SEMA Action Network Breaks Through Political Barriers to Defend Rights of Automotive Community

Amidst a difficult economic environment and increased gridlock in Washington, D.C., and in state capitols across the country, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) continues to influence positive legislative action for automotive hobbyists and small businesses serving the specialty-equipment industry with recent achievements that include a pro-hobby provision in the popular “Cash for Clunkers” bill.

“Protecting the interests of the automotive community is our foremost goal,” said Ethan Landesman, SEMA manager of government affairs. “We have more than 40,000 members, 3 million contacts and an ability to reach 30 million enthusiasts, which has contributed to the SAN’s successful track record of passing legislation that benefits and protects the interests of automotive hobbyists.”

The SAN is a partnership between enthusiasts, vehicle clubs and members of the specialty automotive parts industry in the United States and Canada who have joined forces to promote hobby-friendly legislation and oppose unfair laws. The SAN takes the actions needed to protect the automotive hobby from overly restrictive government regulation and stop unreasonable bills from becoming law.

There are many state legislators who also support the automotive hobby and work together with the SAN to preserve and protect the hobby by seeking the amendment of existing motor-vehicle statutes and creating new programs to safeguard and expand the hobby. Over the past several years, their work has brought a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle-enthusiast community on issues ranging from equipment standards to registration classifications and from emissions test exemptions to hobbyist rights.

In its 13-year history, the effect of the SAN on shaping government policy has been enormous. The SAN has successfully:
  • Enacted street rod and custom vehicle (including kit cars and replicas) registration and titling laws in 20 states
  • Protected classic vehicles waiting to be restored on private property from confiscation
  • Safeguarded legal off-road nitrous-oxide use with SAN-model legislation
  • Defended enthusiast’s right to use more durable aftermarket exhaust systems
  • Junked state level “Cash for Clunkers” legislation
  • Enacted legislation to lower taxes and fees for hobbyist vehicles.
The SAN is an organization dedicated to providing the tools and information necessary for hobbyists and businesses to protect their passion:
  • A professional government affairs staff in Washington, D.C., that works in all 50 states and at the federal level
  • A full-time research staff that monitors every bill introduced in every state
  • Tailored action alerts sent to enthusiasts with bill information, speaking points, and legislator contact information
  • The SEMA SAN website which features tracked legislation, action alerts, guidance on letter writing, lobbying elected officials, land use policies, warranty denial and a means by which you can identify your legislators.
  • The award winning legislative newsletter Driving Force
  • Pro-hobby model legislation crafted by SEMA SAN staff
  • The State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, a collection of more than 400 state legislators with a common goal to support the motor-vehicle hobby
  • The Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus – 100 U.S. Representatives and Senators who have aligned to pay tribute to America’s ever growing love affair with the car and motorsports
For more information on the SEMA Action Network, contact Ethan Landesman at