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
How to Cover the Basics and More Whether they be OEM “dollar vehicles” or shop display cars, the aftermarket loves to promote itself through project builds and other collectible autos. Many retailers or garages will have one or more in the lot or showroom to wow customers. Manufacturers, of course, use them to showcase products at consumer automotive events and trade shows. At the annual SEMA Show, you’ll scarcely find a booth without one.Build vehicles are valuable commodities, so whether your business keeps them on display at the shop or takes them on the road to tout your brand, you’ll want to have them properly insured. Yet, adequately covering them can be complicated.
Evolving Trends and Modern Technology Keep Product Manufacturers on Their ToesAnyone who has ever walked into a retail store knows that the number of car-care options available can be overwhelming, even to the most hardcore car guy. It’s not much easier for the product manufacturer, either. Paints are getting harder and more durable, so car-care developers have to reformulate their products to keep up with constantly evolving technology.Car care encompasses a wide range of surfaces, from paint to wheels and tires. Each offers several material options, such as clear coat vs. matte and chrome vs. aluminum. There are literally hundreds of products specifically designed for each type
Car-Care and Restyling Products From the 2012 SEMA ShowThe SEMA Show offers thousands of products to automotive professionals, ranging from performance hard parts to purpose-built off-road equipment. But vehicle accessories—body kits, interior additions and restoration parts—can spruce up nearly any car or truck, and car-care products are used throughout the industry on both new and used vehicles.The next few pages include dozens of restyling and car-care products that were unveiled at the 2012 SEMA Show. We have also compiled comments from industry professionals at some of the leading car-care companies about changes in technology, the distribution process and the influence of the Internet on both consumers and retailers.
The Mobile Connectivity Trend ContinuesFor 2013 and the immediate future, the buzz phrase in the mobile-electronics market remains “vehicle connectivity.” At least, that seems to be the consensus of a variety of category observers within the field, from journalists to marketing professionals.“Just as we’ve seen in past years, in-vehicle technology has been driven by the iPhone and the efforts to either connect with it, integrate with it or make it part of the environment,” said Mobile Electronics Magazine Editor in Chief Solomon Daniels. “Manufacturers know that consumers carry their music around with them. The vehicle is no longer the central point for entertainment; it’s more of an offshoot.”