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More than 230 exhibitors attended the 2011 Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA (Tire Industry Association). Now in its second year (see p. 20), the special section within the 2011 SEMA Show is dedicated exclusively to tire industry products and has quickly become the hot destination for buyers thirsting for the latest and greatest trends.

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Style Meets Performance: Wheels and Accessories Premiere at 2011 SEMA Show

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Wheel manufacturers continue to innovate with attention-grabbing designs, vibrant colors and exotic finishes. In fact, for the 2011 SEMA Show more than 19,000 buyers noted a specific interest in wheels, hubcaps and related accessories on their registration questionnaire. Striking a delicate balance between style, fitment and overall performance—more than 140 exhibitors unveiled their latest creations at this year’s Show.

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Land Grab: Why Every Business Needs to Stake a Claim on Google+

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While Google+ boasts 40 million members, it’s still relatively small for a social network. Nonetheless, many businesses have wasted no time scrambling to set up their own pages there. Search-engine optimization (SEO) experts say that the land grab is a smart move, since businesses with a presence on Google+ are expected to move up higher on Google search-engine returns.

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Market Trends in Tires and Wheels

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The tire and wheel section is perennially one of the largest display areas at the SEMA Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Tires and wheels are also one of the most favored modifications that car and truck owners make to their vehicles, since a single, relatively simple change can entirely alter the appearance and character of a vehicle.

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Hisself

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Yes, that is Honest Charley Card, Hisself, parked in front of his brand-new, 30,000-sq.-ft. speed parts store on Honest Street in Chattanooga. Hot Rod’s Ralph Guldahl traveled to Tennessee in late 1970 to profile the legendary retailer, who had recently become the second inductee into SEMA’s Hall of Fame.

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Innovation on Display

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The winners of the New Products Showcase Awards were announced during the New Products Breakfast held at the 2011 SEMA Show.

The event recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. Nearly 2,000 new products were submitted this year for consideration.

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Protecting Far-Flung Company Data

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As significant numbers of businesses migrate to outside-the-enterprise services, such as cloud computing and social media, legal experts say they should consult with their attorneys to ensure that far-flung data is protected, trackable and accessible. Indeed, data generated by cloud computing is especially rife with risk, given that data is stored offsite and under the control of a third-party vendor—a vendor who may not be as awestruck over the importance of a company’s crown data jewels as its officers are.

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Finding Profit in Clean Data

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As the co-founder and current chairman of SEMA’s Business Technology Committee (BTC), Bob Moore is also a tireless advocate for the use of standardized data and building a shared data system. He has been working in the automotive aftermarket since 1976 and is a partner with Jerry McCabe in J&B Service, a consulting company that specializes in the automotive specialty-equipment market.

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Solutions That Deliver

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Marketers looking for an extremely robust tool to monitor social media should take a close look at offerings from Crimson Hexagon, evolve24 and NetBase, according to market research firm Forrester, a company with a longstanding reputation for objective market analysis. All three social media dashboards “excel in their data processing abilities,” said Zach Hofer-Shall, a Forrester analyst.

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9 Current and Emerging Trends and Tools

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Business technology is in a constant state of evolution, and it can be a maddening chore to try to keep up. It seems that every innovation begets an even newer version only a few weeks later. In some cases, the latest gizmo is only a marginal improvement on what went before, but there are significant trends and tools that simply cannot be ignored. In some very tangible instances, a company can be left behind while its competitors employ technological tools to expand and improve.

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