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Mass production and mass markets are giving way to increased vehicle personalization and customization, and automakers are looking for products, processes and partners to help them create accessory-friendly vehicles for fragmenting market segments.

The seminar "Is It Time for the Wagon to Pull the Horse?,” held April 17 at the 2007 SAE World Congress, featured panelists from the design and engineering departments of Toyota, Ford and DaimlerChrysler, and was moderated by SEMA Vice President, Vehicle Technology, John Waraniak.

The future of OEM-aftermarket collaboration is all about delivering fully integrated customization while significantly reducing capital investments for tooling and time to profit. But it takes a new manufacturing and marketing mindset to make it work.

The session focused on an alternative business model and provided details of the Post-Production Aftermarket Business Model, or what is becoming known as the "SEMA Model," to help automotive companies capitalize on emerging lifestyle trends and aftermarket revenue streams. Early collaboration between OEM and aftermarket suppliers can make the difference between built-in profits and reverse-engineered costs.

Panelists included:
-Doug Frisbie, Engagement Marketing Manager, Toyota Motor Sales ("Customized Marketing for Lifestyle Integration - Toyota Zone and TMZ Program")

-David E. Cole, Chairman, Center For Automotive Research ("Collaborating for Growth, OEM-Aftermarket Landscape and Opportunities")

-Ralph Gilles, Vice President, Jeep/Truck & CFM Design, DaimlerChrysler ("Designing for Customization")

-Hermann Salenbauch, Director, Advanced Product Creation & SVT, Ford Motor Co. ("Engineering for Accessorization")

-James Farley, Group VP, Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A ("Marketing Personalization Capabilities, Scion Model")

To hear more about the collaborative future between automakers and the specialty-equipment industry, click here.