, chief people officer and Gannon Jones, EVP, chief commercial and customer experience officer. “We are pleased to welcome two seasoned and professional leaders with deep expertise in their respective industries to our business,” said Renee Cacchillo, Safelite’s president and CEO. “As a people powered and customer-driven organization, Scott and Gannon each provide unique, innovative and forward-thinking methodologies to our disciplines that are crucial in serving our associates, clients and customers.” With more than 24 years in leadership roles with various global manufacturing, sales and marketing organizations, Koenig has a successful track record for building winning and purpose-driven cultures and optimizing the growth and development of associates. Jones brings more than two decades of accomplishments in leading multi-billion-dollar brands across diverse consumer categories. With proven success as a marketer and general manager, Jones has a thorough understanding and ability to delight customers and transform brands. Before joining Safelite, both gentlemen held leadership roles for leading companies, Koenigs at Owens & Minor, Caraustar Industries and Newell Rubbermaid — and Jones at Aetna, CVS Health, Allstate, PepsiCo, Kraft and MillerCoors. “While we stay true to our foundational principles, our eyes remain fixed on the future,” Cacchillo added. “Our commitment to delivering on Safelite’s purpose of delivering unexpected happiness to people’s everyday lives is at the forefront of everything we do. It’s a great time in our business,” Cacchillo added. Jones joined Safelite on Sept. 2 and Koenigs will join the company on Sept. 12.  Source: Aftermarket News

ZF Group’s Raj Vazirani Joins StradVision Board

StradVision, an AI-based perception processing technology company for Autonomous Vehicles and ADAS, and technology company ZF Group (ZF) have announced the appointment of ZF’s Raj Vazirani to StradVision’s board of directors. Vazirani brings 20 years of experience within the ADAS and autonomous driving space, including prior background in the Telecom industry. His current role at ZF is director of Radar, Camera Products, Electronics Engineering and Computer Vision Architecture – where he leads engineering of ADAS Sensors and Central Hardware development. His education background includes a Bachelor in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University and attending the Ashridge Executive Management Program at INSEAD Business School. “I am excited to join the board of StradVision as we work together to further develop our perception expertise, in particular for higher levels of L3 and L4 autonomy, to provide various mobility solutions,” said Vazirani. “We look forward to future growth in the ADAS and AD space through world class AI-based perception technology.” Vazirani’s new board appointment also elevates the recently established partnership between StradVision and ZF to accelerate the future of Autonomous Driving perception technology, which saw ZF acquire a 6 percent stake in StradVision to expand the portfolio of autonomous driving perception software, the companies say. In addition, the partnership has strengthened ZF’s global ecosystem for automated driving Level 3 and Level 4 systems. “Our collaboration and strategic relationship with ZF have proven very beneficial as we both continue high ambitions for leading the perception space as well as the autonomous driving market,” said Junhwan Kim, CEO at StradVision. “We’re honored to have Raj Vazirani join our StradVision board, and we look forward to his collaboration, leadership and expertise as we continue to grow our global efforts.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Tendeco Taps Scott Howat as National Sales Manager

Tendeco Sales Inc. announced it hired Scott Howat as national sales manager, responsible for aftermarket sales in North America for Litens Aftermarket. Prior to joining the Litens Aftermarket team, for three decades Howat has made an impact across sales, marketing and product management for the Auto Care Association, Affinia Group, Dana, Echlin and Gates Corporation, Tendeco says. “We are thrilled to have an experienced leader like Scott to head our North American Aftermarket efforts as we expand the reach of the Litens brand,” said John Lussier, president of Tendeco Sales Inc. “His broad knowledge of the aftermarket eco-system will support our strategic initiatives and better serve the needs of our Litens customers.” Howat holds a Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) designation from the University of the Aftermarket and has served in leadership positions throughout the industry including Automotive Communications Council, Auto Care Association Marketing and Communications Committee, and was past Chairman of the Auto Care Association Events Committee. In addition, he is a past Chairman of the AASA Marketing Executives Council, and past member of the MEMA Government Affairs Committee and Brand Protection Council.  Source: Aftermarket News

