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A Profitable Partnership

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Restylers and Dealers Create a One-Stop Shop for Consumers to Purchase Specialty-Equipment Parts and Accessories

With new-car sales growing and the economy slowly ticking upward, SEMA News checked in with restylers and restyling experts to find out what to expect in that segment for 2012. Our sources reported that both enthusiasts and more general-market consumers are starting to loosen their purse strings and indulge in specialty-equipment parts to go along with the new rides they just bought.

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Exhibitor Essentials

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Key Services and Suppliers for a Successful Trade-Show Booth

With the 2012 SEMA Show mere months away, smart exhibitors are already contemplating their booth spaces. They know that a booth’s branding, contents and arrangement all contribute massively to their ability to attract buyers, acquire new leads and have a successful Show. However, first-time exhibitors (and maybe a few returnees, as well) may be scratching their heads over booth essentials—the fixtures and services that can make or break their return on investment.

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Marketing 101: Winning Project-Vehicle Builds

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Every year, more than 1,500 vehicles are displayed at the SEMA Show. Many of them are customized in the months leading up to the Show, and each represents a collaboration between manufacturers that provide parts and support and the owner/design team that brings the vehicle to the Show.

The question is, what goes into a successful project build, and how is it possible to generate a tangible payoff for each participant?

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Precision Tools

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There are basics to manufacturing that change little over time. To create marketable parts, manufacturers must mold, mill, drill, cut, weld and otherwise fabricate raw materials into something consumers find useful. The tools used to do these things are another matter altogether. It’s no secret that machine technologies are changing rapidly.

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Mobile Electronics Products

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From tire-pressure monitoring and powertrains to navigation and smartphone integration, nearly every facet of today’s automobile is controlled, managed or affected by some type of mobile electronics. As the field has expanded, an increasing number of products are introduced each year in the SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase, and an ever-growing throng of buyers seeks information about the most innovative systems and components.

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SEMA Indicators

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No one can foretell the future, at least not with any degree of certainty. But a prudent look at marketplace indicators can often provide insights that savvy businesspeople might interpret for a strategic advantage. What follows is a look at some of the signposts along the current business roadway.

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A Fresh Coat

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Paint has long been a necessary product in the automotive world. Customizers and aftermarket manufacturers are among those who require paint products to conduct business. Perhaps the most prolific painters in the automotive sector, other than OEMs, would be shops operating in the repair and refinish segment. These are auto-body shops that make a living on being able to paint fast, match colors perfectly and be economical in the process.

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Going Global?

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If your aftermarket business ranks among the growing list of SEMA-member manufacturers considering overseas exportation, you’re likely weighing shipping logistics as part of the equation. To be sure, the prospect can seem daunting. After all, once you’ve attracted foreign buyers, you have to deliver the goods in the face of numerous hurdles. With the right assistance, however, you can successfully navigate those obstacles and achieve a safe landing for your aftermarket parts.

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App Crazy

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“Is there an app for my business?” With the explosion of smartphones and mobile devices, this may be a question you’re asking yourself. After all, apps are fast becoming one of the latest marketing trends, offering significant branding and revenue opportunities for a company. Unfortunately, they can also prove to be a huge boondoggle. So how does a company decide whether and how to jump on the app-development bandwagon?

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Video Made Simple

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more is a streaming video worth at 30 frames per second?

When it comes to branding, search-engine optimization and, ultimately, sales in this digital age, online videos can make a crucial difference in a small company’s marketing. In the realm of sales alone, studies now show web video to be a top influencer in consumer research and purchasing decisions.

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