SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • Honoring Four Visionaries

    A pioneer is an innovator. An innovator is a dreamer. A dreamer is an enthusiast. And an enthusiast is what we all are. Each year, the SEMA Hall of Fame recognizes members of SEMA and the automotive aftermarket community who have made a difference as they dreamed ideas and built change—enthusiasts with drive who inspired others and transformed a hobby into a thriving industry, leading a trade association to reach more than 50 years of age and 6,500 members deep.

Business Technology

  • Are you Setting the Bar or Doing the Bare Minimum?

    Jon WylyChotchkie’s Manager: We need to talk about your product data.

    Joanna: Really? I have 15 fields….

    Chotchkie’s Manager: Well, okay. Fifteen is the minimum, okay?

    Joanna: Okay.

    Chotchkie’s Manager: Now, you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or, well, like your competitor, for example, has 37 data fields, okay? And great digital assets, too.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO In this issue of SEMA News, you’ll find a number of articles making clear that our industry needs to be aware and more involved when it comes to laws and government regulation. Whether over safety or environmental concerns, land-use policy or small-business regulations, our industry has a great deal at stake.

    Trade associations such as SEMA unite our industry’s individual voices and resources to have a meaningful impact. But we can only achieve results if we have you involved—and a great first step is to learn more about the issues and the legislators in your neck of the woods. Then arrange for a visit—with hands-on help from the SEMA team.

Government Affairs

  • Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.

  • More than 40 SEMA members met with their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., as part of the May 14 Washington Rally. The meetings were a valuable opportunity to urge members of Congress to pursue a pro-growth, manufacturing and job-creation agenda. Between meetings, Rally participants were treated to a unique lunchtime panel discussion hosted by “Fox News” contributor Frank Luntz, who is known for his trademark public-opinion focus groups.

  • The mid-term elections are around the corner, and at no time in recent history has Washington been so divided. Lawmakers could not agree on how to stimulate the economy before becoming mired in the debate to reform the American health-care system.SEMA’s Guide to November’s High-Stakes Election

    The mid-term elections are around the corner, and at no time in recent history has Washington been so divided. Lawmakers could not agree on how to stimulate the economy before becoming mired in the debate to reform the American health-care system.

    Sound familiar? That’s because you’ve read those words before. In fact, it was in these very pages just four short years ago. The times have changed, but the song remains the same. Voters are fed up with Washington. Where do things stand heading into November’s midterm elections? Let’s have a look.

  • Legislative proposals, both beneficial and harmful, are introduced each year in legislatures all over the country. Many have a direct and immediate impact on you and your company. Targeted and timely responses from constituents like you can sway the final vote. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) gives you easy-to-follow guidance on helping affect bills related to vehicles and small business before they become law. Influence Laws Affecting Your Business

    Legislative proposals, both beneficial and harmful, are introduced each year in legislatures all over the country. Many have a direct and immediate impact on you and your company. Targeted and timely responses from constituents like you can sway the final vote. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) gives you easy-to-follow guidance on helping affect bills related to vehicles and small business before they become law.

  • If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a trademark and a trade secret, you are not alone. Most of the terms used to describe different types of intellectual property (IP) are commonly thrown around interchangeably. However, to protect the IP rights of your company, it is important to take a moment to review the basics of trademark, patent, copyright and trade secret law we have compiled below.
  • West Virginia Delegates Gary Howell (right) and Eric Householder (left) standing next to Del. Howell’s modified ’99 Jeep Cherokee. They drove most of the 2014 Hot Rod Power Tour in the Jeep, which started in Charlotte, North Carolina, and ended at the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Many lawmakers are big fans of collector cars, vehicle exhibitions and auto racing. One of the biggest is West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell. As a SEMA member and owner of Howell Automotive in Keyser, West Virginia, Howell has consistently demonstrated his desire to keep the laws in his state hobby-friendly while representing his constituents in the state legislature. He has worked extensively in the motorsports industry, raced both stock cars and drag cars, built winning race cars and award-winning show cars and designed racing parts. He has also hosted a syndicated radio show, written automotive magazine articles and served as a technical expert on automotive TV shows.

Industry News

  • Breaking news from SEMA members, including Truck Accessories Group, Covercraft Industries, Advanstar Automotive Group, Quantum Automotive, ReadyLift Suspension, Motovicity Distribution, Silver Sport Transmissions and more.

  • Exhibitors have a valuable opportunity to generate excitement for their participation in the 2014 SEMA Show through the Online Media Center. As the Show gets closer, reporters routinely search for updates from SEMA Show exhibitors. News regarding new products, changes to signature lines, booth demonstrations, project-vehicle reveals and celebrity appearances are a few examples of the Show-related news circulating prior to the event.

    There is no charge to submit a release, and the information will appear online for all reporters to access. In addition to outside media, SEMA’s own publications staff uses the news in...