CREF Board of Trustees Welcomes Two New Members

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is excited to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees: Keith Bell (Axalta Coating Systems) and Mark Verbois (Enterprise Holdings). Boasting more than 50 years of collision industry experience between them, Bell and Verbois share the same dedication and passion for supporting the industry’s future by engaging with collision repair schools and students, and they’re looking forward to contributing in new and meaningful ways through their Board involvement. “We are excited that Keith and Mark are joining the Board and bringing their vast experience to the role,” says Brandon Eckenrode, CREF managing director. “There’s no doubt that they will be an integral part of our efforts moving forward to achieve CREF’s vision and goals!” Since he began his career, Keith Bell has been dedicated to the refinish and automotive industry. He is currently the Distribution and Industry Relations Director for Axalta Coating Systems where he oversees sales and partnerships for North America Refinish. Prior to this, Bell worked for AkzoNobel and BASF where he earned several positions of increasing responsibility within sales, marketing and distribution leadership. Before entering the manufacturing side of the industry, Bell immersed himself in various collision-focused roles, thereby developing a deep knowledge of automotive repair and refinish – from spraying to sales. He first went to work for an auto parts distributor where he focused on demonstrating and training shops on one of the store’s least popular paint lines. Before long, he had “raised it to the number one product category in our entire portfolio.” Next, he spent a few years as a technician, working in his parents’ collision center and at local dealerships. By his mid-20s, Bell went to work for BASF as a product specialist before transitioning into sales and then into senior management. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University while advancing through his career. Bell has always contributed financially to CREF, but now he’s ready to take his commitment to the next level. “As we think about attracting and retaining young talent, it’s vital that we promote the variety of career opportunities beyond becoming a technician. Many different positions need to be filled at body shops, distributors, manufacturers, paint companies, etc., but all of those roles require knowledge and skill.” “I’ve done the job at every level in collision repair, from prepping, welding to refinishing and can still build a car from end to end,” he said. “I really want to help young people understand the variety of options they’ll have by pursuing a collision career. This industry offers so many great career paths…the opportunities are truly endless!” Bell hopes his story might inspire young people to pursue a collision career, but he also wants to encourage others to get involved with CREF. “We need more collision professionals who know and care about this industry and who want to engage with this next generation of collision repairers,” he stressed, adding, “As I round the bend of my career, I have a different perspective: I realize how very blessed I’ve been to be part of this field, and I feel it’s important to give back to the industry that has given so much to me.” The desire to support the industry is a sentiment that Verbois shares. “As an industry leader, Enterprise is committed to the future of collision repair.” Verbois began his career with Enterprise in 1994 as a management trainee in Seattle, Washington. Over his decades-long career, he has held positions of increasing responsibility in markets throughout the country, earning a promotion to his current position in 2021. In this role, Verbois is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategy for MSO partnerships. Rent-A-Car hired him as a management trainee. Over the years, his career progressed, and last November, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the repair industry over the years and look forward to strengthening the many friendships and relationships I have built. A small MSO owner became one of my best friends, and I fly to see him every year to fish for salmon and tuna during the summer.” Although Verbois has been acquainted with CREF for a number of years through friend, co-worker and former CREF Board member Mary Mahoney, he’s looking forward to getting more involved now. ““The technician shortage is a critical issue. Enterprise and CREF share a commitment to advancing the industry through the development of high-quality and motivated collision repair employees. That’s also why Enterprise has invested in a first-of-its-kind Collision Engineering Program. In addition to preparing students for success, the Program also aims to change perception and increase awareness of opportunities in the industry. It is important to support the efforts of CREF as we work alongside our industry partners to solve this issue.”  Source: Aftermarket News

REV Group Promotes Brian Stout to VP & GM

REV Group, Inc., announced the promotion of Brian Stout to Vice President and General Manager of Midwest Automotive Designs, LLC, effective immediately. Stout has worked in various operational roles at Midwest Automotive Designs for the past 10 years, serving as the director of operations for the last three years. He will report to Mike Lanciotti, President, REV Recreation Segment. Based in Elkhart, Indiana, Midwest Automotive Designs introduced the Sprinter luxury van in 2001 and is now one of the most respected names in Sprinter Van custom conversions, known for quality, performance, and safety engineering, REV Group says. Since joining Midwest Automotive Designs in 2012, Stout has overseen four plant relocations while ensuring minimum downtime and a quick production ramp up in the new facilities. As director of operations, Stout has helped to increase production from five vans per week to highs of 40 vans per week, REV Group says. “Brian has been integral to Midwest’s growth, helping to increase production levels and identifying opportunities for improvement in efficiency and effectiveness,” said Mike Lanciotti, president, REV Recreation Segment. “His tremendous impact on the success of the business made him the ideal candidate to assume the leadership role, and we look forward to what he achieves as the VP/GM of Midwest Automotive Designs.” Stout holds an Associate Degree in Business Management from Southwestern Michigan College and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.  Source: Aftermarket News

