Automotive News

SEMA Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

This year marks SEMA’s 50th birthday—a remarkable milestone for the association. Many trace the specialty-equipment market’s official beginning to 1928 when George Wight opened the Bell Auto Parts speed shop, but the roots go much deeper. People have been looking for ways to travel faster and in more style and comfort since the invention of the automobile.

Markets Broaden, Providing Opportunities

 Pictured here are SEMA members measuring the ’13 Ford Ranger T6. A ’12 Toyota HiLux is also available. Member manufacturers can measure the vehicle free of charge at SEMA headquarters.

SEMA Programs for Global Exports

Growing demand for U.S. products among the more than 95% of the world’s consumers who reside outside the country has resulted in a five-fold growth in American exports from 1985–2012, according to a Federal Reserve Bank report, and a record number of American companies are seeking to meet the demand. Yet for all that growth, the Small Business Administration reports that only 1% of small businesses are involved in exporting. And for those that are, 58% export to only one country and 83% to less than five markets.

There are huge benefits for companies that export. Diversifying the customer base can lead to an improved bottom line; companies that export are better positioned to ride out future U.S. economic downturns and can increase the firms’ overall competitiveness through access to new customers; exporting leads to new ways of doing business; and exports provide contact with new cultures.

Vehicle Technology Matters More Than Ever

Neil Young, musician, entrepreneur and Lincvolt team leader, demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit of SEMA members and performance enthusiasts around the world with his keynote remarks and the introduction of his ’59 Lincvolt at the 2010 SEMA Show. Young will be returning to the SEMA Show this year with his latest ‘59 Lincvolt (above). The Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) held a prominent position in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2012 SEMA Show, drawing greater attention and attendance than ever before. The VTC and Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program will be returning to the 2013 SEMA Show, providing attendees with new levels of education through the program’s vehicle technology keynotes, briefing sessions and workshops.

The association’s vehicle technology programs, initiatives and relationships are investments in SEMA’s collective future. The purpose of the VTC and the accompanying TBS program is to inform SEMA members about the latest vehicle technologies and introduce them to the programs, resources, partners, solutions and benefits available to them at affordable costs as well as show them how to protect their businesses in the face of disruptive and advanced technological change. Advanced vehicle technologies are integral to both the relevance and the future of SEMA. To ignore their impact is a fundamental mistake. Disruptive technologies don’t totally eliminate existing vehicle technologies, but they do often eliminate unprepared businesses and companies.

Confused About Data Management?

Top Five Reasons to Get Started Now!

Business is changing. And for those of us who have been in the industry for 20, 25, 30 years or more, it just feels different than it used to. I was talking to an old friend the other day who runs a specialty performance company, and he said, “You know, it just seems like nobody talks to each other on the phone anymore.” Yep, e-mail has changed the way we do business. The same sentiment can be heard in brick-and-mortar stores across the country in the form of, “You know, people don’t come into the store like they used to.”

Yep, the Internet has changed the way we do business as well. So what’s the common thread that is replacing the long-standing virtues of face-to-face business, customer relationships and loyalty? If you ask me, it’s technology.

Exhibitor Series: Advice and Strategies for a Successful Show

To help exhibitors prepare for the 2013 SEMA Show, a three-part webinar series is available with practical advice, Show management tips and expert insight valuable to both Show vets and first-timers.  The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) has developed a three-part series of webinars designed to help exhibitors—both first-timers and veterans—get the most out of their SEMA Show investments. Preparing for the Show is a tremendous task, and strategy is required to successfully navigate the logistical and operational aspects involved.

The first two sessions in the series covered such topics as pre-Show marketing and provided insight on proven ways to drive booth traffic, tactics for getting exposure and attention at the Show and how to eliminate costly exhibitor mistakes. Both sessions are available for SEMA members to view free of charge.

Collector Car Appreciation Day Ignites Celebrations Across the Country

In honor of Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 12, several SEMA members and staff celebrated with music, food and, of course, collector cars. On July 12, SEMA members, SEMA staff and thousands of enthusiasts across the United States celebrated the fourth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day. A wide range of official events were also held in Canada and Australia to commemorate the day, designated by SEMA-requested U.S. Senate Resolution 176, which was sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Richard
Burr (R-NC).

The U.S. Senate Resolution recognized “that the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.” Lawmakers in states, counties and local areas all over the country and Canada followed the Senate’s lead. The states of New York and New Mexico as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Nova Scotia adopted their own resolutions commemorating the day.

New Products: Spotlighting Yours at the SEMA Show

Spotlighting Yours at the SEMA Show

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO Each year, SEMA commissions an internal study to help association staff understand how to make the SEMA Show better. Based on thousands of interviews with exhibitors and attendees, it’s a study that contains valuable insights about the SEMA Show for the association. Of those insights, perhaps the most valuable takeaway is that new products are the force that drive the Show, yet many exhibitors don’t utilize successful Show features that highlight their products.

Our surveys tell us that 87% of buyers consider new products their number-one priority when the Show opens. Not surprisingly then, we see that roughly three-quarters of buyers visit the New Product Showcase at some point during the Show.


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