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Central America

An Increasingly Popular Regional Destination for U.S. Automotive Specialty-Equipment ProductsWith an estimated population of 42 million, Central America is an increasingly important regional market for U.S. goods. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) eliminates trade barriers among the seven signatories, which include the United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Before this regional trade pact, tariffs on U.S. autos and parts to the region had averaged from about 4% to 9% and even up to 30% on certain products. Most of these import taxes disappeared immediately with CAFTA-DR approval, and the rest will be eliminated by 2015.
SEMA News—July 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

2014 SEMA Middle East Trip

Record Number of SEMA Members Participate in Third Annual Visit to the United Arab EmiratesWhether the motivating factor is to hedge against future downturns in the U.S. economy or to sell to the 95% of consumers residing outside the United States or a combination of the two, SEMA members are increasingly reaching out to overseas resellers. Todd Lindblade, regional sales manager for Extang, based in Michigan, explained one of the reasons why his company and 41 other SEMA members recently spent a week in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) meeting with buyers from throughout the region.
SEMA News—June 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

China’s Growing Love Affair With Jeeps

By Alysha WebbChina continues to be a very important market for Chrysler’s Jeep line. Last year it became the brand’s largest global market. Imported models have driven that growth, but Chrysler has been talking for years about producing Jeeps in China. It looks as though that will become a reality next year. Adding domestically produced models to the mix should boost both sales of Jeeps and opportunities for SEMA members.

SEMA News—April 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Alysha Webb

China’s Growing Love Affair With Jeeps

China continues to be a very important market for Chrysler’s Jeep line. Last year it became the brand’s largest global market. Imported models have driven that growth, but Chrysler has been talking for years about producing Jeeps in China. It looks as though that will become a reality next year. Adding domestically produced models to the mix should boost both sales of Jeeps and opportunities for SEMA members.

Japan Custom-Car Market Overview

Though Japan slipped from the number-three car consumer worldwide in 2011 to number five in 2012, love for automobiles remains very strong among the Japanese. Like Americans, the Japanese are holding on to their cars longer, which makes for a very interesting opportunity for the custom market. People have a desire to give their cars a facelift after a few years when they hold on to them, and that results in more sales for those engaged in the custom-car market. From swapping out wheels to updating headlights to modernizing the entertainment system, the aftermarket business in Japan is booming, and consumers continue to look for new products to enhance their driving experiences.

SEMA News—March 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Jeff Kagawa

2013 Global Media Awards

For the tenth year, a panel of 29 journalists from leading international media outlets served on the Global Media Award panel. Journalists from 14 countries participated, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom and Venezuela. Each was charged with choosing 10 products from the more than 2,000 new products introduced at the 2013 SEMA Show that they believe would resonate best with their consumers. Narrowing down the selection to only 10 products was difficult, said Graham Erasmus of South Africa’s Automotive Business Review. “Being a global media awards judge is pretty daunting,” he explained. “You are given six hours to vote for your 10 winning products, but the real problem lies in picking the final 10. I got it down to a short list of 28 and then had to go through the agonizing process of [whittling down the list to the final 10].”

SEMA News—February 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

Global Participation at the 2013 SEMA Show

Buyers from 135 countries descended on Las Vegas to meet with exhibitors at the 2013 SEMA Show and take part in numerous international programs. In fact, 25% of all buyers at the 2013 SEMA Show were from beyond U.S. shores, which was good news for exhibitors seeking to broaden their customer bases.In the next issue of SEMA News, we will look at other international activities held at the 2013 SEMA Show, including coverage of the international journalists who served on the Global Media Award panel. These leading media outlets from 20 countries were charged with selecting the top 10 products each believed would sell best in their home markets. We will explore insights into their vehicle customization markets and their reasons for their selections.

SEMA News—January 2014

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

The Promise of China

U.S. Specialty-Equipment Companies Visit an Emerging MarketTwenty-two SEMA-member companies recently traveled to China for the 2013 SEMA China Business Development Conference. The program included a briefing by U.S. government officials, a visit to specialty-equipment shops, an evening at the Great Hall of the People (which serves as the seat of the Chinese parliament) and exhibiting at the China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE). About two-thirds of the delegation had participated in previous SEMA overseas business-development programs to China and/or the Middle East, while this was the first time participating in an overseas SEMA event for a third of the companies and the first time exploring this market of 1.3 billion people.

SEMA News—December 2013

INTERNATIONAL

The Promise of China

U.S. Specialty-Equipment Companies Visit an Emerging Market

By Linda Spencer

SEMA Programs Aid Exporting Members

Education and Logistical Help for Global Companies, International Vehicle Measuring Sessions, Make/Model Data, Attend International Seminars, Middle East Seminar, and more.Exporting automotive specialty-equipment products can allow U.S. companies to increase their customer bases for improved bottom lines, better position themselves to ride out possible future U.S. economic downturns, and increase overall competitiveness through access to new customers. Exporting leads to new ways of doing business, and SEMA supports the global efforts of its members through a series of targeted international programs. This is the second of a two-part series on SEMA programs and resources designed to assist members to grow their international sales.

SEMA News—October 2013

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

SEMA Programs Aid Exporting Members

Education and Logistical Help for Global Companies

Markets Broaden, Providing Opportunities

SEMA Programs for Global ExportsGrowing demand for U.S. products among the more than 95% of the world’s consumers who reside outside the country has resulted in a five-fold growth in American exports from 1985–2012, according to a Federal Reserve Bank report, and a record number of American companies are seeking to meet the demand. Yet for all that growth, the Small Business Administration reports that only 1% of small businesses are involved in exporting. And for those that are, 58% export to only one country and 83% to less than five markets. There are huge benefits for companies that export. Diversifying the customer base can lead to an improved bottom line; companies that export are better positioned to ride out future U.S. economic downturns and can increase the firms’ overall competitiveness through access to new customers; exporting leads to new ways of doing business; and exports provide contact with new cultures.

SEMA News—September 2013

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

Markets Broaden, Providing Opportunities

SEMA Programs for Global Exports

The United Arab Emirates and the Middle East Region

41 SEMA-Member Companies Explore the Opportunities and Challenges of Selling Into This Car-Lover’s ParadiseMore than 160 pre-vetted buyers from nine countries met with 41 SEMA-member exhibitors at the 2013 SEMA Middle East Business Development Conference. Buyers from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE]), from Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan traveled to the UAE to meet with manufacturers of parts for those engaged in car collecting, off-roading and motorsports and those seeking upgrades for street-performance vehicles.

SEMA News—August 2013

INTERNATIONAL
By Linda Spencer

The United Arab Emirates and the Middle East Region

41 SEMA-Member Companies Explore the Opportunities and Challenges of Selling Into This Car-Lover’s Paradise

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