  • SCORE International will bring the excitement of its legendary Baja 1000 to the 2014 SEMA Show, November 4–7, through its signature off-road activities and attractions. The outdoor, 70,000-sq.-ft. SCORE Baja 1000 Experience will feature a desert-racing exhibit with dozens of Baja 1000 Trophy Truck and Class 1 race vehicles.

    An interactive pit competition area, exhibits from leading off-road companies, video streams of SCORE Dirt Live through SCOREvision and autograph sessions are just some of the attractions visitors can expect come Show time.

International

  • Robert Park (far left), international key account manager for Rigid Industries LED Lighting in Gilbert, Arizona, described his company’s products to a large off-road distributor. “It’s great to see that the aftermarket customizing scene is alive in Russia and that U.S. products are highly sought after,” Park said.  Executives from eight SEMA-member companies traveled with SEMA staff to explore the automotive specialty-equipment market in Russia and determine the potential for products in that country of 142 million. There was some trepidation, given the current political tensions between the U.S. and Russia, but once in Moscow, the group was impressed with what they saw.

    “What a country,” said Ed Rossi, vice president of sales for Injen Technology. “It’s full of rich culture, history and majestic sights. Injen Technology ventured to Russia with a bit of skepticism due to the Crimea takeover. We had reservations about how Americans would be treated in light of our contradictory political stances, but the people of Russia were...

New Products

  • New product launches for Adenna, Brake Performance, Sean Hyland Motorsport, Custom Autosound Mfg., and TruXedo.

  • You might be able to start a nail with a screwdriver, but it’s a whole lot easier with a hammer. The proper tool makes any task flow more smoothly—and automotive machining and modification are certainly the beneficiaries of tool and equipment innovations. A wealth of working gear was introduced in the New Products Showcase at the 2013 SEMA Show. We’ve gathered them together on the next few pages for your review and enjoyment. There may be a gem here that can make your next undertaking more of a joy and less of a job.

  • New Introductions and Featured Parts From the 2013 SEMA Show

    The restoration marketplace includes not only matching-number renovations of classic cars and trucks but also original-appearing vehicles that have been updated with modern running gear and comfort features. The restomod projects encompass a large portion of the vehicles that many shops now build, but there is also an abundance of nostalgia and traditional projects that call for period- and OE-correct components. On the following pages, we’ve assembled a listing of the restoration parts that were featured in the New Products Showcase at the 2013 SEMA Show. Also included are comments about restoration market trends by professionals who manufacture, distribute or use many of the products found on these pages.

Peoples And Places

  • Honoring Four Visionaries

    A pioneer is an innovator. An innovator is a dreamer. A dreamer is an enthusiast. And an enthusiast is what we all are. Each year, the SEMA Hall of Fame recognizes members of SEMA and the automotive aftermarket community who have made a difference as they dreamed ideas and built change—enthusiasts with drive who inspired others and transformed a hobby into a thriving industry, leading a trade association to reach more than 50 years of age and 6,500 members deep.

Required Reading

  • SEMA ACTION NETWORKThe SEMA Action Network (SAN) seeks to protect the automotive hobby by bringing together the specialty-equipment industry and the enthusiast community. To achieve this objective, the SAN is involved in many different projects and initiatives. The group participates in events such as the annual Collector Car Appreciation Day and the Hot Rod Power Tour.

    In addition, the SAN ensures that its members are aware of relevant legislation on both the state and federal levels through its award-winning Driving Force newsletter. Below are a few recent news articles that highlight SAN activities.

Retail Store Review

  • Off Road Warehouse Offers It All for Racers, Enthusiasts and Hobbyists

    Off Road Warehouse (ORW) has been in business for more than 43 years. Off-road enthusiast and desert racer Howard Hughes (no relation to the business magnate and aviator) founded the company when he tired of having to get parts through mail order and recognized that others who raced and off-roaded felt the same. He started with a small location in a suburb of San Diego, California, and eventually opened two more stores in the area.

SEMA Heritage

  • Azusa was home to Go Kart Manufacturing, one of the pioneering go-kart fabricators in the mid-’50s, and the race track was located at its facility. Minibikes were a natural offshoot of go-karts. Go Kart Manufacturing built its first minibikes, called Go Kart Cycles, in 1958. Not long after, brothers Ray, Larry and Regis Michrina hand-built their first minibike, a prototype that would lead them to form Michrina Enterprises and build the now iconic Lil Indian minibikes. Given the serious looks on their faces, you’d think these men, clad in leather jackets, helmets, and boots, were vying for the national flat-track motorcycle championship. But, no, they were racing in the second-annual Mini-Bike Jamboree, which took place in the spring of 1961 at the Go Kart Raceway in Azusa, California. The minibike craze was big enough in the early ’60s that Car Craft magazine set aside four pages of its August 1961 issue to cover the Jamboree and its flat-track race, road race and scramble, “which took in much of the unimproved terrain surrounding the Azusa track.”

    Azusa was home to Go Kart Manufacturing, one of the pioneering go-kart fabricators in the mid-’50s, and the race track was located at its facility. Minibikes were a natural offshoot of...