Software supplier Aptiv to bolster EV power portfolio with $600 million acquisition

Autonomous vehicle software supplier Aptiv plc has agreed to acquire Intercable Automotive Solutions for around $600 million. The bolt on of the Bruneck, Italy-based manufacturer of busbar and battery cell technology would bolster Aptiv’s high voltage power portfolio and strengthen its standing in Europe. The deal, expected to close before the end of the year, is for an 85 percent equity stake in the company, according to a Tuesday statement. The Mutschlechner family will retain 15 percent ownership in the company they founded in 1972. “The combination strengthens our position as a full system supplier for electric vehicle manufacturers,” Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark said in the release. “In addition, Intercable’s differentiated technology design and manufacturing capabilities enable a more efficient and cost-effective vehicle assembly operation for our customers.” Intercable Automotive Solutions will operate as a standalone unit of Aptiv. The company’s customers include Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Aptiv’s largest customer is Stellantis NV, which accounted for 11 percent of sales in 2021, according to its year-end financial report. General Motors Co. was 8 percent of its business, Ford Motor Co. was 7 percent and Tesla Inc. was 4 percent. Other customers include VW and Toyota Motor Corp. Aptiv announced in 2019 it would form a $4 billion joint venture with Hyundai Motor Co. based in Boston, where it planned to offer a driverless autonomous platform for robotaxi providers, fleet operators and automakers. For the Intercable Automotive Solutions deal, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial adviser to Aptiv, and Clifford Chance LLP is its legal adviser. “Joining forces with Aptiv will enable us to bring our advanced products and technologies to customers around the world by leveraging their extensive scale and global reach,” Intercable’s CEO Klaus Mutschlechner said in the release.  Source: Automotive News

Lightning eMotors Announces CFO Transition

Lightning eMotors, a provider of zero-emission medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, has announced that Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Teresa Covington is retiring, effective Oct. 2. She will continue to be available to the company as needed through March 31, 2023. “Since joining the Lightning team early last year, Teresa has built a strong finance and accounting organization, establishing solid internal controls and financial planning & analysis processes during a critical period in the company’s history,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lighting eMotors. “Her leadership, work ethic and public company experience have established the foundation of financial rigor and systems that are critical for Lightning’s success as we continue to grow the business. I want to thank Teresa for all her work and wish her the very best as she embarks on a new chapter of her life.” “It has been a privilege to work alongside Tim and the leadership team at Lightning as we built a strong company, introduced new products, and invested for the future. I’m excited to watch the company continue to grow and thrive and I am invested in ensuring there is a smooth transition,” said Covington. The company also announced that David Agatston has been named to succeed Covington as CFO, beginning Oct. 3. Agatston has more than 25 years of experience in positions in finance, strategic analysis and corporate development. Most recently, he has been providing CFO consulting services as the founder of Devil’s Peak Consulting, and prior to this was a Divisional CFO for the Zayo Group, a provider of mission-critical communications infrastructure to enterprises with large bandwidth requirements. Agatston holds a degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. Reeser continued, “We are thrilled to welcome an experienced business leader who will continue the progress already underway at Lightning. David’s proven history of driving financial excellence will be vital as we work together to accelerate the company’s growth and drive toward profitability.” “I am excited to join Lightning eMotors and to work with the team to execute the Company’s strategic plan, accelerate growth, and increase shareholder value,” added Agatston. “I embrace Lightning’s vision of a zero-emission future for commercial vehicles, and I look forward to helping the company achieve that vision.”  Source: Aftermarket News

Former Ford President Hinrichs named CEO of railroad giant CSX

Rail operator CSX Corp. said on Thursday it has named former Ford Motor Co. President Joe Hinrichs as its CEO, effective Sept. 26. Hinrichs, 55, who left Ford in 2020, succeeds CEO James Foote, who will retire this month but remain a company advisor through March 31, 2023, the company said in a statement. The announcement came hours after the U.S. freight rail sector reached a tentative labor agreement with unions, averting a potentially crippling disruption to the U.S. economy. “It’s in everyone’s interest to find a solution,” Hinrichs told Reuters before Thursday morning’s tentative agreement was reached. CSX has a “very strong balance sheet, very strong operating performance,” said Hinrichs, who has more than 30 years of experience in automotive, manufacturing and energy sectors. “What we need to do is engage our employees and really take this operating model and improve our service to our customers. And in so doing, increase our capacity and our performance for our customers.” “This appointment is the result of a long and deliberate process, in which we identified the strongest candidate to lead CSX through its next phase of growth and transformation,” CSX Chairman John Zillmer said in the statement. Hinrichs said rail could been an important part of addressing many challenges like cutting emissions and reducing roadway congestion. “It’s so much more efficient and so much less emissions than then trucking other alternatives,” he said.  Source: Automotive News

