By Chad Simon
Representatives from Discount Tire Co. attended the Measuring Session to check the specs for the ’14 Honda Odyssey minivan.
The ’14 Acura RLX mid-luxury sedan is completely redesigned, featuring a 310-hp, direct-injected 3.5L V6 i-VTEC.
SEMA-member manufacturers came to measure the ’14 Honda Goldwing F6B.
The Measuring Session featured another first—the Pioneer SXS all-terrain vehicle.
For the first time ever, the SEMA Measuring Sessions program hosted a motorcyle and ATV OEM. Well-attended by SEMA-member manufacturers, the Honda/Acura Measuring Session was held last week at the SEMA Garage, and featured ’14 versions of the Honda Grom, CTX700 and Goldwing F6B motorcycles, the Pioneer SXS all-terrain vehicle and Odyssey minivan. The ’14 Acura MDX midsize SUV and RLX mid-luxury sedan were also available for members to explore.
SEMA Measuring Sessions provide an integration platform for different sectors of the aftermarket community. Members acquaint themselves with new vehicles before their release or immediately following their debut. Participants can question manufacturer representatives and offer their feedback regarding the new vehicles. SEMA acquires first-production or pre-production test vehicles for the sessions, allowing wheel companies, performance groups and cosmetic restyling businesses to shorten the lead-time for new products. SEMA often gathers two or more vehicles for each session, increasing the value of each event.
At the latest Measuring Session, an exhaust company measured the undercarriage of a vehicle while a wheel company inspected the latest braking system. Meanwhile, the second test vehicle was examined by seat-cover companies, a floor mat company and a second performance parts group. After inspecting the cars, SEMA members lingered and reconnected with industry friends, which provided valuable personal interaction not often facilitated by modern online social platforms.
"I find Measuring Sessions refresh my enthusiasm for the industry by allowing me the chance to get back to the basics of the aftermarket community," said Gavin Horlick of Voxx Products. "Instead of sitting behind a desk selling product, answering questions or reviewing data reports, I can interact with the latest vehicles, which allows me to stay informed of advances in the OEM industry. The accumulation of knowledge gained from the Measuring Session allows me to better serve consumers. The Measuring Sessions add value to my SEMA membership."
Measuring Sessions have also been a valuable part of SEMA’s Tech Transfer program, which grants SEMA manufacturing members access to vehicle CAD files provided directly from participating OEMs. The intent of the program is to help streamline production by minimizing or completely eliminating the necessity for reverse engineering. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Scion are currently participating in the program. SEMA Measuring Sessions and the Tech Transfer Program are functions of SEMA's OEM department.
"The SEMA Measuring Sessions are very helpful for us in developing product for new vehicles," said Mike Barland of MGP Caliper Covers. "In the case of the new Acura RLX, MGP was approached weeks earlier by a builder to provide caliper covers for his SEMA car. As soon as SEMA announced it would have the RLX for a Measuring Session, we made the appointment and took advantage of this service. The Measuring Session gives MGP the opportunity to fit up a car directly. We verify wheel clearance, rotor clearance and overall fit and function on the car. I prefer this type of hands-on method; it gives me confidence that MGP's product will fit correctly. With a functional fitment, we also take pictures of the product on the car to help customers troubleshoot if install issues arise."
In addition to access to upcoming vehicles, SEMA Measuring Session participants can also ask questions of the participating OEM staff to learn more about the vehicles, the automaker's marketing plans, the intended audience and more.
The ’14 Honda/Acura Measuring Session participants included: