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.
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.
Over the last several years, SEMA has taken steps to heighten our outreach and increase touch points with members and the industry at large. This effort has included a commitment to enhancing customer service and raising the awareness of SEMA’s high-value member benefits. We recently announced a major move that will provide our members with the best customer service possible. For the first time in 50 years, each SEMA member will now have a single, dedicated point of contact for all things SEMA.
HERITAGENot everything on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in the ’60s was, well, a hot rod. In fact, the editors seemed to be looking for “the next big thing” during a period in 1966, as several issues in a row featured vehicles not usually found in “Everybody’s Automotive Magazine.” There was a painting of customizer George Barris and some of his most famous TV cars on the cover of the June issue; a Super Modified oval-track racer all crossed up in the dirt on the July issue; and a hot-rodded ski boat on the September cover.
SEMA News—February 2014
HERITAGE By Drew Hardin Photo Courtesy Petersen Archives