SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • The Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road category continues to build momentum, presenting lucrative opportunities for the automotive aftermarket. At the 2013 SEMA Show, the Ford F-Series was named the Show’s Hottest Truck in the annual SEMA Awards, which honor vehicles most often featured by exhibitors in their booths. Once again, the Jeep Wrangler also reigned supreme as the Show’s Hottest 4x4-SUV.

    With items ranging from tonneau covers and bedliners to toolboxes, trailer hitches and suspensions, the market covers a wide variety of products and accessories. The following pages feature new Truck, SUV & Off-Road applications that debuted at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Along with the products, we’ve interviewed several industry executives for their perspectives on current trends, along with advice for selling into the category.

Business

  • At the 2013 SEMA Show, more than 60,000 buyers joined nearly 50,000 exhibit personnel as well as thousands of media and other visitors to bring total attendance to more than 140,000 industry professionals and their guests.   A Look at Areas of Interest for Specialty-Equipment Companies

    For this story, we have drawn upon information from a variety of sources that, taken together, may suggest business trends. SEMA’s trade show data, new-vehicle sales, educational tendencies and other indicators are some of these often-overlooked sources. What follows is a look at some of the areas of interest that may show where business is headed in the near future.
  • A Ford 408 engine by Blueprint Engines. Just one of the broad varieties of crate engines available from the engine builder.By Mike Imlay

    Racers, street performance enthusiasts, four wheelers, restorers and boat owners all need engines, which means that, at some point, they tap into the performance niche occupied by engine builders and, more often than not, the specialty shops that install replacement engines. It’s a segment composed of small businesses, not-so-small businesses and by OEM crate-engine distributors—all offering powertrain solutions.

    In fact, use of ready-made drop-in crate engines with known horsepower and torque specifications has become a driving force in the marketplace in recent years. In particular, the GM LS series has become...

Business Technology

  • Jon WylyA smart person in the industry that I respect a lot recently told me: “I’ve drowned a lot of horses trying to make them drink.” This, of course, references the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Thinking about what he said, I found that, sadly, I could relate to his frustration through some of our experiences at the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC). In most cases, it boils down to prioritization.

    There’s no question that product data management is critical to business today. Thankfully, a good many companies on the supplier (manufacturer) side are stepping up to meet their customer’s needs while growing their own sales opportunities.

  • John Waraniak, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle TechnologySEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology and What’s to Come

    The race to define future vehicles is on. Competition for the future of the auto industry is rapidly evolving between Silicon Valley and Detroit. While product is king, vehicle electronics and software rule. The recession accelerated the auto industry’s transformational changes, which are required for growth as well as the reinvention of vehicles—from mechanical to electrical systems, from stand-alone to connected, and from mass markets to personalization and customization. The changes we are going through today will impact the performance aftermarket industry for decades to come.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO Do you see increasing examples of trademark rip-offs and illegal knock-off products showing up in online marketing and catalogs? SEMA is hearing more often from members experiencing intellectual property (IP) infringement problems. Protecting IP is something that many industries have struggled with for some time, and our industry is clearly no exception.

    For a number of years now, SEMA has maintained policies and procedures to prevent the display of products, trademarks and trade dress that violate the IP rights of other SEMA exhibitors. Our goal has always been to ensure proper protection of the IP of industry members.

From The Hill

  • Congressional District Site Visit Program Reconnects Rep. Patrick McHenry With Old Friends at Steele Rubber Products

    Hosting elected officials at your business is an opportunity to establish long-term working relationships. In 2005, U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) visited Steele Rubber Products in Denver, North Carolina. Since that time, company officials have met with him on various occasions in his home district and Washington office during the SEMA Washington Rally. Recently, Rep. McHenry made a return visit to the manufacturing facility to catch up with some old friends.

    Founded in 1958, Steele Rubber Products manufactures weatherstripping for windshields, doors, windows, hoods and trunks. The company also makes rubber parts that are hard to find, including...

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

  • Ford’s GT500 Replacement Prototype, Jeep “Latitude” Prototype, Chevrolet Cruze and Diesel Jeep Cherokee.

