Automotive Business

First-Time Exhibitors

First-Time and Featured ExhibitorsEach year, the SEMA Show provides hundreds of new leads to buyers looking for innovative new product lines. The 2015 Show will be no exception: As of July 20, 2015, the number of registered first-time exhibitors was more than 295, and the number continues to rise.

Go-Cart Cavalcade

Some 10 years after its founding, Hot Rod was branching out, looking for new trends to appeal to its speed-hungry readers. Late ’50s and early ’60s issues continued to cover the traditional hot-rodding venues—Bonneville, Indianapolis, Pikes Peak and NHRA-sanctioned dragstrips across the country—but other forms of motorsport were appearing regularly, too.

First-Time Exhibitor Case Study

Luma IIIEvery 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.

Is Your Product Data Up to Speed?

SDC LogoIt’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.

Fast Facts

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.


’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.

Jeep Cherokee

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.

YEN Power Tour Participants Share Their Career Stories

YEN Hot Rod Power TourEight 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.

Retail Spotlight

Custom Trucks Unlimited Retail Store ReviewLike 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.


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