Vehicle Technology

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Death of the Gasoline Engine? Not Just Yet

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These are tough times for automotive performance aftermarket companies. The entire paradigm on which many built their existence—the dominance of the internal-combustion engine—appears to be collapsing.

Actually, however, the best of times for some specialty-equipment companies is yet to come. The internal-combustion engine will still be the dominant powertrain technology for quite a while. Aftermarket firms can continue to benefit from demand for products to make the internal-combustion engine increasingly more fuel efficient.

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Adapting to Change

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The automotive industry landscape is very rocky right now. A rapid sales rebound is not on the horizon, and many companies are going through radical restructuring. A research report commissioned by SEMA and conducted by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) sees opportunity for SEMA members in this environment.

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An Opportunity For Specialty-Equipment Businesses and Dealerships

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Ford was the Vehicle Manufacturer of the Show for the 2009 SEMA Show, but its support for specialty-equipment companies goes well beyond that. The Ford Licensed Accessories Program offers qualified SEMA members the chance to boost sales of their products through Ford dealerships.

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The Changing Landscape of Mobile Electronics

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Other than powertrain components that have to coexist with vehicle on-board computers, mobile-electronics components can often be the most complex specialty-equipment accessories added to a vehicle. The key to success in this market is the ability to convince enthusiasts and consumers alike that they have to have these cool products on their vehicles.

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2010 SEMA Design Awards

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Car and truck buyers seek the vehicles that best suit their needs, including the need to be individual. While the automakers deliver an amazing variety of products to fit dozens of market niches, they cannot possibly create a unique vehicle for every unique customer. Accessories and performance products fill that void, allowing unlimited and complete personalization of any car or truck.

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SPY SHOTS

The images and information provided in “Spy Photos” are supplied by the spy shooters at Brenda Priddy & Co. “Spy Photos” are included each week in SEMA eNews, the association’s electronic newsletter. To receive your copy of SEMA eNews, e-mail enews@sema.org.

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SEMA Measuring Sessions

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As automakers come out with more models specifically designed for personalization, attending measuring sessions is becoming ever more important for SEMA members. The sessions are an opportunity to get data and ideas for aftermarket products for new vehicles. They’re also a great place to make contacts that could result in future business.

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New Vehicles That Could Affect Your Business

During past auto show seasons, the automotive community has offered several subtle hints of a changing market.

SEMA News - June 2009
EVENTS

By Mike Magda
Photography by the Manufacturers

Don’t Waste This Crisis

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Most economists are predicting a longer-than-usual recovery after a very sharp entry into the current recession. In conjunction, the auto industry is predicted to be in for drastic changes, not only in what it will look like and how it does business, but also in the technologies that will emerge in new vehicles. In a recent interview, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak detailed not only where the automotive world appears to be headed, but what the association is doing to help its members ready themselves for the coming opportunities.

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