SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • Along with the usual SEMA News columns and SEMA Member News features, this month's readers will find included the complete, updated listings of SEMA members, along with company description and contact information.

    The electronic/downloadable version of the directory (PDF) is immediately available for download here

     

     

Chris Kersting

  • SEMA’s mission, in a nutshell, is to help our members’ businesses succeed and prosper. As a rule, we focus on those things that benefit members directly, in a tangible way. At the same time, there are some SEMA activities outside of that strict definition—certain causes and programs that we find worthy because they are a way of helping our own.

From The Hill

  • SEMA has called upon the U.S. Congress to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with its program to allow the ethanol content in gasoline to increase from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15). SEMA worked with lawmakers and senior staff to help secure House approval of an EPA restriction as part of a 2011 federal government funding measure.

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.

Industry News

  • The Quarter Mile Foundation—the effort to preserve the history of drag racing—reported that interviewing continued at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Florida, and at the Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum in Ocala, Florida. The Foundation gathered another 19 interviews during the mid-March weekend.

  • MINI S Model Roadster, Chrysler 300 SRT8, Ford Taurus SHO, Cadillac ATS

International

  • Despite some negative press lately due to drug violence, Mexico remains an important market for U.S. automakers and for SEMA members. Pickup brands from the United States are very popular. The economy in Mexico grew by 5.5% in 2010, and that economic growth is lifting personal incomes and growing the middle class. Those factors have created a growing market for SEMA members’ products.

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is less than 40 years old and known as one of the most vibrant and passionate car-enthusiast markets in the world. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the five other Emirates that make up the UAE offer exciting vehicle customizing markets by many measures. Per capita, the country boasts the largest number of motorsports facilities in the world, and a quick drive in Dubai or Abu Dhabi will delight any gearhead with the wide variety of customized vehicles plying its modern roads.

Internet

  • With the rollout of Facebook’s new makeover this spring now a fait accompli, many web marketers rejoice that some of the service’s new features will make it much easier for them to do business on the social network. This is true both from a creative standpoint and from a business analytics perspective.

Member News

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    By the time you read this, I will be close to completing my term as the chairman of the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN). As I reflect back, one phrase rises to the top of every thought: Just do it.

    I didn’t know anything about the industry when I accepted a new position with a leading accessories distributor in the southeastern market in 2003, but I took a chance hoping that I could begin a new and different career path. I realized that I loved this industry after only a few months of learning the ropes from some well-known industry veterans and then attending my first PWA Conference and SEMA Show.

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    SEMA Scholarships Committee 

       

    How can the industry help attract and “train up” the next-generation workforce? One way is to connect with colleges, universities and trade-school programs to offer paid or unpaid internships to qualified, enthusiastic students. There is great value in offering these opportunities to students who are evaluating which industries they should pursue. And it’s also an effective way for a company to identify candidates for future employment. Moreover, it can infuse a company with new energy and innovative ideas.
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    Tammy Holland has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for more than 14 years with Comp Performance Group in sales communications, and she has been active in the industry since 1999. She is the mother of two children, 20-year-old Brittany and 15-year-old Draven, and she currently serves as the chairman of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). SEMA Member News took a few minutes recently to talk with her about her commitment to the industry and her journey within it.

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    The Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) started in roughly 1996–1997 as the Wheel Industry Committee (WIC). Larry Anderson was essentially the founder; he pushed for years to create this thing and managed to get many companies—competitors, no less—in the same room for the greater good. That is no doubt why he was the first chairman and the first recipient of the WTC Person of the Year award.

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    If that sounds overstated, consider that worldwide shipments of smartphones in 2010 alone—mobile phones running a BlackBerry, Android, Apple, Palm or Windows operating system with advanced features, such as Internet access—were 270 million units, a 55% increase over 2009. Tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, are rapidly becoming a significant force in mobile marketing, with forecasted 2011 sales between 35 million and 70 million units. In fact, more people are projected to access the Internet with a mobile device than with a computer by 2013.

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    Two years ago, Karl Stearns assumed the position of Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) chairman after having served two years as chair-elect. At the same time, Eldon Bracken was chosen by his peers on the Select Committee to serve in the chair-elect slot.

    Flash forward to 2011. The pendulum has gone full swing. Stearns is stepping down and will serve as chairman emeritus. Bracken is stepping up to chairman, and Jeff Fink is preparing to take over as chair-elect.

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    More courts throughout the United States are ruling that employees have the right to rely on representations made before hiring and during the working relationship. As a result, discharged employees are suing—and winning lawsuits against—ex-employers for breach of oral agreements promising secure employment and even jobs for life. But employers can avoid these situations.

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    The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) changed the date of its annual Long-Range Planning (LRP) meeting. The change represents just one of the things MPMC Chairman Kyle Fickler and Chair-Elect Vic Wood are implementing in hopes of charting a course for MPMC’s future.

    “Vic and I are committed to building MPMC’s value to the members and to helping the council develop a clear path into the future, with goals and plans,” said Fickler. “For the past several years, we’ve held our LRP on the Friday after the Media Trade Conference (MTC).

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    Invis-A-Rack is a new company, is a new SEMA/LTAA member and has a brand-new, innovative product. The Invis-A-Rack is a collapsible rack that can be used to transport construction material for a job or a canoe for a camping trip when needed. When not in use, the Invis-A-Rack folds out of sight to return the truck to a personal-use vehicle. SEMA Member News recently spoke with Donny McCall, the company’s president.

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    First unveiled in 2002, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) Take a Kid to a Car Show (TKCS) program has consistently delivered a simple message to restoration enthusiasts the world over: Take a Kid to a Car Show. Through the program, car show promoters, organizers and enthusiasts may download public service ads (PSA) and announcements in various sizes and with various images and messaging.

  •   Home 
       
    If you’re in the know, you were definitely one of the 130 people in attendance at the first SEMA Town Hall meeting held February 4 in Phoenix, Arizona. The first in a series of similar events to be held around the country, the “in” crowd networked beside vintage vehicles, provided SEMA with direction on how to better serve the automotive aftermarket and enjoyed entertainment by an a cappella group who specialized in singing classic Beach Boys songs.

SEMA Heritage

  • Bill Stroppe’s involvement with racing runs so deep that it would probably be easier to list the types of racing he didn’t participate in than those he did. On-road, off-road, even in the water, the vehicles that Stroppe and his crew built were fast, competitive and usually groundbreaking in their design and execution.