The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) provided a look at the latest vehicle creations auto manufacturers are developing or introducing during the year. For the specialty-equipment industry’s manufacturers, industry influencers and opinion leaders, seeing the car and truck introductions provides an idea of what OEM product strategists think will attract consumers in dealer’s showrooms.Here is a snapshot of the cars and trucks on display at this year’s NAIAS that members will want to keep an eye on for potential upgrade opportunities. We can foresee a number of recent introductions showing up at cruise nights, track days, road courses, dragstrips and off-road venues in the near future.
Know the Three Types of SEMA Show BoothsWith the Priority Space Selection Process for the 2015 SEMA Show taking place May 4–22, exhibitors may want to begin planning what to feature in this year’s display. For decisions such as where to set up products, whether or not to conduct product demonstrations or to highlight a display vehicle, knowing the booth types will help companies plan accordingly. Low Rates on SEMA Show Airfare, HotelsTravelers preparing for the 2015 SEMA Show to be held Tuesday–Friday, November 3–6, are encouraged to take advantage of airline discounts and hotel deals through the Travel and Lodging page on www.SEMAShow.com.
The deadline is approaching for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship and Loan Forgiveness program, with applications due Wednesday, April 1. Each year, the scholarship fund gives resources to students pursuing automotive careers in a variety of areas, from accounting to manufacturing. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000, with $5,000 going to the top individual. In 2014, 45 students were awarded scholarships, and 17 current employees of SEMA-member companies received $2,000 loan-forgiveness awards.
The Young Executives Network (YEN) held its first live chat with Formula Drift founder and CEO Jim Liaw. The live chat was held on October 24, 2014, via the YEN Facebook page and was a huge success. Questions came from YEN members far and wide and featured many topics, and they brought insights into the growth and continued success of aftermarket companies. Much of the focus was on how to get the most out of a company’s SEMA Show investment.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) hosted the Gear Up Girl networking event for the fourth time at the 2014 SEMA Show. The gathering provides a unique opportunity created for the benefit of female students pursuing careers in the automotive industry.
When factories outsource the sales function to reps, they do not abdicate responsibility in the field. Yes, the rep becomes the face of the factory in the territory. Yes, reps are the primary contact with the customer. And yes, the factory needs to provide technical training on its product to its reps.
Join the Network for Upcoming Professional Development ProgramsTen Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) members recently participated in a professional development program designed to enhance their leadership skills, improve task skills and provide insight into the latest trends and technical advancements. The Social Media Strategies Summit was the first of three events for 2015, held at the beginning of February at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Not to be confused with the billet grilles that took off in the ’80s, bullet grille treatments were a hot modification trend in the late ’50s. So hot, in fact, that Car Craft magazine put a custom ’55 Chevy with a close-up of its sparkling bullet grille on the cover of its December 1959 issue. The how-to story inside demonstrated how easy the pieces were to install, thanks to several bullet grille kits that had hit the market. California Custom Accessories in Los Angeles offered three different kits, with 24, 36 or 42 bullets, at prices ranging from $30 to $55. (The 36-piece kit was used for the Chevy featured in the story.)
GMC Acadia The GMC Acadia is reportedly moving to GM’s new Chi architecture, which is said to result in a slightly downsized crossover.Nissan Maxima Sport.This new Nissan Maxima test car has less camouflage around key elements of the design, including its C pillar and side-window profile.