The U.S. light-truck market is incredibly broad. Used for general transportation, commercial applications and recreation, light trucks comprise the single largest category for businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Indeed, trucks and the accessories built for them are so popular that they have laid claim to their own exhibit hall at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. While the light-truck market encompasses vans, crossovers, SUVs and some specially constructed vehicles, pickups make up the lion’s share of the market for SEMA members. The nation’s first and second top-selling vehicles are—and have been for years—the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado pickup lines.
Mercedes SLS AMG, Cadillac XTS, Chrysler 300 SRT8, Audi Q3
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Packaging is about more than protecting a product during shipping, handling and storage. It’s an extension of the product itself. When properly executed, good packaging reduces costs while branding and promoting the company and the product to consumers. Ultimately, it’s all about promise and performance to the buyer.
Packaging has evolved significantly over the past four to five decades. According to Diana Twede, Ph.D., a professor at the Michigan State University School of Packaging, one of the greatest contemporary trends can be summed up in a single word: Plastics.
Toyota recently offered SEMA News an opportunity to drive one of its Tesla/Toyota RAV4 prototypes at the company’s Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla, California, along with several other advanced-powertrain cars that will be arriving in the next three years.
Each year, the SEMA Show features more than 1,000 project vehicles. Original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs)such as Ford, Chevy, Toyota and Honda regularly work with project-vehicle builders to create SEMA-Show-worthy customs that highlight their newest models and entice enthusiast buyers by showing how they can be customized.
A few years ago, SEMA and its Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) worked with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to develop an industry testing practice for aftermarket wheels. SAE J2530 (Aftermarket Wheels Performance Requirements and Testing Procedures) outlines performance and sampling guidelines, testing procedures and marking requirements for aftermarket wheels used on cars, light trucks and multipurpose vehicles.
Audi A4 Allroad, Chrysler 200 Soft-Top, 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2012 Hyundai Genesis
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The economy and the environment have been the major drivers for many markets over the last three years, and they have also been consistent topics of conversation among tire and wheel experts. The tire industry underwent a sort of accordion buckling in inventory as the economic slowdown led consumers to balk at anything other than critical expenditures and then pent-up demand caused a sudden resurgence.
2013 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, 2012 Chrysler 200, Ford Fiesta-Based CUV, Volkswagen’s New Midsize Sedan
Changing the look and feel of a vehicle instantly, wheels and wheel accessories remain extremely popular with buyers and enthusiasts. In fact, for the 2010 SEMA Show a total of 17,839 buyers noted a specific interest in wheels, hubcaps and related accessories on their registration questionnaire. More than 140 exhibitors were on hand to satisfy their curiosity, exhibiting in a new Show section dedicated exclusively to wheels and related accessories.