Compass Points for Specialty-Equipment CompaniesBusiness trends reveal themselves in a host of incarnations, and we seek each year to ferret out those that pertain to the automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket. The SEMA Show, new-vehicle sales, educational tendencies and other indicators may reveal significant industry developments—or at least give savvy professionals some compass points to steer by. We hope that the following areas of interest help with the navigation.
Good News for Worldwide Enthusiasts and U.S. Specialty-Equipment ManufacturersSEMA manufacturers know that the Ford Mustang is one of the most customized vehicles in the marketplace. This year marks the pony car’s 50th anniversary, and now it comes with a larger-than-ever attraction to those who wish to develop and market products for the highly accessorized musclecar,“ noted SEMA Vice President of OEM and Product Development Programs Mike Spagnola.
Three High-Tech Tools to Advance Small Product Innovators For medium to large specialty-equipment manufacturers, the concepts of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are not likely to come as anything new. Over the past few decades, most companies with the capital have been investing in these evolving technologies to create and speed new products to market. What’s new on today’s scene is the trickle-down of increasingly cost-effective CAD/CAM solutions into the hands of smaller companies and even individual product designers and manufacturers—a phenomenon that may well make them ever more competitive with the big guys.
The equipment may have changed, but many of the tips laid out in this October 1964 Car Craft magazine story on “Photographing Cars” are still worthwhile for anyone interested in taking better pictures of their cars (or trucks, hot rods, customs, sports cars, motorcycles, you name it). The date on the photo job for this story was July 1964, making the subject Mustang a new car. The California hard license plate and Galpin Ford plate frame suggest that it was not a press vehicle but instead belonged...
GMC Canyon DenaliThe GMC Canyon Denali prototype’s camouflaged front end hides a revised all-mesh grille design that is consistent with GMC’s other Denali-trimmed models.’16 Ferrari FF PrototypeCaught in the Arctic Circle, photos of this prototype for the Ferrari FF reveal a revised front fascia for the Italian shooting brake.
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.