Center for Auto Safety names executive director after long vacancy

The Center for Auto Safety named Michael Brooks its new executive director, effective Thursday. Brooks, 48, most recently was acting executive director of the consumer advocacy group, following the departure of former leader Jason Levine in December. Automotive News first reported Levine’s resignation. He is now executive director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Brooks joined the Center for Auto Safety as a staff attorney in 2000. Before Levine’s departure, he worked since 2017 as the organization’s chief counsel and COO. He is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and Millsaps College. “The center has a rich history of ensuring an independent voice in the nation’s capital on vehicle safety and quality issues,” Brooks said in a statement Thursday. “I hope to continue that tradition,” he continued, “as we enter an age where our cars are rapidly turning into computers on wheels, bringing not only revolutionary safety potential but also new and more complex challenges to public safety on our roads.” Jack Gillis, chair of the center’s board of directors, said Brooks has the board’s “full confidence” and “is an experienced and effective auto safety leader and advocate.” The center was founded in 1970 and has pushed for lemon laws in every state, airbags in every vehicle, free recall repairs and more transparency in automaker and government vehicle safety activities. It said that under Brooks’ leadership, the center will maintain its watchdog role and continue to advocate for consumers as U.S. traffic deaths surge to record-high levels. Joan Claybrook, former NHTSA administrator, referred to Brooks as “one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the nation about government requirements for vehicle safety advances since the law was enacted in 1966.” “His mission will be to push for timely upgrading of existing vehicle safety standards, demand new standards for the new technologies being developed, and assure the recall of defective systems to protect public safety,” she said. “He is highly qualified to secure these goals.”  Source: Automotive News

Autel Energy Appoints John Thomas as COO

Autel Energy, an EV charging and energy solutions provider, has appointed John Thomas to lead its newly created North American business unit as chief operating officer. Thomas will oversee sales, marketing, manufacturing and strategy at Autel Energy and will report to Chloe Hung, CEO of Autel U.S.A. “John is the right person to lead Autel Energy through our dynamic growth,” said Hung. “We are aggressively investing in people and products, positioning ourselves as a leading global player in the electric vehicle and energy space. Together, John and I will pursue the North American market, creating partnerships, growing initiatives and brand expansion, and maintaining and building on the strengths and culture of our core business.” Thomas brings more than 30 years of automotive, government relations and transportation expertise, including more than five years of leadership in the EV space. He previously served as president and CEO of Webasto Charging Systems Inc., leading the organization’s transition from its core business as a Tier I automotive parts supplier to the EV charging space. He set a comprehensive strategy leading to substantial business growth and transformation. “As the nation pivots toward renewable energy solutions, Autel Energy is poised to help the transition through disruptive technology that benefits our team, our customers and the planet,” said Thomas. “As Autel Energy embarks on its journey to becoming a powerhouse in the North American market, I am confident that my experience, combined with Autel Energy’s products and value proposition, will drive the company into a leading position in the EV market during this pivotal moment.”  Source: Aftermarket News

LKQ Announces Executive Leadership Appointments

LKQ Corporation announced two leadership appointments, effective immediately. Varun Laroyia, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed as chief executive officer and managing director of LKQ Europe. Laroyia succeeds Arnd Franz, who is leaving the Company to join Mahle Group (“Mahle”) as its chief executive officer, where he spent 18 years prior to joining LKQ Europe. Rick Galloway, chief financial officer of LKQ’s Wholesale – North America and Self Service segments, has been appointed as LKQ’s senior vice president and chief financial officer. “Varun has been a driving force and passionate change agent for LKQ the past five years,” said Dominick Zarcone, president and chief executive officer. “With his tremendous leadership and knowledge of the Company and our European markets, I am thrilled that Varun is taking this role. Varun has been my trusted partner in the transformation of LKQ. He has brought tremendous focus to our operational excellence program, establishing important performance metrics and reviews, dramatically improving our working capital efficiency and cash flow, rigorously reviewing our portfolio of businesses, and thoughtfully driving capital allocation decisions. This experience and his strategic vision will play a critical role in taking LKQ Europe to an even higher level of success. Importantly, this leadership transition comes at a time when the European business is on track to deliver on its long-term operational and financial targets.” “Rick has been a key contributor to the achievement of the record-level EBITDA margins in our Wholesale – North America and Self Service segments the past few years, having generated significant operational and financial efficiencies,” continued Zarcone. “He is a natural fit and will provide continuity as we execute on our strategic priorities to deliver value for our stockholders. We believe Rick’s wealth of operational experience and clear understanding of our returns-focused strategy will serve LKQ well.”  Source: Aftermarket News

