Every year, hundreds of first-time exhibitors venture to the SEMA Show and, for those who work the Show properly, the payoff can be huge. Luma III founder Kirk Lucas and his team put it all on the line to attend last year’s Show and walked away with two Best New Products Showcase awards, a stronger brand identity and new deals in the works.
It’s been about eight months since the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) rolled out the Data Quality and Completeness Program, which is designed specifically to help suppliers increase their data quality level in an easy, step-by-step process. In that time, we have seen more than 250 “steps” made by participating suppliers as they have moved up through the quality ratings of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, making their data more valuable to their customer base and creating more sales.
Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including the NHRA, Red Kap, Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., The Marx Group, Yokohama Tire Corp.’s and more.
An open-house event showcased the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), now located at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, as part of the Robert E. Petersen Garage.
’16 Ford Mustang Ecoboost
Ford has revived the Pony Package with the 2.3L Ecoboost engine.
’17 Fiat 124 Spider
The 124 Spider will be powered by the 1.4L turbo four-cylinder engine, and a six-speed manual is likely to be the standard transmission.
The upcoming Jeep Cherokee will use the same nine-speed automatic transmission as the new Jeep Renegade.
’16 California Special Ford Mustang GT
All California Special-equipped cars get 19-in. wheels with black-painted inserts. They also have a special faux gas cap in the trunk lid, reminiscent of the original Mustangs.
Eight Young Executives Network (YEN) members rode along on the YEN Power Tour in June, a journey of more than 1,500 miles from Madison, Wisconsin, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In addition to visiting each of the seven stops scheduled for the Hot Rod Power Tour, the YEN program added a twist of its own: Josh Backes, Tim Brueggeman, Jared Chavez, Cathy Clark, Matthew Davis, Keith McWilliams, Troy Spackman and Tyler Wesely each became advocates for the network and the industry, highlighting the variety of career choices available in the automotive specialty-equipment market. By the end of the week, the participants had become good friends.
Like so many small-business owners involved in automotive retail companies, David and Kevin Walker were enthusiasts early on. They loved anything with an engine, and they helped pay their way through college by working at a truck accessories store. That experience gave them a foundation in auto-parts retailing, so it was natural that they should start a store of their own when the chance presented itself. David was 21 and Kevin 20 in 2006 when they opened the doors to Custom Trucks Unlimited (CTU) in Auburn, Alabama.
Readers know that this is an industry of passion, so the media is quick to share the news and spread the word when legislation comes up that affects the industry. This is a good thing for readers, since legislation can change quickly, and staying up to date on the current status is important.
While trade events and large automotive gatherings such as the upcoming SEMA Show in November offer manufacturers unparalleled opportunities to introduce products to hungry buyers, they also present a challenge. How does a company break out and get noticed amid a sea of competitors and busy floor activity? For many companies, the answer is a show or project vehicle—which can not only grab attention at the Show but continue holding it long after if done right.
Maybe all this hype about product data is just that—overblown excitement from a few nerdy technologists who are trying to tell us that more and more people will be demanding digitized information to power their so-called “electronic catalogs.” Heck, what’s wrong with paper catalogs anyway? Or the idea that the Internet is going to continue to grow and grow and might even eventually be a big part of consumer purchasing habits? Inconceivable! Statements like these sure make you wonder where some of these crazy ideas come from, don’t they?