Though Japan slipped from the number-three car consumer worldwide in 2011 to number five in 2012, love for automobiles remains very strong among the Japanese. Like Americans, the Japanese are holding on to their cars longer, which makes for a very interesting opportunity for the custom market. People have a desire to give their cars a facelift after a few years when they hold on to them, and that results in more sales for those engaged in the custom-car market. From swapping out wheels to updating headlights to modernizing the entertainment system, the aftermarket business in Japan is booming, and consumers continue to look for new products to enhance their driving experiences.
Actually, the photo you see here represents the dawn of several eras. The picture was taken at the very first SEMA Show, which was known in 1967 as the High Performance & Custom Trade Show and was held in January of that year at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The car in the booth is a Camaro, Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s wildly popular Mustang. After letting Ford own the personal sporty-car market for more than two years, Chevrolet finally introduced its entry into the pony-car segment just a few months prior to the trade show. For musclecar enthusiasts, the booth represents a watershed moment—the very first Chevrolet dealer, Nickey Chicago, to offer a big-block conversion for the Camaro, developed by Nickey and race car builder Bill Thomas.
SEMA News—March 2014
HERITAGE By Drew Hardin Photo Courtesy Petersen Archives
2015 SRT Challenger and Mercedes AMG GT. KGP Photography caught this thinly covered prototype of the upcoming Mercedes AMG GT on film in the snow. The pros at KGP Photography snapped these shots of the ’15 SRT Challenger, revealing an interior overhaul that includes a new dash, switchgear, instrumentation and a quality level.
SEMA News—March 2014
Photos copyright KGP Photography. Reuse or reproduction without the copyright holder’s consent is prohibited.
Breaking news from SEMA members, including Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), Royal Purple, Motul USA, ProMedia LLC, Painless Performance and more.
SEMA News—March 2014
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has added John Sonnefeldt as its director of sales and marketing. Joining the ACT team marks Sonnefeldt’s return to the auto aftermarket from Marmon-Herrington Aftermarket Truck Parts. Sonnefeldt has 15 years of experience in the performance automotive aftermarket with well-known brands such as Auto Meter, Eaton and Holley. Advanced Clutch Technology, Lancaster, CA; 661-940-7555.
Organizations such as SEMA put a good deal of attention on long-range, strategic planning. One truly long-range initiative at SEMA is about engaging with the younger members—and future members—of our industry. The next generation really is the future of the industry. But let’s face it: If the association doesn’t pay close attention and evolve, it’s like asking the next generation to drive their father’s Oldsmobile—and folks in our industry know exactly how that doesn’t always work out!Among SEMA’s most prominent youth programs are the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Young Executive Network (YEN) and the “35 Under 35” recognition program—all examples of well-received association programs.
The Inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will donate half of the net proceeds generated by the event to the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC)—an automotive learning center for high-school students. AXC is part of the Career and Technical Education Center at Fairplex in Pomona, California, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-school students and community members with vocational training, including a two-year automotive industry certification program. For the first time ever, the Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals will take place March 22–23 at Fairplex in Pomona.
Pursuing a pro-growth manufacturing and job-creation agenda, creating access to small-business loans and credit, finding affordable health-insurance options for employees, countering burdensome vehicle equipment regulations, preventing higher ethanol content in gasoline and combating counterfeit products. Those are just a few of the political issues facing SEMA members during this critical election year.
After six years of back-and-forth and negotiations that spanned not only the U.S. Congress but also the U.S. military (the Marine Corps, to be precise), a compromise has been negotiated to keep 96,000 acres of land open to off-road enthusiasts in the Johnson Valley OHV area near Twentynine Palms, California. SEMA and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) worked closely with a number of organizations related to the off-road community to support this provision, which keeps a large portion of the area open to off-road and outdoor enthusiasts while at the same time providing for the needs of the U.S. military. One of SAN’s initiatives is to look for practical solutions to off-road use questions to preserve the rights of the nation’s enthusiast communities. SEMA is gratified that, after six years, a win-win compromise could be enacted to the benefit of all parties involved.
SEMA News—March 2014
Persistence Pays Off For Off-Road Enthusiasts
After six years of back-and-forth and negotiations that spanned not only the U.S. Congress but also the U.S. military (the Marine Corps, to be precise), a compromise has been negotiated to keep 96,000 acres of land open to off-road enthusiasts in the Johnson Valley OHV area near Twentynine Palms, California.
Find Profit With Performance Parts From the 2013 SEMA ShowFor buyers that specialize in high-performance accessories, the 2013 SEMA Show was “the place” to discover new trends, and potential profit centers. Hundreds of exhibitors dedicated to power and performance were on hand, offering the latest in turbochargers, superchargers, exhausts, headers and much, much more. Racing and Performance exhibitors also submitted a wide variety of products into the Show’s annual New Products Showcase. Page through this special section and enjoy identifying the products that belong either on your store’s shelves or in your personal garage. Also, take time to review journalist Steve Campbell’s interviews with industry executives, offering their thoughts about the trends they perceive and some words of advice about what might lie ahead.
The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) Hot Product Showcase will take place April 24–26, once again at the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This event is an opportunity for ARMO members to display one or more products in front of one of the single largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.In addition to the products being placed on display in the Hot Products tent, a professional photographer will shoot each one. The photos will be available to the manufacturers and will also be used in a slideshow at the...
SEMA Member News—March/April 2014
New Features in Store for the 2014 Hot Product Showcase—Register Your Products Now