Innovations of Generations

SEMA News—November 2012

CHRIS KERSTING

Innovations of Generations

  Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO  
   

By now you’ve likely heard news that this year’s SEMA Show is tracking at near-record levels. When the Show opens October 30, we’ll have more than 2,100 exhibiting companies, 1,500 custom rides, close to 1,800 new products in the Ideas Alive showcase and more qualified buyer attendees than ever before. The SEMA Show is once again set to deliver the best of our industry’s innovative genius gathered into a single, highly effective marketplace.

We’re shining a spotlight on “Innovations of Generations”—celebrating the accomplishments of our past but also highlighting the advances and innovations being led by our younger industry members. In addition to our recent SEMA News “35 Under 35” recognition feature, this year we’ll be introducing a new industry honor at the SEMA Show—the Gen-3 Innovator Award—to recognize a leading individual who is making breakthroughs in the areas of new products, new approaches to business or setting new trends. Building relationships with our industry’s emerging leaders is helping SEMA understand where the industry is headed and how we can deliver Show features and association services that grow in value and relevance to our members.

So what’s new and innovative at the SEMA Show this year?

  • If you want to sell more parts in the digital age, you need to know about the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC). Today, sales growth depends on quality product information being available online. This “visibility” to consumer research drives both brick-and-mortar and online business in a big way. The SDC—an industry-owned, centralized product data repository—allows manufacturers to author, store, update and export product data for a low fixed monthly fee and own 100% of the results. Imagine if you could give your resellers easy and reliable access to your updated product information and they could find all the information they need in one, easy-to-access place. That’s the SDC! Learn more by visiting Jon Wyly and the SDC team at the Show in Central Hall booth #20579, just behind the Ford Motor Co. display. 
  • Overseas markets are a source of growth for SEMA manufacturers. With the help of funding from a U.S. Department of Commerce grant, SEMA is now providing Measuring Sessions featuring vehicles popular with enthusiasts in growing overseas markets—vehicles otherwise not available here in the United States. More than 100 SEMA-member companies recently participated in Measuring Sessions for the popular ’12 Toyota HiLux. Those companies will be bringing to the SEMA Show product lines that are truly relevant for the thousands of overseas buyers attending the Show this year. Future Measuring Sessions are planned for the ’12 Ford Ranger T6 and other popular models. For more information on international market development, visit Linda Spencer in the SEMA Show’s Center for International Commerce, located in room S224.
  • We now offer a free SEMA Show app—an innovative new way to navigate the floor for those with iPhones and Android smartphones.
  • Also new this year, when you buy any of our popular SEMA T-shirts, hats or coffee mugs, you’ll be contributing to the Aftermarket Foundation. The Aftermarket Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that assists individuals and families from the automotive aftermarket industry who have fallen on extreme hard times. We are pleased to direct all profits from the SEMA stores to the Aftermarket Foundation and to support it during the year.

Like our industry members, SEMA is innovating to stay current with our members’ needs. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you on the Show floor, learning from your feedback and hearing your ideas to make the SEMA Show and the association’s services better yet. 

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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