SEMA will host its annual Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser on Friday, July 26, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California. The annual event is well attended by automotive professionals and serves as a swearing-in ceremony for the incoming Board of Directors, while honoring the newest SEMA Hall of Fame inductees.
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank today presented the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) with the President's "E" Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The "E" Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
A growing number of Chinese are looking to explore their country’s rougher regions by going off-road, and Jeep sales in China are surging. But China’s terrain is apparently rougher than that found in the United States—or perhaps Chinese drivers are just more radical—because U.S.-built Jeeps are not durable enough for China, an engineer with Chrysler in China told SEMA. That could be an opportunity for SEMA members.
Scott Wood couldn’t have imagined that being named the Time magazine 2010 Dealer of the Year would be his ticket to China, but it was. Wood, who owns Chevrolet and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealerships in the small town of Batesville, Arkansas, was invited to China to give a presentation to Chinese car dealers on selling accessories in dealerships. Wood sells quite a few Jeep accessories, so he naturally illustrated his presentation with examples of Mopar and aftermarket-branded Jeep accessories.
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.
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Thirteen SEMA-member companies recently traveled to Beijing, China, for a firsthand look at the developing Chinese market for specialty products—or, as referred to in Chinese, Gaizhuang.
In its infancy, the Chinese market for performance and accessory products is not so unlike the U.S. market of 40 or 50 years ago. On one hand, it is brimming with opportunity as millions of consumers develop a growing taste (and the necessary disposable income) for vehicle personalization. But a closer look at the market reveals a sector riddled with sporadic government crackdowns on car modifications (in Shanghai in 2007 and most recently in Beijing); numerous performance products still technically illegal; far-flung population centers only partially served by the fragmented network of distributors; and the presence of frequent intellectual-property violations. It’s essential that companies take the necessary steps to minimize their potential IPR vulnerability in China and worldwide. Yet, despite this, the delegation overwhelmingly concluded that the largest mistake SEMA members could make would be to underestimate the market and the potential it holds for many SEMA members.
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The process of importing products into the U.S. has changed for good. In a webinar entitled “10+2=New Filing Requirements for All Companies Importing Products to the U.S. Now in Effect,” presenter Richard Di Nucci, director of the Secure Freight Initiative for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), details the new Importer Security Filing (ISF), commonly known as the 10+2 Initiative, which will directly affect all businesses that import products into the U.S.
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A great product mixed with great service is the key factor identified by Bob Scheid, vice president of export-savvy flywheel and clutch manufacturer Fidanza Engineering Corp., in the company’s growing overseas sales. The Perry, Ohio-based firm sells to 27 countries around the world and has always been an internationally focused company, growing its international sales alongside its domestic sales since the very start of the firm 12 years ago.