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Humble Beginnings

It was nearly 47 years ago that the fledgling trade group known as the Speed Equipment Manufacturer’s Association worked with Petersen Publishing Company to put on its very first High Performance and Custom Equipment Trade Show. There were 98 booths and about 120 industry reps in that first show, which was held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. According to a post-show write-up in Petersen’s Hot Rod Industry News (HRIN), “better than 3,000 people filed through the show during its three day run,” a figure that the trade journal admitted “seems like a small number.” But, said one exhibitor, quoted by HRIN, “they were the ‘right people.’ Distributors and speed shop owners, along with the automotive press, filed through the doors to see the latest items that were on the market and talk with many about what’s coming up and merchandising ideas.”
SEMA News—November 2014

SEMA HERITAGE

Industry Poised to Deliver at the 2014 SEMA Show

For much of 2014, SEMA members have generally reported having a good year and, for some, a great year. I’ve observed that the SEMA Show is a barometer of industry strength, reflected by participation and investment in the Show. This year’s pre-Show registration indicates that the SEMA Show will be an outstanding springboard for growth opportunities in 2015. This marks the fifth straight year that the Show has had increased participation levels since the lows of the recession in 2009. This makes for a larger Show, but more important than size is how many innovative manufacturers are taking the opportunity...
SEMA News—November 2014

CHRIS KERSTING

Michael Chapin and Eric Coomer, YEN Member Insights, October 2014


YEN Member Insight – Michael Chapin and Eric Coomer, RxSpeed.comAt the 2012 SEMA Show Awards Banquet, Michael Chapin and Eric Coomer sat down for dinner at the YEN member table. Focused on their respective ventures, the two like-minded gasoline junkies stayed in contact for another year and found several more overlapping likes and interests. Fast forward to 2014, when an opportunity arose to collaborate in a new business launch—RxSpeed.com—a search engine for aftermarket parts.

What kind of SEMA resources have you found to be valuable?

Chapin: Besides the obvious fact that we met while networking with YEN, Eric and I use SEMA’s market reports and resources to convey to the outside world the scale and dynamic of this marketplace. For most non-car people, it’s an industry that hides in plain sight. Few expect to hear that 24 million Americans spend $33 billion annually. The market segmentation reports draw clear lines in the sand to help people understand who buys parts for necessity and who buys them for fun.

Coomer: The background and education SEMA provides on the industry’s data revolution, and more specifically the SEMA Data Co-op, have by far been the most helpful in educating myself and others about the need for standardized product data. It wasn’t very long ago that every small business was told they needed a website in order to survive, and now in 2014, getting your products seen and sold online carries that same message. Clear business communication doesn’t end with conversation, but continues with every file and piece of data you exchange.

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Hastings Manufacturing, J&L Marketing, Flaming River Industries, Kit Car Builder, The Hybrid Shop, Drake Automotive Group and more.
SEMA News—October 2014

INDUSTRY NEWS

SPY PHOTOS

GM Duramax Turbo Diesel, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, ’16 Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger SRT8
SEMA News—October 2014

INDUSTRY NEWS

Installers Compete in Inaugural Wrap2Wrap Battle at the 2014 SEMA Show

3M has challenged all graphics experts to showcase their talents using 3M Wrap Film Series 1080 and face off in the Wrap2Wrap Battle. Installers began competing in online knockout rounds in August, and two finalists will go head-to-head, Thursday, November 6, at the 2014 SEMA Show.
SEMA News—October 2014

INDUSTRY NEWS

The Buzz for the 2014 SEMA Show: SEMA Ignited

If you’re not registered to participate in the SEMA Ignited event, now is the time to get in. The event concept is simple. After four days behind closed doors in the Las Vegas Convention Center, visible only to industry professionals, participating cars and trucks from the SEMA Show will roll out on Friday, November 7, to assemble at one of the newest landmarks in the city, the High Roller observation wheel at the LINQ entertainment district. There, from 4:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., consumers and the media will be able to experience the hottest cars, products and personalities from the SEMA Show and enjoy food and music in a culminating celebration. Participation in the event will be free of charge to SEMA exhibitors, attendees and consumers.
SEMA News—October 2014

CHRIS KERSTING

Before It Was an Outlaw

Were you to park a ’14 Chevy Malibu next to a ’56 Bel Air and open the hoods of each, the contrast would be remarkable. The Malibu’s short, wide engine bay is so full of plastic covers, tubes, hoses, wires, bottles and other equipment that the car’s four-cylinder engine is barely visible—if at all. The Bel Air’s Turbo-Fire V8, on the other hand, stands out in the ’56 Chevy’s spacious engine compartment, covered in bright orange paint and hooked to a canister air cleaner, a couple of radiator hoses and little else. Ask any shadetree mechanic why he prefers to work on old collector cars over today’s computer- and emissions-controlled vehicles and the answer usually comes down to: “They were so much simpler then.”
SEMA News—October 2014

SEMA Heritage

Before It Was an Outlaw

By Drew Hardin
Photo Courtesy of the Petersen Archive

Nick Gramelspacher, YEN Member Insights, September 2014

Nick Gramelspacher, YEN Member Insights, September 2014, Automotive News, Aftermarket News

Describe yourself in your own words.
My name is Nicholas Gramelspacher, and I am vice president, sales and marketing, at Meyer Distributing, and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. I have a wife, April, and son, Ajay.

What type of education do you have?
I have a degree in business management.

Did you choose the aftermarket or did the aftermarket choose you?
I chose the aftermarket-I was tinkering on and fixing up trucks in early high school and fell in love with it. We have a family business in the furniture industry, but I wanted to plow my own path to do what I love and love what I do: cars, trucks and Jeeps. That, along with working for a great company like Meyer, which has had tremendous growth, and having a hardworking team made it a great decision 16 years ago.

What has your career path looked like?
I started with Meyer in the shipping department and worked there for about six months before moving into sales. We were a single location, 25,000-sq.-ft. company back then, selling about 40 lines.

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