Many of us have seen studies indicating that today’s young people are less interested in owning and driving cars than were prior generations. The statistics suggest that kids might be more likely to hot rod their cell phones and spend money on video games than buy cool stuff for cars.
Earlier this week, SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified before the U.S House Science, Space, and Technology Oversight Subcommittee, urging the group to continue allowing street vehicles to be modified and converted for motorsports competition.
The efforts and outcomes secured by SEMA’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., are among the association’s most highly rated benefits, according to our annual member satisfaction survey. While the D.C. team is a key factor, success is a function of each of you taking part and putting your strength into the effort—helping us make a deep impact on the policy discussions and decisions that are critical to the future of our industry.
With the arrival of July, SEMA initiates a new fiscal year and budget. It’s an exciting and challenging time for both the association staff and the Board of Directors. As we embark on another financial cycle, we can report that good management and long-term financial planning have put the association in position to invest in tools and programs to help members with product development, vehicle technology integration, regulatory compliance and delivering digital marketing content to the world. We are pressing forward today with significant services and tools that will benefit members for years to come. But you have to use the programs to get the benefits!
In this issue of SEMA News, you’ll find a number of articles making clear that our industry needs to be aware and more involved when it comes to laws and government regulation. Whether over safety or environmental concerns, land-use policy or small-business regulations, our industry has a great deal at stake.
Trade associations such as SEMA unite our industry’s individual voices and resources to have a meaningful impact. But we can only achieve results if we have you involved—and a great first step is to learn more about the issues and the legislators in your neck of the woods. Then arrange for a visit—with hands-on help from the SEMA team.
Over the last several years, SEMA has taken steps to heighten our outreach and increase touch points with members and the industry at large. This effort has included a commitment to enhancing customer service and raising the awareness of SEMA’s high-value member benefits. We recently announced a major move that will provide our members with the best customer service possible. For the first time in 50 years, each SEMA member will now have a single, dedicated point of contact for all things SEMA.
Fifty years ago, in May of 1963 to be exact, a roomful of industry pioneers founded a trade association—the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association—and SEMA was born. As we celebrate the organization’s Golden Anniversary, what held true then is still true today: the association, with deep volunteer participation and guidance, is a reflection of the industry itself. Together we’re celebrating five decades of business perseverance, growth, innovation and success.
At a recent SEMA Installation Banquet I was noting some of the challenges that confront the industry and I read an excerpt from an industry trade publication: “We may wake up one morning soon and find there’s no one left with any reason to buy headers or manifolds or a host of other performance products designed to make a car perform better…
There are many prestigious awards handed out at the SEMA Show. While each is significant in its own way, there is one award that should be of particular interest to everyone at the Show, and potentially, everyone in the auto industry. That would be the SEMA Award because it represents the collective voice of the industry.
By counting and sorting the vehicles displayed in exhibitor booths, we can gauge which vehicle models SEMA exhibitors believe will lead the way when it comes to generating accessory sales. The SEMA Award is a way to spotlight our exhibitors’ unique ability to identify which models are hot, just as the trends are gaining momentum.
Spotlighting Yours at the SEMA Show
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.
If you’re reading this, you’re holding the annual SEMA Membership Directory issue. With more listings, this directory is one of our largest ever, as your association continues a healthy trend in membership growth.
While we now make membership listings available online as well, we think the printed edition is well worth the effort, since SEMA members consistently mention the directory as a primary benefit to their business. Now that you know about it, you can take advantage of this industry sourcebook to connect with other leading companies all year long. But what other valuable SEMA benefits are you missing simply because you don’t know about them? Are you overpaying for shipping, insurance or credit-card processing fees?