By Christina KwanHeading into the 2013 SEMA Show, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) re-evaluated its core mission statement, and it now reflects the group’s proactive and ongoing advocacy for women in the aftermarket industry. SBN’s mission is to provide networking, education and recognition opportunities for professional women in the automotive specialty-equipment industry that will enhance their careers and positively impact the growth of the entire automotive aftermarket.
SEMA Member News—March/April 2014
Getting Involved With SBN: From MRP to Select Committee
Supporting the association that represents the automotive specialty-equipment market is reason enough to join SEMA, but there are many additional reasons. Some are especially helpful to the retail segment, but wading through all the benefits SEMA offers can be overwhelming at times. For those who are wondering about the value, here are the top five reasons it pays for retailers to join the association.
SEMA Member News—March/April 2014
Five Reasons Why It Pays to Be a SEMA-Member Retailer
Some Hot Segments to WatchFor many businesses in the automotive aftermarket, racing remains the lifeblood. This industry was founded on passion and performance, and automotive racing continues to drive product research and development and retail sales, inspiring manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike. After taking a hit from a rough economy over the past several years, racing is seeing a resurgence. While many motorsports segments are trending upward, there are a few in particular that merit watching in the coming year. Following the trends in these hot segments can lead to greater marketing success for all levels of the industry.
A $50 Raffle Ticket Could Win You an $80,000 Custom F-150 Charity Truck Built by StudentsInstead of being auctioned like previous WD-40/SEMA Cares vehicles, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150 off-road truck that was revealed at the 2013 SEMA Show is now available through a raffle at $50 per ticket. “We thought we’d try something different this year,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM and product development programs. “This year’s raffle truck will get a lot of promotion because it will be publicized in the Source Interlink Media [a build partner] magazines and bring more attention to SEMA Cares and its charities.”
A $50 Raffle Ticket Could Win You an $80,000 Custom F-150 Charity Truck Built by Students
Instead of being auctioned like previous WD-40/SEMA Cares vehicles, the WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150 off-road truck that was revealed at the 2013 SEMA Show is now available through a raffle at $50 per ticket.
What’s Driving the Industry’s Young Entrepreneurs?A lot has been said and written lately about the “aging” of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Built over roughly six decades by hands-on parts and hardcore speed and performance innovators, the automotive aftermarket is now an industry topping $30 billion. However, questions currently abound over whether it will continue to attract younger enthusiasts—not only as consumers but as entrepreneurs.
Thousands of reporters and journalists attend the SEMA Show each year with the goal of sharing new products and trends with consumers who are unable to see what’s happening in person. Many of the journalists represent automotive publications. However, as vehicle customization becomes more mainstream and consumers seek to personalize everything from cell-phone covers to coffee orders, general interest in the SEMA Show increases. Representatives from daily newspapers and mainstream outlets come to the SEMA Show to share with their readers news on how they can personalize their vehicles, whether with something as simple as a custom floor mat or seat cover or with a new paint scheme or engine component.
For the tenth year, a panel of 29 journalists from leading international media outlets served on the Global Media Award panel. Journalists from 14 countries participated, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom and Venezuela. Each was charged with choosing 10 products from the more than 2,000 new products introduced at the 2013 SEMA Show that they believe would resonate best with their consumers. Narrowing down the selection to only 10 products was difficult, said Graham Erasmus of South Africa’s Automotive Business Review. “Being a global media awards judge is pretty daunting,” he explained. “You are given six hours to vote for your 10 winning products, but the real problem lies in picking the final 10. I got it down to a short list of 28 and then had to go through the agonizing process of [whittling down the list to the final 10].”
Presented annually at the SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, the SEMA Person of the Year Award ranks among the association’s most prestigious honors. At the 2013 SEMA Show, the award went to George Lathouris, a 36-year marketing veteran. Lathouris was recognized for his volunteer leadership contributions, philanthropy and overall influence on the marketplace.Lathouris is currently senior category manager at Keystone Automotive Operations in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He started his career working in a warehouse for American Speed Equipment in New York and worked his way up to the position of national sales and advertising manager.