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Must-See Features of the 2013 SEMA Show

The SEMA Show draws more than 135,000 industry leaders to Las Vegas from more than 100 countries, all seeking business opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports and RV markets. A Sprawling Panorama of Automotive Excellence

The SEMA Show is the world’s most impressive automotive trade show. It draws industry professionals from around the globe to stunning exhibits of innovative and sought-after specialty-equipment products. It attracts more than 135,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries to Las Vegas, all seeking business opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports and RV markets. And the 2013 SEMA Show—the year of the association’s 50th anniversary—will eclipse all previous gatherings. In fact, exhibit space in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is sold out, and new display areas have been created in the Las Vegas Hotel and in other parts of the Show grounds to help accommodate the surplus.

A Few Words With Tom Gattuso

More than 2,100 companies have already secured space for the 2013 event, including 500 first-time exhibitors. The Show is designed to provide manufacturers of automotive products and accessories with a venue to connect to and do business with buyers from throughout the world, so the better informed exhibitors are, the more successful their experience will be. The SEMA Show Director Provides Tips for Exhibitors, Buyers and Media

Tom Gattuso is the director of the SEMA Show. With more than 18 years in the field of automotive-event production—both consumer and trade—he is well versed in ensuring that attendees and exhibitors of every stripe receive the greatest return on their investments. The 2013 SEMA Show will be his third as director, and SEMA News was pleased to talk with him about his insights.

SEMA Leadership Days

The July 26 festivities included the inauguration of the 2013–2014 SEMA Board of Directors, led by incoming Chairman Nate Shelton (front center). Annual Summit and Gala Mark Association’s 50th Year

As the specialty-equipment industry’s premier trade association, SEMA relies on elected volunteers to serve on its Board of Directors and in positions of council leadership. Representing every segment of the automotive aftermarket, these industry professionals are dedicated to the advancement of marketing, regulatory and business standards and practices that promote industry growth for all. In short, they are on the front lines identifying challenges and opportunities facing the industry and crafting policies and programs to address them. To support and recognize their efforts, SEMA holds a series of intensive Leadership Days events each year, with this year’s gathering held principally at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center in Pomona, California, July 24–25.

Retailer Spotlight

ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and More

A generation ago, mail-order entrepreneurs transformed the specialty-equipment industry by leveraging enthusiast print media to inform and market to the masses. Today, a new generation of pioneers is doing it again—this time through the Internet and social media. ModBargains.com is a case in point.

Located in La Habra, California, the company was co-founded in 2004 by CEO Mike Brown, then 19, and President Ron Hay, then 24. Their original business plan called for a sort of online clearinghouse of special automotive parts promotions and deals similar to those offered by tech-industry bargain sites. But the venture quickly morphed into something much bigger—and better.

Mobile E-mail Marketing: Now, Too Critical to Ignore

E-mail marketers operating without significant, robust accommodations for mobile device users are leaving trunks of money at the table, according to two new reports on e-mail usage.

A full 41% of all e-mail is now read on mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—and that’s a spike in preference that will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, according to the “Mobile E-Mail Opens Report, 2nd Half 2012,” released by Knotice, a marketing firm.

2013 SEMA Annual Market Study Preview

2013 SEMA Annual Market Current Report Details Slow But Steady Industry Improvement

Things are looking up. That’s the overall impression cast by the just-released 2013 SEMA Annual Market Report. The new study provides a composite view of the automotive specialty-equipment industry and new-vehicle sales, and is packed with information and background that businesspeople from all market segments will want to access. The study is available now and can be downloaded here.

The report’s major findings include a return of growth for the industry overall. The street-performance niche continues to drive the rebound with a 15.3% year-over-year increase, but the light-truck niche also experienced the first growth in four years with a 1% increase in sales. The appearance and accessories segments are growing based largely...

35 Under 35

Young and Rising Industry Stars

Who’s who among young industry entrepreneurs and up-and-comers? That was the question SEMA News set out to answer a full year ago with its inaugural “35 Under 35” feature article.

Looking to the future SEMA News editors asked the industry to help identify 35 people age 35 and younger who were already making an impressive mark on the specialty-equipment industry and taking it in exciting new directions. The article drew a lot of attention and praise from aftermarket newcomers and veterans alike—so much so that nominations immediately began flowing in for a second year’s class of young go-getters. In the following pages, we are pleased to present a fresh slate of 35 honorees for 2013.

SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center: Weapons of Mass Design

Mike Spagnola, SEMA Vice President of OEM and Product Development Programs. One of the greatest tools in the SEMA toolbox for member manufacturers is the new SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center. About a year ago, the SEMA Board of Directors met to discuss ways to help the association’s manufacturing members address various product development challenges. The SEMA Garage was born as a result of those discussions, and I was hired to lead this effort.

Located in Diamond Bar, California, adjacent to SEMA headquarters, this 15,000-sq.-ft. facility houses a variety of tools and programs designed to help SEMA manufacturers more efficiently develop and market new products. The facility is comprised of four separate cells, each of which play a critical role in helping members get products to market in a quick and economical manner.

New Research Shows $31 Billion in Automotive Parts, Accessory Sales

Sales of automotive specialty-equipment products continue to climb, reaching $31 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 SEMA Annual Market Report. The figure represents a 4% increase over the previous year and marks the third consecutive year
of growth.

The automotive specialty-equipment market began to see an upswing in 2010, when sales totaled $28.60 billion—a 2% increase over the previous year’s total. Sales reached $29.99 billion the following year, representing 5% growth over 2010.

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