TecAlliance Appoints David Williams New CEO of OptiCat/JNPSoft

TecAlliance announced it appointed David Williams as the new CEO of its OptiCat/JNPSoft operations in the United States and Canada. Williams will progressively succeed Charles Johnson and assume his new responsibilities on September 12, the company says. After 10 years as CEO, in which he has helped grow the business to a position of significance in providing data distribution and software services to the North American mobility aftermarket, Johnson will transition to a role supporting David Williams as he enters into his new position, through year end, and then move into the role as a consultant for TecAlliance beginning in January of 2023. “It was immediately clear that David Williams was the right fit. Under his leadership, we look forward to a vibrant and flourishing future of our USA/Canada business and the many customer organizations we serve each year,” said David Winter, executive vice president Sales at TecAlliance. “I would also like to express our heartfelt thanks to Charles Johnson for his efforts over many years in making OptiCat/ JNPSoft a successful part of the TecAlliance group.” Williams is joining JNPSoft/OptiCat from DENSO Products & Services Americas Inc. where he has held several roles spanning almost 10 years. In his latest role as the Director of Automotive Original Equipment Service Parts Division, he oversaw the sales, distribution, development, and production of traditional service parts, diagnostic equipment, and emerging connected solutions sold to North American car makers.  Source: Aftermarket News

Mahle, ZF replace executives in management shakeups

German auto supplier Mahle has shaken up its management team, naming Arnd Franz, currently head of parts-maker LKQ Europe, as CEO and promoting Markus Kapaun to CFO from head of finance and accounting Europe, the company said Monday. Franz’s position was most recently held by Matthias Arleth, who was appointed CEO in October 2021 but left the company in April. His appointment is something of a homecoming: Franz had worked at Mahle for 18 years before leaving to run LKQ Europe in 2019. Kapaun succeeds Michael Frick, who on Monday was announced as CFO of ZF Friedrichshafen, replacing Konstantin Sauer. He starts in his new role Dec. 1. The transition to electrification at Mahle, known for making internal-combustion engine components such as pistons, has led to friction between management and unions. With the appointment of Franz, who starts Nov. 1, Mahle will have had three CEOs in less than two years, with periods of several months in which an interim CEO led the company. Joerg Stratmann, who took the position in 2018, resigned on March 31, 2021, under pressure from unions after announcing restructuring plans in 2020 that included cutting 7,600 jobs, including 2,000 in Germany. Stratmann was replaced by Arleth, an executive at sunroof-maker Webasto, who started on Jan. 1 of this year. But he left after just four months “by mutual agreement,” the company said. His position was temporarily filled by Frick starting in May. Franz, a native of Stuttgart who holds a degree in business administration, started his career in 1992 with Deutsche Industrie-Holding, and worked at other companies including TEV, Erlensee and Magna Seating Systems. He joined Mahle in 2001 as managing director of Mahle Tennex North America. He joined the management committee in 2006, responsible for aftermarket, and the management board in 2013, responsible for sales and engineering applications and aftermarket. Kapaun, also a native of Stuttgart, joined Mahle as a trainee in 2003. His management posts included head of controlling at Mahle South America; vice president finance, accounting, IT and legal affairs North America in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Kapaun was named to his current post in 2020. Michael Frick moves to ZF from Mahle. At ZF, Frick will replace Sauer, who has been CFO since 2010. Sauer’s tenure included ZF’s $12.4 billion takeover of U.S. supplier TRW, which led to the ouster of CEO Stefan Sommer in 2017. Sauer was appointed interim CEO until Wolf-Henning Scheider was named to replace Sommer. Sauer joined ZF in 1990 and held a number of top management positions, including president of the South America region starting in 2000. He also oversaw financial details of ZF’s acquisition of Wabco in 2019. Frick holds a degree in business administration degree from the University of Bamberg, Germany. He joined Mahle in 2003 as head of corporate controlling. Frick held management roles in China and the UK, before being appointed commercial director of Mahle-Behr in 2011. He has been a member of the Mahle board of management responsible for finance since 2014.  Source: Automotive News

