Aftermarket Business

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Financial Benchmarking Reports: Free for Limited Time Only

The Financial Benchmarking Reports for July are now available free to SEMA members for a limited time. The Financial Benchmarking Program provides members with a way to measure and compare their operations against other businesses in the specialty-equipment industry. Participants in the program provide survey feedback about their business operations, which is aggregated with other companies’ information monthly to create three unique reports focused on...

SEMA News—December 2013

INDUSTRY NEWS

The SEMA Garage

SEMA recently hosted members of the media for a tour of the SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center. The event was held in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 12, 2013, at SEMA’s headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. The SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center helps businesses create and design products for the automotive accessory market. Outfitted with nearly $2 million worth of equipment, the SEMA Garage features a complete emissions-testing cell for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification. In addition, a 3D lab, complete with a Faro arm and a 3D scanner, allows member companies to quickly scan production cars and accurately model production parts. Media who joined the tour were also given the opportunity to see additional equipment, including digital race car scales, vehicle lifts and a temperature-controlled test cell. Some of the coverage is highlighted below.

SEMA News—December 2013

REQUIRED READING

The SEMA Garage

SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations CenterSEMA recently hosted members of the media for a tour of the SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center. The event was held in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 12, 2013, at SEMA’s headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

Silver Bullet

Manage All Social Media With a Single ToolCompanies looking for a single tool to manage their social-media presence across all networks can take heart: Dozens of all-in-one solutions are available that will make the most of a company’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al. Even better: Market-research firm Forrester conducted a rigorous study of la crème de la crème of these social-media dashboards and has come up with a list of what it considers “strong performers.”Essentially, Forrester has done all the advance shopping and legwork for you. So if you’re looking for a single tool that will handle virtually every aspect of your social-media needs, Forrester suggests you investigate the following...

SEMA News—December 2013

INTERNET
By Joe Dysart

App Use Vs. Web

A Marketing Opportunity BeckonsWith mobile apps trouncing mobile websites as the preferred medium among smartphone and tablet users, businesses looking to reach those audiences are seriously considering marketing and advertising “in-app.” Essentially, mobile-device users are spending much more time with their apps than with the mobile web—in part because those apps often run much faster on smartphones and tablets than the mobile web does.

SEMA News—December 2013

INTERNET
By Joe Dysart

2013 SEMA Report Card: Latest Initiatives to Help You Succeed

As 2013 comes to a close, we’re pleased to be wrapping up a SEMA Show that delivered tremendous value to our largest turnout ever of exhibiting manufacturers and buyers. Meanwhile, SEMA has been launching several new value propositions to help the industry. What follows is a progress report on some “big idea” programs recently funded and launched by SEMA to help our members grow their businesses. December means the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, which is returning this year to enormous industry support in the city of Indianapolis. This move follows SEMA’s one-two acquisition of PRI and the International Motorsports Industry Show...

SEMA News—December 2013

CHRIS KERSTING

The Promise of China

U.S. Specialty-Equipment Companies Visit an Emerging MarketTwenty-two SEMA-member companies recently traveled to China for the 2013 SEMA China Business Development Conference. The program included a briefing by U.S. government officials, a visit to specialty-equipment shops, an evening at the Great Hall of the People (which serves as the seat of the Chinese parliament) and exhibiting at the China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE). About two-thirds of the delegation had participated in previous SEMA overseas business-development programs to China and/or the Middle East, while this was the first time participating in an overseas SEMA event for a third of the companies and the first time exploring this market of 1.3 billion people.

SEMA News—December 2013

INTERNATIONAL

The Promise of China

U.S. Specialty-Equipment Companies Visit an Emerging Market

By Linda Spencer

Rapid Change Calls for Immediate Attention

Current studies suggest that up to 90% of shopping now begins with an Internet search, whether the product is ultimately purchased online or through a brick-and-mortar retail store. And mobile is overhauling other search devices, with tablets alone projected to account for 65% of all sales made on mobile devices. That’s a rapid change from only a short time ago.“It’s like dog years, where one year is actually seven years worth of change,” said Bob Moore, partner in the automotive aftermarket consulting company J&B Service in Kansas City, Missouri. “For example, I was looking at a presentation we did in 2010...

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Rapid Change Calls for Immediate Attention

From the Data Co-op to Responsive Websites, Staying Current Is Critical

By Steve Campbell

Trends for 2014

A Look to the Future With SEMA Council LeadersSEMA News annually turns to the leaders of the association’s councils and networks for the December issue to seek their views about how the industry is shaping up for the coming year. The chairs or chairs-elect of each group provide responses based on what their organizations and their companies are seeing within their marketplaces. Their responses provide helpful insights for businesses in every segment of the marketplace.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Steve Campbell

Product Data: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

Think of it as the selling Field of Dreams. Much like the enthralling Kevin Costner movie, it all starts with a lot of convincing, believing and perhaps a small leap of faith as you struggle to understand this challenging new requirement. This uncertain phase is followed by a period of ups and downs, ultimately creating some hard work that, at times, can feel like a hopelessly endless task. But man, oh, man: When you finally get to play, it’s suddenly all worth it!I can’t stress enough how an ongoing regimen of product data gathering, expanding and quality control is critical to the success of your business. Own the process, understand its importance and seek help when you get confused or sidetracked.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Jon Wyly

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the EnvironmentA package for an automotive product serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is protection. Whether a package contains highly durable grade-8 fasteners or a fragile electronic tuning device, its main mission is to get the product to the end user in pristine condition. But a package can also serve sales functions, provide branding and inform consumers about an entire product line. “Our products can be expensive,” said Joe Dussol, marketing director for Powerteq, which is the parent company of Superchips and Edge Products. “Depending on the product, some people might spend $600–$1,000, and we want the customer to feel like he’s holding something worth that kind of money when he picks up our package. That’s why our packaging might be a little bit more costly than doing a cardboard box with some print on it, but we really want it to stand out.”

SEMA News—December 2013

BEST PRACTICES
By Steve Campbell

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the Environment

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