Automotive News

Tougher Policies: Intellectual Property Protection at the SEMA Show

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO Do you see increasing examples of trademark rip-offs and illegal knock-off products showing up in online marketing and catalogs? SEMA is hearing more often from members experiencing intellectual property (IP) infringement problems. Protecting IP is something that many industries have struggled with for some time, and our industry is clearly no exception.

For a number of years now, SEMA has maintained policies and procedures to prevent the display of products, trademarks and trade dress that violate the IP rights of other SEMA exhibitors. Our goal has always been to ensure proper protection of the IP of industry members.

Japan Custom-Car Market Overview

Though Japan slipped from the number-three car consumer worldwide in 2011 to number five in 2012, love for automobiles remains very strong among the Japanese. Like Americans, the Japanese are holding on to their cars longer, which makes for a very interesting opportunity for the custom market. People have a desire to give their cars a facelift after a few years when they hold on to them, and that results in more sales for those engaged in the custom-car market. From swapping out wheels to updating headlights to modernizing the entertainment system, the aftermarket business in Japan is booming, and consumers continue to look for new products to enhance their driving experiences.

Dawn of an Era

Actually, the photo you see here represents the dawn of several eras. The picture was taken at the very first SEMA Show, which was known in 1967 as the High Performance & Custom Trade Show and was held in January of that year at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The car in the booth is a Camaro, Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s wildly popular Mustang. Actually, the photo you see here represents the dawn of several eras. The picture was taken at the very first SEMA Show, which was known in 1967 as the High Performance & Custom Trade Show and was held in January of that year at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The car in the booth is a Camaro, Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s wildly popular Mustang.

After letting Ford own the personal sporty-car market for more than two years, Chevrolet finally introduced its entry into the pony-car segment just a few months prior to the trade show. For musclecar enthusiasts, the booth represents a watershed moment—the very first Chevrolet dealer, Nickey Chicago, to offer a big-block conversion for the Camaro, developed by Nickey and race car builder Bill Thomas.


2015 SRT Challenger and Mercedes AMG GT.

KGP Photography caught this thinly covered prototype of the upcoming Mercedes AMG GT on film in the snow.

The pros at KGP Photography snapped these shots of the ’15 SRT Challenger, revealing an interior overhaul that includes a new dash, switchgear, instrumentation and a quality level.

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA members, including Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), Royal Purple, Motul USA, ProMedia LLC, Painless Performance and more.

Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals to Donate to Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts

The Inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will donate half of the net proceeds generated by the event to the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC)—an automotive learning center for high-school students. AXC is part of the Career and Technical Education Center at Fairplex in Pomona, California, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-school students and community members with vocational training, including a two-year automotive industry certification program. For the first time ever, the Street Machine and Muscle Car Nationals will take place March 22–23 at Fairplex in Pomona.

Tell Congress What Matters Most to You

Pursuing a pro-growth manufacturing and job-creation agenda, creating access to small-business loans and credit, finding affordable health-insurance options for employees, countering burdensome vehicle equipment regulations, preventing higher ethanol content in gasoline and combating counterfeit products. Those are just a few of the political issues facing SEMA members during this critical election year.

Racing Into the Black

Find Profit With Performance Parts From the 2013 SEMA Show

For buyers that specialize in high-performance accessories, the 2013 SEMA Show was “the place” to discover new trends, and potential profit centers. Hundreds of exhibitors dedicated to power and performance were on hand, offering the latest in turbochargers, superchargers, exhausts, headers and much, much more. Racing and Performance exhibitors also submitted a wide variety of products into the Show’s annual New Products Showcase. Page through this special section and enjoy identifying the products that belong either on your store’s shelves or in your personal garage. Also, take time to review journalist Steve Campbell’s interviews with industry executives, offering their thoughts about the trends they perceive and some words of advice about what might lie ahead.

Fresh Faces, Fresh Ideas

What’s Driving the Industry’s Young Entrepreneurs?

A lot has been said and written lately about the “aging” of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Built over roughly six decades by hands-on parts and hardcore speed and performance innovators, the automotive aftermarket is now an industry topping $30 billion. However, questions currently abound over whether it will continue to attract younger enthusiasts—not only as consumers but as entrepreneurs.

SEMA Show 2013 Coverage—The Next Best Thing to Being There

More than 2,100 companies have already secured space for the 2013 event, including 500 first-time exhibitors. The Show is designed to provide manufacturers of automotive products and accessories with a venue to connect to and do business with buyers from throughout the world, so the better informed exhibitors are, the more successful their experience will be. Thousands of reporters and journalists attend the SEMA Show each year with the goal of sharing new products and trends with consumers who are unable to see what’s happening in person. Many of the journalists represent automotive publications. However, as vehicle customization becomes more mainstream and consumers seek to personalize everything from cell-phone covers to coffee orders, general interest in the SEMA Show increases. Representatives from daily newspapers and mainstream outlets come to the SEMA Show to share with their readers news on how they can personalize their vehicles, whether with something as simple as a custom floor mat or seat cover or with a new paint scheme or engine component.


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