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Dynamic Off-Road Market in China

Media Giant FB Life Provides Insight

The specialty-equipment market in China is booming, with perhaps no sector growing more rapidly than the off-road market. SEMA News recently talked about the off-road scene with Baokun LV, co-founder of FBLife.com and executive general manager of FB Life, a Chinese media giant and a platform for off-road enthusiasts and service suppliers.

Ransomware

IT security experts warn that there’s been a spike in the scourge of ransomware—malicious software that freezes a computer, encrypts all of its data and demands a ransom for the system’s restoration. Since February 2013, more than 600,000 victims worldwide have reportedly been infected with just one variant of the malware, CryptoWall, according to an October 2014 report released by DellIT security experts warn that there’s been a spike in the scourge of ransomware—malicious software that freezes a computer, encrypts all of its data and demands a ransom for the system’s restoration. Since February 2013, more than 600,000 victims worldwide have reportedly been infected with just one variant of the malware, CryptoWall, according to an October 2014 report released by Dell.

“This is the next generation of ransomware, and you can expect this new version to spread like wildfire,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, a firm that specializes in IT security awareness training for small- and medium-size businesses.

SEMA Still Going Full Speed Ahead

SEMA was formed in 1963, and the first Show took place four years later, under the bleachers at Dodger Stadium.Over the past 52 years, SEMA has developed a track record of assisting members in a variety of areas related to industry and business development. The mission of “helping members’ businesses succeed and prosper” is steeped in history and first grew out of a need for consistency and community among racing industry members.

In the early years, as the industry grew, specifications remained a challenge. It became clear that a partnership was needed for manufacturers. Regulations were necessary in order to keep moving forward, but the manufacturers needed to organize. Discussions began on how to create specifications and legitimize products and, on March 26, 1963, the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) was formed in response.

Sealing the Cracks

From malware that collects login and password information to hackers getting their hands on unencrypted data and the theft of credit- and debit-card information during payment transactions, the opportunities for modern criminals abound. Containing Costs in the Data-Breach Era

During a recent speech at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), President Obama reminded us: “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected.” The sentiment summarizes a growing problem facing businesses that rely on modern technology to transact business: the data breach.

SEMA Indicators

The first-ever SEMA Battle of the Builders television special is set to air at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8, on the Velocity Network. Months of filming went into the production, culminating on a live stage at the SEMA Ignited afterparty this past November in Las Vegas.Compass Points for Specialty-Equipment Companies

Business trends reveal themselves in a host of incarnations, and we seek each year to ferret out those that pertain to the automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket. The SEMA Show, new-vehicle sales, educational tendencies and other indicators may reveal significant industry developments—or at least give savvy professionals some compass points to steer by. We hope that the following areas of interest help with the navigation.

The Mustang is Going Global

This chart, courtesy of Ford Motor Co., identifies the countries that will receive the new Mustang. Good News for Worldwide Enthusiasts and U.S. Specialty-Equipment Manufacturers

SEMA manufacturers know that the Ford Mustang is one of the most customized vehicles in the marketplace. This year marks the pony car’s 50th anniversary, and now it comes with a larger-than-ever attraction to those who wish to develop and market products for the highly accessorized musclecar,“ noted SEMA Vice President of OEM and Product Development Programs Mike Spagnola.

Designing Like the Big Guys

Three High-Tech Tools to Advance Small Product Innovators

For medium to large specialty-equipment manufacturers, the concepts of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are not likely to come as anything new. Over the past few decades, most companies with the capital have been investing in these evolving technologies to create and speed new products to market. What’s new on today’s scene is the trickle-down of increasingly cost-effective CAD/CAM solutions into the hands of smaller companies and even individual product designers and manufacturers—a phenomenon that may well make them ever more competitive with the big guys.

North American International Auto Show

The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) provided a look at the latest vehicle creations auto manufacturers are developing or introducing during the year.The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) provided a look at the latest vehicle creations auto manufacturers are developing or introducing during the year. For the specialty-equipment industry’s manufacturers, industry influencers and opinion leaders, seeing the car and truck introductions provides an idea of what OEM product strategists think will attract consumers in dealer’s showrooms.

Here is a snapshot of the cars and trucks on display at this year’s NAIAS that members will want to keep an eye on for potential upgrade opportunities. We can foresee a number of recent introductions showing up at cruise nights, track days, road courses, dragstrips and off-road venues in the near future.

Examining the Fresh Faces in Congress

From left: SEMA Chairman-Elect Doug Evans, U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), David Algire of The Enthusiast Network, and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.The Future Is Now

What do a car dealer, a former Navy SEAL commander and a financial advisor have in common? They were all recently elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. As a result of the November midterm elections, a lot of new faces have arrived in the nation’s capital. Fifty-eight first-timers were elected to the House of Representatives and 13 to the U.S. Senate. Among them are the future champions of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. While sorting through all of the new names may seem daunting, here are a few to keep an eye on.

SEMA Ignited

SEMA Ignited closed out the week of the 2014 SEMA Show with an afterparty like no other, and a public tribute to the best car builders on the planet. As the Convention Center doors closed and the trade-only Show ended on Friday, hundreds of custom vehicles roared to life, forming the now-traditional SEMA Cruise.

This year’s exit parade had a different destination, however—straight down Paradise Road and on to The LINQ in Las Vegas. With the high-roller observation wheel in the background, the world’s first car show that exclusively featured cars from the SEMA Show opened to the public. Enthusiasts were over-the-moon about the chance to get up close and pose next to cars built by true automotive legends.

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