VP Racing Fuels Names Kevin Temple Vice President, Branded Retail

VP Racing Fuels, Inc., regarded worldwide as the leader in racing, performance fuel products, and branded retail, announced today that Kevin Temple is joining VP as Vice President, Branded Retail. “The VP team prides itself in having star players leading every division,” said Alan Cerwick, VP’s president and CEO. “With over 35 years at Phillips 66, Kevin brings an incredible wealth of experience and knowledge in building, managing, operating, and merchandising for networks of both company-owned and licensee-operated convenience stores.” Most recently, Temple was Director of Business Development at Phillips, where he negotiated deals for over $500 million in sales. His career responsibilities have included leadership roles across the many disciplines of downstream petroleum sales and marketing operations, strategic sourcing, wholesale account management, and sales force excellence. Temple holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management and marketing from Northeastern State University. Assuming the role of Vice President of Product Management is Ben Dolan. Dolan was most recently VP’s Vice President of Branded Retail. Dolan joined VP in 2020 following more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience across a broad range of industries. Dolan earned his BS in Marketing and MBA with a digital marketing concentration from the University of Dayton. ZF ranks No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with sales to automakers of $39.3 billion in 2021, and Mahle ranks 19th, with sales of $12.9 billion.  Source: Aftermarket News

Alltech Automotive Announces Sales Leadership Appointments

Alltech Automotive, a manufacturer of aftermarket parts, has promoted two top performers in its national sales team. Roger Bird is now director of sales – retail markets. Bird joined Alltech in 2018 as national account manager and has more than 25 years of aftermarket sales and management experience with Motovicity Distribution, Philips Automotive Lighting and AutoZone. Bruce Overton becomes director of sales – traditional markets, having joined Alltech recently as eastern regional sales manager. Overton has held sales management roles with Plews & Edelmann, Old World Industries LLC, Genuine Parts Co. and more. “Roger and Bruce have been key contributors to Alltech’s phenomenal growth,” said Richard Odom, vice president of sales and marketing at Alltech. “We look forward to even greater success that lies ahead.”   Source: Aftermarket News

BorgWarner Taps Sailaja Shankar as New Board Director

BorgWarner announced Sailaja Shankar has been named to its Board of Directors. Shankar is the senior vice president and general manager of the Cisco Security Business Group, where she is responsible for the company’s global security business—including its innovative strategy, portfolio, and architecture. “We are pleased to welcome Sailaja to BorgWarner’s Board of Directors,” said Alexis P. Michas, non-executive chairman of the board of BorgWarner. “Sailaja’s breadth of leadership experience through strategic change in large enterprise organizations, coupled with her digital, cybersecurity, software, and software applications knowledge make her a strong complement to our board as our product line continues to evolve and we deliver on Charging Forward.” Shankar holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Maris Stella College, and a Bachelor’s and Master of Arts from Andhra University in Mass Communications/Journalism and English Literature.   Source: Aftermarket News

Lightning eMotors Adds New Board Director

Lightning eMotors Inc., a provider of zero emission medium-duty commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology for fleets, announced that Wanda Jackson-Davis has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. “We are pleased to welcome Wanda Jackson-Davis to the Lightning Board,” said Robert Fenwick-Smith, the company’s board chairman. “Wanda’s knowledge and experience in supply chain, procurement and operations will provide perspective that complements our current board strengths as we position the Company for growth and success in the evolving eV marketplace.” Jackson-Davis has more than 20 years of procurement and supply chain experience in power, automation, automotive and industrial settings. She has significant experience developing leading-edge procurement and sourcing processes for top industrial companies. She currently serves as the vice president of Sourcing & Procurement for McKesson, a global leader in health care supplies, retail pharmacy and pharmaceutical distribution. Prior experience includes senior-level positions in supply chain and procurement for leading companies such as Dematic, ABB and Ford Motor Co. Jackson-Davis also co-founded Black Women’s Executive Pathway, an Atlanta-based executive education provider that offers specialized executive training programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University and an MBA from Emory University.   Source: Aftermarket News

