An often-overlooked resource for SEMA members seeking new overseas markets for their products are export management companies (EMCs). A growing number of SEMA members are already selling their products directly overseas, many with great success. But an even larger number are not fully tapping their export potential.
More and more, OEMs see that the availability of accessories improves their dealers’ ability to sell vehicles. And they acknowledge that aftermarket manufacturers, who are in touch with enthusiastic car owners, are often the first to recognize important trends. Smart dealers are increasingly recognizing that a customized vehicle in the showroom can bring more customers through the door and get them more excited about a purchase. But until now, there was not much real data on the “accessory effect.”
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Businesses that rely heavily on web marketing are in for a rude awakening in the coming year. That’s when privacy advocates will begin crippling the ability to easily track visitor activity on a company’s own website as well as across the Internet. In practice, the backlash against visitor tracking—commonly known as “Do Not Track”—is expected to make it tougher for a company to monitor which visitors are using its website and how they are using it.
This kind of data is critical to the web-analytics programs currently running on virtually all commercial websites of any consequence, which slice-and-dice visitor info to continually make websites more user friendly and more effective. The backlash will also make it more difficult for companies to advertise on other websites, as Do-Not-Track features on newer browsers make it impossible for advertisers to target ads based on an individual’s web use.
There may be nothing more American than a hot rod! As the rest of the world continues to adopt elements of our unique cultural identity, there are few things left that are truly American. Classic hot rods and musclecars are 100% American made. Unfortunately, these vehicles have long struggled to find their place in the law. Too often, a lack of knowledge and experience on the part of legislators has led to bad laws that negatively impact our industry and the hobby. However, the staff and membership of SEMA and the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) can have a direct impact on safeguarding the tradition of hot rodding in America.
Today’s business environment is changing quickly. Training and information are essential to a company’s success. Realizing this several years ago, the SEMA Board of Directors created the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) as a strategic commitment to meet the industry’s need for personal training and professional development.
SEMA and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils announced July 8, 2011, as Collector Car Appreciation Day. The date marks the second commemoration in what will become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. SEMA and its councils are now working to secure a congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance.
Because “social media” are such buzzwords these days, a lot of people think that these new channels somehow exist in a different dimension of the space-time continuum and that different rules and laws of physics apply. Yes, social media channels are immediate. Yes, social media channels are broadcast platforms for the hitherto voiceless. And, yes, everybody is doing it. But when it comes to customer service and building and protecting your business reputation, the same principles apply in social media as in all other channels of communication between you and your customers.
Audi A4 Allroad, Chrysler 200 Soft-Top, 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2012 Hyundai Genesis
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The seventh annual Global Media Awards program found 150 companies being recognized by an international panel of automotive journalists at the 2010 SEMA Show. Twenty-four of the top automotive journalists hailing from 15 important world markets for specialty products rolled up their sleeves, and each selected 10 products from the New Products Showcase that they thought would most appeal to consumers in their home markets. We talked to some of the winners about being selected, their overseas sales plans and how important these established and emerging markets are for their bottom lines.
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In the November 2010 issue of SEMA News, we discussed how SEMA-member companies might use auctions to find the perfect vehicle to feature in promotions and advertising. Such vehicles can provide value well beyond their material worth by helping customers realize long-held dreams. In some cases, however, the effectiveness of even the optimal vehicle eventually diminishes, whether because of changing styles, a new marketing direction or other factors. The company may then wish to utilize an auction to divest itself of that property with either a minimal loss or—even better—a net gain because of appreciation. Perhaps the most significant benefit of consigning a collector or exotic vehicle to an auction is the extremely passionate pool of buyers drawn by such events.