Each year, the team at SEMA aims to deliver a SEMA Show that grows in opportunities and value for our exhibitors and attendees. With just 31 days until we open the 2015 edition, plans have crystalized, registration numbers are up over last year, and it’s clear that the trend will continue. And yet our data indicates a change in the pattern, suggesting new opportunities late in the week.
U.S. Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation that would enable low-volume car manufacturers to produce turn-key replica vehicles for customers nationwide. Called the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 (H.R. 2675), the SEMA-supported bill would allow companies to construct up to 500 “replicas” per year. Those are cars that resemble another production vehicle manufactured at least 25 years ago.
Auto-parts businesses will be on the hook for credit card fraud if they don’t migrate to new chip card terminals by October 1, 2015, according to the major credit card companies.
Now in its fourth year, the SEMA News 35 Under 35 roster has become a much-anticipated annual feature. In the following pages, we are again pleased to present 35 young trendsetters who are bringing exciting new ideas and renewed enthusiasm to every segment of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.
Pouring through the nominations, SEMA News looks for candidates who are already making a significant industry impact through their leadership within their organization or business. Entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the marketplace weigh heavily in our decision-making.
Eight Young Executives Network (YEN) members rode along on the YEN Power Tour in June, a journey of more than 1,500 miles from Madison, Wisconsin, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In addition to visiting each of the seven stops scheduled for the Hot Rod Power Tour, the YEN program added a twist of its own: Josh Backes, Tim Brueggeman, Jared Chavez, Cathy Clark, Matthew Davis, Keith McWilliams, Troy Spackman and Tyler Wesely each became advocates for the network and the industry, highlighting the variety of career choices available in the automotive specialty-equipment market. By the end of the week, the participants had become good friends.
SEMA has sought to protect motorized recreation on public lands for decades—with good reason. SEMA’s mission is to protect enthusiasts from unreasonable government actions that threaten their rides, whether on the highway or backcountry trails. It’s also harder to market off-road products when there are fewer places to enjoy them.
While trade events and large automotive gatherings such as the upcoming SEMA Show in November offer manufacturers unparalleled opportunities to introduce products to hungry buyers, they also present a challenge. How does a company break out and get noticed amid a sea of competitors and busy floor activity? For many companies, the answer is a show or project vehicle—which can not only grab attention at the Show but continue holding it long after if done right.
At first glance, the 2015 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees may appear to have only one thing in common: farms. But upon closer inspection, you will notice something else. They are the epitome of “live your best life.” This is not always easy to do; there is no roadmap to that destination, yet the route defines who we are. And each Hall of Fame honoree embraced the crossroads as much as he chased the unknown. He exuded grace in hardships and saw chance in challenges. He believed in himself and in those around him when others may have disbelieved. What some called struggle, he called purpose. Their footprints leave invisible impressions on our own road map, reminding us of how to be on the way to where to be.
For SEMA-member companies putting out great products these days, the challenge of illegal unauthorized copies is almost unavoidable. While some companies turn to the courts, federal agencies and law enforcement to confront counterfeiters, these avenues are frequently too expensive, ineffective or both. With the pervasive culture of counterfeiting in today’s global marketplace, SEMA members may be best served by also pursuing creative solutions that focus on branding, consumer awareness and unique packaging.
In an industry like the specialty-equipment market, which thrives on originality, innovation is as much about how the job is accomplished as it is the finished product. Whatever your niche of choice, you don’t reach the end goal without the right gear. In the following pages, you’ll find new tools and equipment as featured at the 2014 SEMA Show. Take a look and imagine how these instruments could revolutionize your process, making the task at hand more efficient and enjoyable.