Junior Word Promoted to Advance EVP

Advance Auto Parts has announced the departure of Michael C. Creedon Jr., executive vice president, U.S. stores, effective Sept. 30, 2022. Creedon will be succeeded by Herman Word Jr. (“Junior”), who has been promoted to executive vice president, U.S. stores and Carquest Independents. Word joined Advance in February 2003 and has served in his current role as division president, Carquest North America, leading our Carquest Independents since June 2019. “We are extremely grateful for the numerous contributions Mike has made in his nine years with Advance,” said Tom Greco, Advance’s president and CEO. “Under Mike’s leadership, we have significantly improved overall store operations and built a much stronger field team and culture. We thank him for his service and wish Mike and his family nothing but continued success as he begins his next chapter as a chief operating officer.” Greco continued, “Over the past several years, we’ve been highly focused on building a deep bench of talented leaders at Advance and I am delighted to announce Junior’s well-deserved promotion. Since joining Advance nearly 20 years ago, Junior has distinguished himself as an outstanding operator and developer of talent. He has performed all of the key jobs within Advance’s store operations and has consistently led our performance in numerous field assignments over many years. Most recently, he has significantly accelerated the performance of our Carquest Independents by increasing sales and adding over one hundred new locations in the past three years. Under Junior’s leadership of our more than 6,000 corporate and independently owned stores, we are well positioned to further execute our strategic objectives.”   Source: Aftermarket News

EGR USA Announces 2 Executive Appointments

EGR USA announces the recent promotion of Tommy Lamb to the position of digital sales & content manager. Hired in 2016 as customer service manager, Lamb has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and as a sales manager. He worked to develop EGR sales via e-commerce and retail exceeding the company’s sales targets year-over-year. An expert in e-commerce and branding, he has contributed to the marketing, pricing, and exposure of EGR precision engineered truck accessories to B2B and B2C audiences. In his new capacity he will be more directly focused on e-commerce and digital content to build EGR product awareness, help refine EGR data and manage EGR’s UMAP policy to enhance customer sales. EGR USA also announced the addition of Pat Johnson as the company’s national sales director. Johnson brings a wealth of experience growing sales revenues by building robust, lucrative, customer-first relationships in the automotive aftermarket industry. He is a passionate Jeep and off-road enthusiast with more than 20 years of sales experience. Prior to joining EGR USA, Johnson served as director of business development for AAMP Global/Stinger Off-Road, where he was responsible for launching the Stinger Off-Road brand online and building a B2B distribution network. Previously, he served as national sales manager/key account manager for Truck Hero in the Jeep & Off-road division. Mike Timmons, vice president of sales and marketing, said, “EGR USA is expanding rapidly and is developing a top-notch team to aggressively build the EGR brand. Tommy has been invaluable to the company and this promotion will allow him to build a more cohesive communications strategy for the EGR RollTrac and our full line of truck accessories. We are fortunate to also have Pat join us as our new national sales director. Pat is widely known in our industry, has a wealth of accessory sales experience and has great relationships that will help open doors at all levels of distribution.”   Source: Aftermarket News

Brent Wolak Named Director of Sales for TBC Brands

TBC Brands, one of the largest distributors of proprietary brand tires in North America, has promoted Brent Wolak to director of sales. In his new role, Wolak will lead all sales and growth efforts for TBC Brands’ business with a steadfast focus on exceeding the expectations of our customer partners. Wolak joined TBC in 2006 as the marketing manager for TBC’s distribution division. Over his tenure, he has taken on roles of increasing responsibility spanning sales and business development. He has been extremely instrumental in initiatives focused on reinventing and redefining the sales and customer engagement processes. Under his leadership, the team has successfully identified development opportunities and built relationships, further solidifying TBC Brands as the provider of choice. “Brent has made significant contributions to TBC Brands throughout his 16-year tenure,” said Geoff Doster, president & COO of TBC Brands and TBC International. “I am confident that, under his leadership, the TBC Brands team will continue to thrive, and I look forward to celebrating additional successes in his new role.”   Source: Aftermarket News

