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Best Practices: Manufacturers’ Reps

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Unlike other types of salespeople, manufacturers’ representatives work for multiple companies across multiple product lines in a large geographic area, either as individuals or as part of an agency. 

A rep is an independent businessperson, an extension of the manufacturers’ sales force, and he or she can also be a highly valuable jack of all trades who not only closes deals but also teaches in-house manufacturer, warehouse distributor or retailer/jobber salespeople how to best present the manufacturer’s marketing plan to create sales.

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The Business of Speed

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If you scan no farther than these next words, know this: You should read The Business of Speed: The Hot Rod Industry in America, 1915–1990 by David Lucsko.

Since you’re browsing through SEMA News, you must be favored with some interest in the automotive specialty-equipment industry, and Lucsko’s book offers a primer about where it began, how it evolved and, if not precisely where it’s heading, at least an optimistic appraisal of why it will live on.

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Open Sourcing, Open Design

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The concepts aren’t totally new to the automotive world: Get a group of designers together, brainstorm a vehicle concept, noodle out the financing, then sell every unit the market will bear. All a car company has to do is pick the right designers who develop the right concept that can be produced at the right cost for the right group of consumers. But that’s a whole lot of uncertainty, and the most common result is compromise after compromise, resulting in a bland vehicle for the masses.

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Original Isn’t the Only Way

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In traditional hobbyist terms, automotive restoration refers strictly to classic cars rebuilt using classic car parts. And while there remains a significant portion of the market for which that holds true, today’s restorations are just as likely to include an amalgam of modern running gear as well as comfort and safety systems combined with factory-spec knobs, moldings, panels and fabrics.

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Old Is the New Black

        In 2009, 14,573 buyers went to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas specifically to identify the newest trends and products available in the automotive restoration market. In pursuit of new and original equipment replacement parts, buyers had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with 65 exhibitors in the Restoration Marketplace section of the Show, who registered 68 products in the New Products Showcase.

SEMA News - August 2010

RESTORATION MARKETPLACE NEW PRODUCTS

SEMA Show Buyers Come Face-to-Face With 68 Ways to Find Profit in the Restoration Market

  Official SEMA Restoration Icon 
   

Top 100 Restoration Marketplace Retailers

        The Restoration Marketplace section of the SEMA Show floor is dedicated to the new and original replacement parts that retailers need to satisfy their customer’s cravings. It’s home to the products and services that help cherry-out four-wheeled, family heirlooms and upgrade vintage tin to 21st century technology.

SEMA News - August 2010

Adding to the Receipt by Featuring the Latest in Vintage Products

  SEMA News-August 2010-Restoration Retailers 
   
The Restoration Marketplace section of the SEMA Show floor is dedicated to the new and original replacement parts that retailers need to satisfy their customer’s cravings.

Tools and Tips of the Trade

        The SEMA Show is the once-a-year epicenter for automotive accessories. It’s more than 1,500 exhibitors offering their best products and services to more than 100,000 attendees. The must-see attraction for many is the custom, one-of-a kind vehicles on display throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center.

SEMA News - August 2010

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT NEW PRODUCTS

Boosting the Bottom Line With Gear That Gets the Job Done

ProPledge Manufacturer Profile

        SEMA News recently had the chance to catch up with well-respected manufacturer and ProPledge participant 3dCarbon. We spoke with the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, Ernie Bunnell, to learn a little more about its products and about how 3dCarbon is utilizing ProPledge’s benefits to differentiate itself from its competition. 

SEMA News - August 2010

How ProPledge Works for 3dCarbon 

  Official ProPledge Logo 
   
SEMA News recently had the chance to catch up with well-respected manufacturer and ProPledge participant 3dCarbon.

Restyling on a Comeback

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One of the most profound effects of the recession was the decline in U.S. vehicle sales, which plummeted from nearly 17 million in 2006 to about 10.6 million in 2009, according to Ward’s AutoWorld. And while the downturn hobbled nearly every facet of the automotive aftermarket, some of the greatest damage occurred in the restyling category, whose very existence is predicated on available vehicle inventory. Conversely, the recession and market forces also caused the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to change the way they develop and market their products.

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The Buffer Zone

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Barry Meguiar’s family has been in the car-care business for 109 years, and he’s personally headed up the company that carries the family name for more than four decades. As the president of Meguiar’s Inc., he’s seen the economic roller coaster trundle up and down many times before, but he’s never seen anything like the last couple of years. Despite the fact that his company not only weathered the storm but actually prospered, posting a double-digit gain in 2009 alone, he said that this recession battered the car-care industry like none other in his lifetime.

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