DETROIT — Tony Merpi, Automotive News' top advertising and marketing executive through a period of extensive growth for the publication in the 1990s and 2000s, died on May 25 after a long illness.
Merpi, 74, joined Automotive News in 1976 as a sales representative, handling the Ford Motor Co. account. From 1993 to 2008 he was vice president for sales and marketing of the Automotive News Group, which included several sibling publications. He retired in 2008, but returned to Automotive News in 2010 as director of marketing. In 2013, he was named group subscriptions manager, a position he held until his death.
Before joining Automotive News, Merpi was a branch manager for Fruehauf Corp.'s Rentco Division and a personnel specialist for the U.S. Army.
The energetic, good-humored native of Detroit was an endless source of marketing and promotional ideas — a sales executive who loved the automotive industry and, above all, valued the editorial integrity of the publication.
Services will be at 7 pm ET on May 31, 2018, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Shelby Township, Mich.