Auto Care Association Names Senior Vice President

The Auto Care Association today announced the addition of Lisa Foshee to its government affairs team. Foshee will hold the role of senior vice president, government affairs and general counsel. In her role, Foshee will provide leadership and direction for the association’s federal and state legislative and regulatory efforts.  These efforts include educating legislators on issues of importance to Auto Care Association members; building grassroots support among members and consumers for the association’s legislative and regulatory objectives; informing and updating members on regulatory and legislative developments important to their business; and assisting members with federal, state and local law compliance. “We are thrilled to have Lisa join the Auto Care team as we enter a new era of representation of our industry’s legislative and regulatory issues,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “The integration of vehicle technology and policy is integral to our industry’s success, and Lisa’s strong legal background and expertise in regulatory affairs and litigation will serve our members well in our ongoing fight for the right to repair as well as future technologies that will affect our industry at all levels. Lisa has proven experience in collaboration, team building and policy which are traits that will serve the industry well.” Foshee graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989 and UVA Law School in 1992. Prior to joining the Auto Care Association, Foshee worked at AT&T, where most notably she represented AT&T’s Internet of Things group. Foshee was the first lawyer for the Internet of Things group and helped the team pioneer wireless connectivity in the connected car space from 3G vehicles through the initial deployment of 5G networks. She has worked with automotive OEMs around the world to support the growth of their emerging technologies. Additionally, Foshee advised the company on antitrust and regulatory matters. Earlier in her career, Foshee worked in private practice as a corporate litigator.   Source: Aftermarket News

Grote Industries Adds 3 to Leadership Team

Grote continues its refocus on creating and leading safety-related innovation with the addition of three experienced members to its leadership team. Kent Bode (pictured right) has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing for the U.S. sales team, while Cesar Perez-Bolivar (pictured left) transitions to take over leadership responsibilities of Grote Electronics, and Mel Mendoza (center) has been hired as the new vice president of operations, North America. “Facing challenges head-on with strong leadership has been instrumental to Grote’s legacy over the past 120 years,” said John Grote, chief operating officer of Grote Industries. “These three leaders all embody that, two of them with more than 30 years of industry experience, and each with the ability to rise to the occasion and meet our customers’ ever-changing needs.” Bode started at Grote in 1997, serving in various engineering capacities as a product manager, regional manager and director of OEM Sales. Bode’s leadership was instrumental in Grote Industries winning several prestigious business awards. He has had lifelong exposure to the lighting and electrical industries, growing up in his family’s electrical contracting business. Bode will lead the U.S. sales team, the marketing team and the business development team in his new role. Perez-Bolivar has been with Grote for nearly a decade, working on research, engineering and development, while focusing on Grote’s focus on safety, productivity, security and cost savings. He’s long been an expert in material selection, design of experiments and testing, most recently serving as the director of engineering, leading Grote’s headlamp engineering and manufacturing division in Madison, Indiana. Mendoza is new to the Grote team, bringing more than 35 years of experience as a global business leader working for a diverse group of manufacturing companies. His track record of leading and building teams at Plymouth Tube Co., Acuity Brands Lighting, Emerson Electric, Danaher Controls and Zenith Electronics, positions him as an expert to lead the manufacturing and supply chain for all of Grote’s North American facilities in Madison, Waterloo and Monterrey. “Grote has always been known for our innovation, ethical business practices and a strong commitment to providing quality products and service,” Grote said. “As we expand the company’s vision to make the world safer and smarter through connected visibility, I believe the broad experiences and successful leadership styles of our new management team put us in a position to focus on the future.”   Source: Aftermarket News

Lev Peker Joins the PARTS iD Inc. Board of Directors

PARTS iD Inc., the owner and operator of, among other verticals,, a digital commerce platform for the automotive aftermarket, has announced the appointment of Lev Peker to its board of directors, effective Sept. 28. “Lev’s experience building and bringing to profitability disruptive online businesses, particularly in the automotive and automotive parts industry, makes him a valuable addition to our board,” said Prashant Pathak, chairman of PARTS iD. “We’re pleased to welcome Lev and know that the company and its shareholders will benefit from his industry expertise and track record of value creation.” Peker served as CEO of, an e-commerce provider of automotive parts and accessories from 2019 to 2022. During his tenure, he returned the business to growth and delivered the highest annual profitability in the history of In April 2022, Peker was appointed CEO of Carlotz Inc., a leading consignment-to-retail used vehicle marketplace. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Marketing Officer at Adorama, a leading electronics retailer and also held senior positions at Sears Holdings Corp. and US Auto Parts. “I’ve long admired PARTS iD’s differentiated, technology driven business model and the opportunity it presents for transforming the $400 billion automotive aftermarket industry,” said Peker. “It’s an honor to join the board and I look forward to contributing to the strategy and direction of the company as we progress on delivering profitable growth and increasing long-term shareholder value.” Peker, who will serve as chairperson of the audit committee, replaces Ann Schwister who stepped down from the board for personal reasons. Pathak continued, “Ann was a key member of our board and her contributions are truly appreciated. We wish her the very best as she steps down to take time to attend to her personal matters”   Source: Aftermarket News

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