Aftermarket Business

Retail Spotlight

H&H Classic Parts is a retail mail-order company located in Bentonville, Arkansas. It has seven employees.H&H Classic Parts Perseveres Despite Changing Business Climates

Initially a one-man operation run by Herman Smith, H&H Classic Parts opened its doors in September 1987 as a hobby that got way out of hand, according to Smith’s son Tray, who is now vice president of operations and sales. The company has since grown in size by 300%.

Hot-Rod Products

It’s All About Performance

From the very first SEMA Show in 1967, hot rodding has remained a highly influential niche within the specialty-equipment marketplace. That heritage was again on display at the recent SEMA Show’s Hot Rod Alley, where attendees were able to examine first hand the amazing parts and craftsmanship that go into custom-built rods. These are vehicles that can trace their lineage from post-WWII dry-lake racing, through the street scenes of the ’50s and the ’70s musclecar era, to the restomod movement of today.

Ransomware

IT security experts warn that there’s been a spike in the scourge of ransomware—malicious software that freezes a computer, encrypts all of its data and demands a ransom for the system’s restoration. Since February 2013, more than 600,000 victims worldwide have reportedly been infected with just one variant of the malware, CryptoWall, according to an October 2014 report released by DellIT security experts warn that there’s been a spike in the scourge of ransomware—malicious software that freezes a computer, encrypts all of its data and demands a ransom for the system’s restoration. Since February 2013, more than 600,000 victims worldwide have reportedly been infected with just one variant of the malware, CryptoWall, according to an October 2014 report released by Dell.

“This is the next generation of ransomware, and you can expect this new version to spread like wildfire,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, a firm that specializes in IT security awareness training for small- and medium-size businesses.

SEMA Still Going Full Speed Ahead

SEMA was formed in 1963, and the first Show took place four years later, under the bleachers at Dodger Stadium.Over the past 52 years, SEMA has developed a track record of assisting members in a variety of areas related to industry and business development. The mission of “helping members’ businesses succeed and prosper” is steeped in history and first grew out of a need for consistency and community among racing industry members.

In the early years, as the industry grew, specifications remained a challenge. It became clear that a partnership was needed for manufacturers. Regulations were necessary in order to keep moving forward, but the manufacturers needed to organize. Discussions began on how to create specifications and legitimize products and, on March 26, 1963, the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) was formed in response.

Walk a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Jon Wyly, CEO of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), has assembled a handpicked team of industry veterans to grow and take the co-op in exciting new directions, including the launch of SEMA Search.“You’ll never truly understand another person until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” So true. Taking the time to really understand your customers’ needs—from their perspective—can pay big dividends in goodwill and lasting, productive relationships.

For example, ask any retailer who is trying to grow his business online what he needs most from you, and the topic of rich product data will be front of mind.

SPY PHOTOS

Ford Super Duty
The 2017 Ford Super Duty, with its body-hugging wrap, reveals some of the design influences from the latest 2015 models—

Mercedes GLC
Here’s a look at two of several prototypes for the new Mercedes GLC that were caught on film leaving the factory.

Mini Clubman
With the light camouflage helping to reveal finer design cues, this prototype for the next Mini Clubman S and the sporty...

BMW X3
A prototype for the next-generation BMW X3 has broken cover, hitting a frozen lake in the Arctic Circle.

Mr. Supercharger

The next big fad is GMC superchargers,” wrote LeRoi “Tex” Smith in the June 1964 issue of Rod & Custom magazine. He was talking about how blowers were moving from pure racing applications to the street, and the opening pages of the story included this photo of Tom Beatty in his shop in Sun Valley, California. “Mr. Supercharger himself,” as Tex called him.

Target: Skilled Employees, Now and in the Future

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO One of the more challenging quests in the specialty aftermarket is to attract, hire and develop qualified employees—people who will fill a range of roles and help our members’ businesses transition to the future. This is especially challenging as new technologies emerge at an increasing speed.

That’s why the SEMA board, councils and staff are focused on new ways to equip the next generation to find jobs and grow careers in our industry. These efforts can be divided into three fronts—development training and experiences for existing members; establishing better ties and pipelines with schools where students are already studying automotive fields; and establishing pathways to allow even more young people to aim for a career in the specialty segment of the industry.

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Brake Parts Inc., Quest Automotive Products, Yokohama Tire, Action Car and Truck Accessories, Surf City Garage and more.

Auto 3.0: Fast, Cool, Smart and Connected

SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology

Today’s cars, trucks and the auto industry and performance aftermarket as a whole are being reinvented, restructured and re-envisioned. Cars are quickly moving from standalone mechanical products to smart electronic products and connected smart products in what might be called Auto 3.0, the Third Automotive Revolution. Not since the beginning of the industry have we seen such disruption in how cars are designed, developed, customized, sold, serviced and owned. Vehicles drive themselves, avoid accidents and connect to their owners’ digital lifestyles. They produce lower emissions, go faster and are safer, smarter and cooler than ever.

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