Wheels

Big Wheel

About this product:

Given the importance of wheels in today’s automotive aftermarket, it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t a driving force (no pun intended) in vehicle modification and personalization. But that’s exactly what LeRoi “Tex” Smith said to open his November 1963 Hot Rod magazine article about custom and racing wheels.

“Until recently, the wheel was virtually overlooked by hot rodders,” Smith wrote. “Those who were concerned with the wheel usually made do with modified steel items or turned to the one major source of supply, the Halibrand Manufacturing Co.”

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Style Meets Performance: Wheels and Accessories Premiere at 2011 SEMA Show

About this product:

Wheel manufacturers continue to innovate with attention-grabbing designs, vibrant colors and exotic finishes. In fact, for the 2011 SEMA Show more than 19,000 buyers noted a specific interest in wheels, hubcaps and related accessories on their registration questionnaire. Striking a delicate balance between style, fitment and overall performance—more than 140 exhibitors unveiled their latest creations at this year’s Show. The following pages spotlight innovations from Wheels & Accessories section exhibitors, as seen in the 2011 SEMA Show New Products Showcase.

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More Than 80 New Tire and Wheel Products From the SEMA Show

With more than 290 exhibitors showcasing and 110 new product
registrations within the Tires, Wheels & Equipment section of the
2009 SEMA Show, it's apparent that this section of the
specialty-equipment industry remains one of the most popular with
vehicle enthusiasts. It is no wonder, as new tires and wheels can
instantly change the look and feel of a vehicle. Exhibitors at the Show
offered products for small to large passenger cars, trucks and even
racing applications.

Here is a collection of the some of the new products from the Tires, Wheels & and Equipment section of the 2009 SEMA Show.

Roy Littlefield - Tire Industry Association Executive Vice President

About this product:

Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), gives lectures to students as part of his “hobby”—a job as an adjunct professor of politics and American history at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. But he isn’t interested in lecturing SEMA about the decline in tire manufacturers’ participation in the annual SEMA Show. He’d rather talk about how to lure the manufacturers back.

“The bottom line is communication,” said Littlefield. “The big companies want to feel like it is their show.”

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Wayne Croswell -Tire Industry Association President

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When his software company asked him to become vice president of operations for a newly acquired tire industry company, tires had “no appeal for me whatsoever,” said Wayne Croswell. That was 32 years ago. Now, Croswell is president of ASA Tire Systems and the new president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

“I fell in love with the industry and the people, and it got into my blood,” he said.

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Tires, Wheels & Equipment New Products

About this product:

There were 290 tire exhibitors at the 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas last November, and tire buyers accounted for 9.4% of the total buyers who attended. In fact, their ranks made up the second-largest buyer group at the Show. This issue of SEMA News focuses on tire and wheel business. From the new products article that showcases some of the best technology and innovation the segment has to offer to the trends story where tire and wheel industry experts weigh in on the trends and challenges that face the segment, this issue is filled with information about the marketplace and the companies that have built it.

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Trends on a Roll: Tire & Wheel Market

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No single element can change the look of a car or truck like a set of tires and wheels. Thin or thick sidewalls, tall or small, chrome or painted, steel or aluminum—the combinations are endless, and each can thoroughly alter the appearance and the functionality of the vehicle. At last November’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas, a group of enthusiasts who were taking part in a marketing study confirmed the popularity of tire and wheel modifications. A whopping 84.6% of them said that they had bought tires or wheels for their vehicles, and for many—regardless of the type of vehicle they owned—tires and wheels were the first accessory they bought.

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