Wheel, suspension, air-intake, exhaust, in-car entertainment, bedliner, grille guard and tonneau cover manufacturers are just some of the company types that participated in the recently conducted Toyota HiLux Measuring Session.
All of the participants were provided time with the HiLux over the two-day session to examine the truck inside and out in an effort to gather the specs and data needed to produce HiLux parts and make them available for export.
This session and the ones to follow are made possible by a Department of Commerce Market Development Cooperator Program grant from the U.S. government, which is working in partnership with SEMA to identify and create export opportunities for SEMA members.
"I applaud SEMA for their creativity, providing access to a new vehicle of this type, enabling small- and medium-size specialty parts manufacturers to prepare for this new opportunity and to export more products to new overseas markets," said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez.
The HiLux was chosen by SEMA-member manufacturers because of its popularity overseas and for the variety of opportunities it presents for specialty-equipment and accessories—ranging from off-road components and utility products to items that enhance interior comfort and convenience.
"The HiLux is widely available and accessorized overseas, but it's not sold here in the United States," stated Linda Spencer, SEMA director of international and government relations. Because of that appeal and popularity, it's the ideal vehicle for SEMA members to measure, make and prototype parts that are exportable."
Since its introduction, the HiLux has achieved nearly 14 million units sold in 135 countries worldwide. It is also a top-selling vehicle in key countries/regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa, Central America and the Middle East.
"SEMA is working closely with the Department of Commerce for this session, as well as a number of other programs all aimed to help small U.S. companies export overseas," continued Spencer. "This is just the beginning, and plans for the second vehicle and subsequent measuring sessions are already in the works."
The remaining sessions are:
- August 14 – Link Engineering Facility in Dearborn, Michigan
- August 22 – Clemson University in Greenville, South Carolina
For information on SEMA's international programs and services available, visit www.sema.org/international.