SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • This is the first in a series of SEMA News stories based on the idea of “Best Practices”—the use of reliable and repeatable methods to ensure business success.
  • Designing new specialty-equipment products is a laborious, time-consuming procedure, and time is not a friend, as manufacturers will attest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Car and truck buyers seek the vehicles that best suit their needs, including the need to be individual.

SEMA News Articles for Purchase

2010 SEMA Design Awards

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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - 2010 Design Awards

 

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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A Happy Grumpy

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SEMA News, December 2009: Heritage - A Happy Grumpy

In August of 1969, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro walked all over the competition at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania. This Camaro was the latest in a string of Chevy dragsters Jenkins built and named his Toys, though anyone who lined up next to him at the strip knew he wasn’t playing around.

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Adapting to Change

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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - Adapting to Change

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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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - An Opportunity For Specialty-Equipment Businesses and Dealerships

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.

“It is a great concept and we’ve had a lot of growth with the program,” says Ernie Bunnell, vice president of sales and marketing at 3dCarbon of Newport Beach, California.

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Best Practices: OEMs Working With SEMA Companies

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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - Best Practices: OEMs Working With SEMA Companies

This is the first in a series of SEMA News stories based on the idea of “Best Practices”—the use of reliable and repeatable methods to ensure business success. In coming issues, we will delve into topics ranging from digital and traditional marketing to employer/employee relations, from getting the most out of trade shows to exploring global distribution. In each case, we will point the way to overcoming what the American Productivity & Quality Center has identified as one of three major hurdles to developing Best Practices: lack of knowledge. And we hope to help in conquering the other two: lack of motivation and lack of skills.

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Death of the Gasoline Engine? Not Just Yet

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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - Death of the Gasoline Engine? Not Just Yet

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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Gaizhuang - The Specialty-Equipment Market in China

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SEMA News, December 2009: International - Gaizhuang - The Specialty-Equipment Market in China

Thirteen SEMA-member companies recently traveled to Beijing, China, for a firsthand look at the developing Chinese market for specialty products—or, as referred to in Chinese, Gaizhuang.

In its infancy, the Chinese market for performance and accessory products is not so unlike the U.S. market of 40 or 50 years ago. On one hand, it is brimming with opportunity as millions of consumers develop a growing taste (and the necessary disposable income) for vehicle personalization. But a closer look at the market reveals a sector riddled with sporadic government crackdowns on car modifications (in Shanghai in 2007 and most recently in Beijing); numerous performance products still technically illegal; far-flung population centers only partially served by the fragmented network of distributors; and the presence of frequent intellectual-property violations. It’s essential that companies take the necessary steps to minimize their potential IPR vulnerability in China and worldwide. Yet, despite this, the delegation overwhelmingly concluded that the largest mistake SEMA members could make would be to underestimate the market and the potential it holds for many SEMA members.

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ProPledge: Knocking Down Barriers and Opening New Channels

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SEMA News, December 2009: Chris Kersting - ProPledge: Knocking Down Barriers and Opening New Channels

Opportunity. Diversity. Confidence. Profits. Those are a few of the keys that lock in the continuing partnership between the automakers, the vehicle dealers and SEMA-member companies. Giving consumers the right vehicles with their preferred options is what each arm of the distribution chain strives for.

One huge chunk of that process is accessory-friendly vehicles—cars and trucks that are designed from the get-go to encourage owner personalization. A driver’s experience with a car or truck skyrockets when he or she can equip it to suit personal wants and needs. When that owner can buy the vehicle and select from a vast array of specialty-equipment accessories and have them professionally installed with complete confidence, another sales channel opens.

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SEMA and California Agencies Solve Titling Dilemma for Hobbyist Vehicles

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SEMA News, December 2009: Government Affairs - SEMA and California Agencies Solve Titling Dilemma for Hobbyist Vehicles

Working on behalf of California enthusiasts of specialty vehicles (street rods, custom vehicles, kit cars and replicas) and in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Bureau of Automotive Repair, the Air Resources Board and the attorney general’s office, SEMA has resolved a complex and threatening issue to this market segment and the industry it serves. “This breakthrough procedure allows owners of certain specially constructed vehicles (SCVs) to avoid the pitfalls of a previously muddy process for legally registering and titling such vehicles in California,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA vice president of government affairs. “Under this process, vehicle owners can avoid a situation that could have led to confiscated SCVs and law enforcement action. Further, the program now permits these vehicles to demonstrate state emissions-compliance requirements.”

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SEMA Measuring Sessions and Technology Transfer

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SEMA News, December 2009: Cover Story - SEMA Measuring Sessions and Technology Transfer

Designing new specialty-equipment products is a laborious, time-consuming procedure, and time is not a friend, as manufacturers will attest. With SEMA market research revealing that most consumers purchase specialty-equipment parts within the first three months of buying new cars, manufacturers must often race to place their products on the shelves by the time new vehicles hit the dealerships. SEMA offers two manufacturer-friendly programs—Technology Transfer and Measuring Sessions—that help SEMA-member companies meet that goal.

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Business

  • Nordstrom has fast become synonymous with customer service, as detailed in an anecdote involving the clothing retailer and a set of tires.
  • The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently finalized an agreement with Harvard Business School Publishing to offer a series of web-based business training courses for SEMA members.
  • It may be the worst economy seen in several generations, but companies are still spending money marketing their brands in motorsports.
  • SEMA is continuing in its goal to help the specialty-equipment industry pave the way forward with a recently added member benefit: MySEMA, a social networking tool available on the SEMA website.
  • This is the first in a series of SEMA News stories based on the idea of “Best Practices”—the use of reliable and repeatable methods to ensure business success.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Car and truck buyers seek the vehicles that best suit their needs, including the need to be individual.

Business Technology

Chris Kersting

Government Affairs

  • The laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have an increased and growing impact on the way automotive specialty-equipment products are made, distributed and marketed.
  • Working on behalf of California enthusiasts of specialty vehicles (street rods, custom vehicles, kit cars and replicas) and in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles...

Industry News

  • ProPledge is a program targeted to overcome the traditional barriers associated with specialty aftermarket products sold during the new-vehicle sales process—namely warranty and customer satisfaction scores (CSI).
  • Spy Shots: Toyota FT-86, BMW M5, Lexus LF-A, Mitsubishi cX

International

  • SEMA News is interviewing top distributor/retailers in China in a series of monthly articles to introduce the larger players in the evolving specialty-equipment market in China to the magazine’s readers.
  • Thirteen SEMA-member companies recently traveled to Beijing, China, for a firsthand look at the developing Chinese market for specialty products—or, as referred to in Chinese, Gaizhuang.

Internet

  • While YouTube has emerged as a marketing juggernaut for businesses, many firms are also discovering that the free video-sharing service has scores of other uses—all of which are also free for the taking.

Required Reading

Research

  • 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.

SEMA Heritage

  • In August of 1969, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro walked all over the competition at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania.