Business Opportunities

A Golden Ticket

A special group of enthusiasts entered the Las Vegas Convention Center on the final day of the 2010 SEMA Show. Despite the trade-only attendance rule, this select group was granted a “golden ticket” through the SEMA Opinion Leader Program.

In the Round: Market Trends in Tires and Wheels

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The economy and the environment have been the major drivers for many markets over the last three years, and they have also been consistent topics of conversation among tire and wheel experts. The tire industry underwent a sort of accordion buckling in inventory as the economic slowdown led consumers to balk at anything other than critical expenditures and then pent-up demand caused a sudden resurgence.

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Innovation on Display

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At the 2010 SEMA Show there were more than 2,000 new products submitted for consideration in the New Products Showcase—shattering all previous records. Presented in 15 categories, the New Product Awards highlight the industry’s innovation and represent the first of many accolades for the winners.

Congratulations to all the exhibitors who entered this year’s New Products Showcase. The criteria that ranked highest on the judges’ selection included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.

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Best of the 2010 SEMA Show

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More than 114,000 industry professionals gathered in Las Vegas during the week of November 2–5 for the 2010 SEMA Show, and the tone was decidedly optimistic. Exhibitors, buyers, media and other professionals were there to learn, collaborate, network and explore, sharing their passion in order to build their businesses and celebrate their shared experiences. The SEMA Show provides a window into the future of the industry as well as the hottest cars and best parts for 2011.

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Selling to the World’s Most Populous Country

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Distributors and retailers from throughout China gathered in Beijing to meet with 21 SEMA-member companies that were participating in the first SEMA China Business Development Conference. The hotel-based program held in Beijing in September was built around a series of one-on-one meetings with pre-selected Chinese buyers who traveled to the event from cities throughout China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Ha’erbin in the far north, Guangzhou in the south and Hubei in the center of the country.

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The Allure of China

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The allure of China is undeniable. Its rising incomes, growing middle class and fast-growing vehicle market all frequently make the news in the United States. Not all the news out of China is positive, however. Almost weekly, there are stories about counterfeit goods with ties to China. Counterfeit goods cost companies in the United States billions of dollars a year.  There is no denying that intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is a problem for companies doing business in China, be it sourcing products there or selling in the market. But that doesn’t mean you should stay away from doing business in China. SEMA-member companies that have done business in China have some advice for fellow SEMA members eyeing the China market with anticipation but also trepidation: Your products will almost certainly be copied, so take steps to protect yourself.

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Getting Started in International Commerce

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Companies that wish to extend their reach beyond U.S. borders can branch into emerging automotive markets that offer huge potential for increased sales. The keys to successful international ventures are careful research and reasonable expectations. The first step is to discover what vehicles are available in the target locale, and the second is to discover what products resonate with consumers there. SEMA offers several programs that can help get member companies started. 

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