Annual Summit and Gala Mark Association’s 50th YearAs 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.
SEMA News—October 2013
By SEMA News Editors
SEMA Leadership Days
Annual Summit and Gala Mark Association’s 50th Year
ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and MoreA 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.
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.
Current Report Details Slow But Steady Industry ImprovementThings 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...
Young and Rising Industry StarsWho’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.
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.
SEMA News—August 2013
SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center: Weapons of Mass Design
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.
George Barris, Eric Grant, Wade Kawasaki and Joe Schubeck Enter SEMA’s Hall of FameOften, those who truly make a difference never really set out to do so. They’re simply pursuing a dream, a passion. And yet, through sheer perseverance, innovation, dedication and a high dose of excellence, they somehow suddenly find themselves changing everything, revolutionizing an industry and inspiring a legion of followers.
One of the World’s Largest Vehicle Markets SEMA News recently traveled to Moscow to take a look at the center of the specialty-equipment market in the world’s largest country in terms of area (more than 6.6 million square miles). Russia is one of the fastest-growing emerging market economies and one of the five countries that make up the so-called BRICS, along with quickly growing Brazil, India, China and South Africa.This article looks at the size of Russia’s passenger-vehicle market, the interest in customizing, consumer purchasing power, types of vehicles on the road and the implications for U.S. specialty-equipment companies as well as growth potential, opportunities and challenges.
SEMA News—July 2013
INTERNATIONAL By Linda Spencer Images Courtesy of Polny Privod 4x4