As customers enter the front door, a peaceful chime echoes through the shop. There is a meticulous order to every product display, and yet the store feels quaint and inviting. And as the chime fades, a warm inquisitive voice asks, “What brings you in today, friend?”
SEMA research indicates that the U.S. aftermarket for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and connected vehicle technologies (CVT) can be expected to grow into a $1.5 billion industry within the next five years, even though the emerging segment is still in its infancy. The impact of these new systems can’t be overstated. Hard as it may be to imagine, they will eventually affect virtually everything from wheel and tire modifications and vehicle electronics tweaks to the addition of custom bumpers, running boards, grilles and other hard parts.
For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.
As the market for Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) becomes more established, the demand to retrofit older vehicles with those systems will also increase, creating significant new opportunities for companies in the automotive specialty-equipment industry.
With the SEMA Show wrapped up and a new year on its way, SEMA-member companies are busy absorbing the latest aftermarket trends and adjusting their marketing and sales strategies for 2018. The task can seem overwhelming, especially after experiencing the dizzying array of new products and innovations that flooded the recent Show.
For attendees of the 2017 SEMA Show, preparation is already well underway. It’s now time for buyers to begin acquainting themselves with the online floorplan (www.SEMAShow.com/floorplan) and researching exhibitors. The best place to start is with the following listing of first-time exhibitors—more than 230 companies that are potential leads for new products and business opportunities.
The SEMA Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor the contributions of leaders in the automotive aftermarket industry whose creativity, diligence, generosity and industriousness have significantly contributed to the industry’s growth. The award is the automotive aftermarket’s highest honor, and the Hall celebrates the legacies of a pantheon of automotive legends from the racing, manufacturing and media sectors.
While many businesses are guilty of chasing the latest digital marketing craze, good old email marketing is still the killer app to beat when it comes to return on investment (ROI) for businesses. Indeed, a 2016 study released by marketing consulting firm Clutch found that email marketing still has the highest ROI of any marketing channel (https://clutch.co/marketing/email#survey).
Often thrown about in today’s trendy business and marketing circles, “rich data” can be a confusing buzz term. Nevertheless, it’s become an essential component in the aftermarket supply chain for everyone from manufacturers to warehouse-distributors to retailers. Consequently, manufacturers can obtain a real advantage in mainstream markets if they grasp and follow the latest rich-data best practices.
The SEMA Garage’s Tech Transfer program was originally conceived as a way to help member companies acquire original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) computer-aided design (CAD) data, making it possible to quickly produce parts that fit the latest models. By logging into the Tech Transfer online portal, a member has access to OEM CAD data and the opportunity to request specific data for one or more vehicles.