Automotive Industry News

Be Your Own Disc Jockey!

“Wherever you go, listen to your favorite sounds by being your own disc jockey,” wrote Bud Lang in this Car Craft magazine how-to from 1963. “At the drags, beach, mountains or while just cruising around with the guys or your favorite chick, you can now play your own 45-rpm platters on an automatic reject record [ARC] changer that is designed for genuine driving pleasure.”If you think texting while driving is a distraction, imagine changing 45-rpm records while barreling down the highway.

“Wherever you go, listen to your favorite sounds by being your own disc jockey,” wrote Bud Lang in this Car Craft magazine how-to from 1963. “At the drags, beach, mountains or while just cruising around with the guys or your favorite chick, you can now play your own 45-rpm platters on an automatic reject record [ARC] changer that is designed for genuine driving pleasure.”

Wrong Reasons Not to Vote

Once a year, SEMA provides members with a way to select the Board of Directors—the volunteers who help SEMA make decisions that will help your business and the industry to succeed. I want to thank the many members who participated in the nomination process; we have some very strong candidates again this year. And thanks in advance to all of you who will be first-time voters, as well as all our regular voters.

 

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA members, including the Coker Group, Champion Oil, Marx Group Advisors, ESAB-a member of the Colfax group of companies, Fox Factory Holding Corp., and more.

Launch Pad Competition Returns for 2014

Jonathan Mill (second from right), was named the 2013 Launch Pad winner. He was congratulated by Bryan Harrison (left), Lindsay Hubley (second from left) and Dan Kahn (right). The SEMA Launch Pad competition, in which automotive innovators under the age of 40 showcase their business plans for marketing a product or service, has returned for 2014. Last year’s inaugural winner was Jonathan Mill for the E-Stopp, a pushbutton emergency brake and anti-theft device for custom vehicles.

For the 2014 competition, the top 10 competitors will gather votes through the SEMA Facebook/YouTube voting platform. The top five individuals will then receive invitations to pitch their business ideas during a special event in front of an industry-fueled crowd at the 2014 SEMA Show.

New SEMA Report Uncovers UTV Purchase Patterns

SEMA’s “Powersports: UTV Accessorization” report highlights the UTV market’s potential for a wide range of specialty-equipment companies.According to a SEMA study on the utility task vehicle (UTV) market, nearly 82% of UTV owners have purchased or plan to purchase equipment upgrades for their vehicles. This means that 410,000 households in the United States buy UTV accessories, with the average enthusiast spending $1,700 on parts.

This means that 410,000 households in the United States buy UTV accessories, with the average enthusiast spending $1,700 on parts.

The Hot-Rod Market

One of the great things about the hot-rod market is the wide range of customizations embraced by enthusiasts. Vehicles such as this Cutworm Specialties rod get tricked out with every imaginable category of aftermarket parts.A Classic Segment, Still Growing Strong

Who isn’t thrilled by the look and performance roar of a classic hot rod? Virtually synonymous with the earliest days of the automotive specialty-equipment industry, hot rodding never seems to grow old. In fact, the market segment has remained incredibly resilient, even in the face of the recently bumpy economy.

2014 SEMA Middle East Trip

Top Speed was the first stop on a day-long trip to tour local tuning shops. Pictured are (left with back to camera) Rick Trudo, president and CEO of SCT Performance; Adrian Croot (center), marketing director of Bully Dog Technologies; and (right) Saeed Al Al Marzouqi, managing director of Top Speed.Record Number of SEMA Members Participate in Third Annual Visit to the United Arab Emirates

Whether the motivating factor is to hedge against future downturns in the U.S. economy or to sell to the 95% of consumers residing outside the United States or a combination of the two, SEMA members are increasingly reaching out to overseas resellers. Todd Lindblade, regional sales manager for Extang, based in Michigan, explained one of the reasons why his company and 41 other SEMA members recently spent a week in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) meeting with buyers from throughout the region.

Stu Hilborn

Hilborn was among those who raced on Southern California’s dry lakes in the years prior to World War II. Ironically for a man whose name is now synonymous with fuel injection, Hilborn had little mechanical knowledge when he bought his first hot rod in the ’30s. But he had a neighbor who did—Indy 500 veteran Eddie Miller. Miller helped Hilborn build a flathead-powered Model A that could hit 120 mph on the lakes, and Hilborn proved to be a quick study, in all senses of the word, and he soon wanted to go faster. To do so, he bought a narrow streamliner that had been raced by Bill Warth.

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