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.
On the following pages, we’ve assembled a listing of the restoration parts that were featured in the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show, but “restoration” is now as much about rejuvenating a vehicle using modern underpinnings as it is about numbers-matching purity. In fact, many of the industry leaders quoted in the commentaries included within this buyer’s guide cite “restomod” vehicles as the segment’s most significant. They also note that trucks have become a major force in the restoration category, and the limits of what qualifies for “classic” status are also being stretched.
The Porsche 911 shows off its new facelift featuring a newly designed front bumper and updated daytime running lights.
Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra HD Diesels
GM is reportedly bumping the current 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel’s horsepower, torque and towing capacity to counter Ford’s recently upgraded 6.7L Powerstroke V8 turbo diesel.
’17 Jeep Patriot Mule
The ’17 Jeep Patriot uses a stretched version of the FCA-derived “small” platform that currently underpins the new Jeep Renegade.
Ford SVT Truck
Speculation is that that Ford’s testing a new-generation follow-up to its SVT Lightning.
GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado Facelifts
Fullsize prototypes for the Silverado and Sierra were caught running on the streets of Milford, Michigan, sporting new facelifts and additional visual changes.
’16 Mustang Shelby GT350R
This red Mustang Shelby GT350R prototype was seen testing on the streets of Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford GT Prototype
The Ford GT has hit public roads with an early, undisguised prototype revealing its carbon-fiber weave and a sleek, show-car shape.
The Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Silverado pickup were winners of the 2014 SEMA Awards, recognizing the year’s hottest vehicles. Does your company make products for those vehicles? Do you sell your products primarily in the United States? If you answered yes to both of these questions but want to expand your sales outside the United States, SEMA’s make/model data can help you get started by giving you easy-to-use information that will help you identify the best markets in terms of vehicle registrations. Through a joint program with the U.S. Department of Commerce and IHS Automotive, SEMA has complied the data into a user-friendly resource.