Results of the 2016 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Chris Douglas from COMP Performance Group, Kyle Fickler of Aeromotive Inc. and Les Rudd from Bob Cook Sales elected to serve on the Board. While Fickler is a current SEMA Board member who was re-elected into the group, Douglas and Rudd will join as the newest members of the Board.
While the term “lobbyist” may, in certain circles, conjure a less-than-flattering image of Gucci shoes, limitless expense accounts and golf vacations to Scotland, I can assure you as SEMA’s congressional affairs manager that this image bears little resemblance to the day-to-day life advocating for SEMA and its members. In their purest form, lobbyists represent companies and hard-working Americans before lawmakers and regulators. These advocates serve an important role in the lawmaking process by providing issue-specific expertise and explaining the impact and unintended consequences of legislation or proposed regulations to members of Congress and their staffs.
By definition, the SEMA Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding persons in the automotive specialty industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments, on a national basis, have enhanced the stature of, and significantly contributed to, the industry’s growth. Established in 1969, the award is the automotive aftermarket industry’s highest honor.
Peter Treydte is the manager of the SEMA Compliance Center, where his role is to provide a bridge between SEMA members and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Treydte spent more than 20 years working for a member company, where a large portion of his responsibility was making sure that products were emissions-compliant. As a result, Treydte has substantial experience in working with CARB. SEMA News recently spent some time with Treydte, during which he explained the basics of emissions compliance, including products that require testing, first steps and test vehicles, as well as the cost and time for the entire process.
In an effort to counter intellectual property (IP) theft, President Obama signed into law a SEMA-supported bill that enables businesses to protect their trade secrets using federal law. Prior to the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the only mechanism for companies to enforce valuable trade secret rights was through civil actions under state law. The absence of a uniform federal standard forced companies to navigate a patchwork of different state laws and courts to bring actions against entities that had stolen or otherwise misappropriated their proprietary trade secret information.
More than 90 SEMA members and staff from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 11 as part of the 2016 SEMA Washington Rally. Attendees focused much of their advocacy efforts on the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, urging their members of Congress to demonstrate support for the motorsports industry by co-sponsoring the bill. These efforts were not only well received but also produced immediate results. Within days of the visit, several members of Congress agreed to co-sponsor the RPM Act as a result of the meetings they had with SEMA members.
Ensuring that their aftermarket products are emissions-compliant under state and federal laws has long been a serious issue for manufacturers. However, a recent step-up in regulatory enforcement has sent a sudden shock wave through the entire specialty-equipment industry, from manufacturer to retailer, making Executive Order (EO) exemption more vital than ever. In fact, it’s no longer hyperbole to say a business’ very survival could be at stake.
There are literally hundreds of car-care products on the market today, each aimed at making cars look good. According to a SEMA market report, the market for wax, cleaning products and other chemicals was worth $1.49 billion in 2015. The majority of the products, roughly 61%, are sold in brick-and-mortar auto-parts chains and retail chains.
Mach 1 Mule
The Mustang 5.0 pictured includes a quad exhaust setup, as seen on the GT350, and with a beefier rear axle.
’17 Silverado 3500 HD
This is the Chevy Silverado HD, featuring the latest Duramax diesel engine, conducting cold-weather testing.
Ram HD Truck
Spotted among various Chrysler prototypes is a heavily modified Ram HD with a cobbled-together front end.
’17 Camaro ZL1
This is the ’17 Chevy Camaro ZL1, caught while track testing in Milford, Michigan.
Industry stalwarts unanimously agree that the hot-rod market is as healthy as it’s ever been. The economy is stronger than it was at this time last year, and consumers have more discretionary income to spend on their toys, partially due to low fuel prices. Although hot rodding—in the most traditional sense—is predominately embraced by aging enthusiasts, the options are diverse, and getting broader.
“Last year’s Battle of the Builders competition at the SEMA Show represents how healthy the market is,” said Rick Love, Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) past chairman and executive vice president of Vintage Air. “There were excellent examples of all the different vehicle genres to pick from. Everybody in the hot-rod industry is busy; they have more work than they can do and would like to hire more qualified people.”