  • Breaking news from SEMA members, including MultiCam Inc., Meyer Distributing and Vehicle Specialties Inc., Goodguys Gazette, Piston Driven Manufacturing and Performance Racing Industry (PRI), Innovative Creations and more.
  • SEMA’s Product Development Expo will highlight current methods of vehicle production and the tools and awareness needed to navigate the impact of connected vehicle technology on the specialty-automotive market. The Product Development Expo, fueled by the SEMA Garage, and sponsored by the SEMA Data Co-op and the Emerging Trends & Technology Network, will be held Thursday, April 10, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

    The expo will provide specialty-equipment companies with insight on how the methods for vehicle production have been transformed on the OEM level—specifically during the past 10 years— and require companies to adapt quickly to new and emerging technologies to stay competitive.

  • Booth space applications for the 2014 SEMA Show are available online Companies interested in exhibiting at the 2014 SEMA Show, set for November 4–7, 2014, in Las Vegas, may now submit applications for space. Manufacturers that apply before the April 11 deadline will participate in the Priority Booth Space Selection process, where exhibitors are assigned their booth location in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    The SEMA Show typically attracts more than 130,000 individuals from more than 125 countries, making the show the world’s premier automotive trade event where buyers and sellers meet to do business.

International

  • A number of Jeep clubs have sprung up throughout China with their members enjoying off-roading trips lasting up to two or even three weeks and venturing as far away as Mongolia and Nepal, among other destinations. By Alysha Webb

    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.

Internet

  • Businesses still using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, will be courting peril, according to countless IT experts. All Microsoft support for the operating system ends on that day, leaving XP forever vulnerable to new security breaches.Businesses Still Using Windows XP After April 2014 Courting Peril

    Businesses still using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, will be courting peril, according to countless IT experts. All Microsoft support for the operating system ends on that day, leaving XP forever vulnerable to new security breaches.

    “The importance of upgrading from Windows XP cannot be overstated,” said Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. “We truly want people to understand the risks of running Windows XP after support ends and to recognize the security benefits of upgrading to a more modern operating system.”

New Products

  • The Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road category continues to build momentum, presenting lucrative opportunities for the automotive aftermarket. At the 2013 SEMA Show, the Ford F-Series was named the Show’s Hottest Truck in the annual SEMA Awards, which honor vehicles most often featured by exhibitors in their booths. Once again, the Jeep Wrangler also reigned supreme as the Show’s Hottest 4x4-SUV.

    With items ranging from tonneau covers and bedliners to toolboxes, trailer hitches and suspensions, the market covers a wide variety of products and accessories. The following pages feature new Truck, SUV & Off-Road applications that debuted at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Along with the products, we’ve interviewed several industry executives for their perspectives on current trends, along with advice for selling into the category.

Required Reading

  • The SEMA Show may be well known for project vehicles and special builds, but amazing new products are the stars of the event. In fact, 60,000 buyers and 3,000 media from all over the world traveled to the Las Vegas Convention Center primarily because of the all the new products on display. Reporters were able to find products in specific categories of interest to their audiences, such as truck, SUV and off-road in the case of Truck Trend and Truckin’, or restoration and racing and performance for Modified magazine. No matter the category, reporters had access to hundreds of amazing new products.

     

Research

  • Preview of a New Report on the Side-by-Side Accessory Marketplace

    As with virtually every type of vehicle, regardless of its genesis, sport UTVs and competitions sprang up shortly after their introduction to the market. They are now commonplace at events such as the King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California.Spurred by the growth in the number of utility task vehicles (UTVs) over the last decade, SEMA recently released a new report examining the size, types of accessories and accessory purchasing processes involved in this burgeoning powersports segment.

    UTVs, also known as side-by-sides, evolved as an offshoot of the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) market. The earliest models were spawned by the need for greater cargo capacity for those who used three- and four-wheel cycles for work tasks on farms, job sites, golf courses and other areas where off-road performance was required but a fullsize pickup was unnecessary or too cumbersome.

SEMA Heritage

  • You could say that much of Anthony “Andy” Granatelli’s life had been leading up to this day, this moment. The man known as “Mr. 500” seemed irresistibly drawn to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1946, he and his brothers Vince and Joe sponsored a car in the first Indy 500 after World War II but watched it sputter to a stop, out of fuel, before completing the race. Two years later Andy tried driving at Indy but crashed hard in practice. Grancor, the speed shop and warehouse-distribution business the brothers formed in Chicago, sponsored Indy roadsters in the ’50s, and the Granatellis brought Novi roadsters back to run the Brickyard for several years in the early and mid ’60s.