Global Update

Registration Now Open for 2014 SEMA China Tour

By Linda Spencer

Participants of the 2014 SEMA China Business Development Tour will learn what products sell, what products are in demand and for which applications through networking opportunities with retailers and wholesalers.

Sign up now for one of the limited slots for the 2014 SEMA China Business Development Tour, which is designed to explore the growing specialty market for 1.3 billion Chinese consumers. The 2014 SEMA tour, to be held September 16–20, will travel to two of the most important cities in regards to customization—Shanghai and Beijing. Participants will learn what products sell, what products are in demand, and for which applications, through networking opportunities with retailers and wholesalers.

Benefits for participating SEMA members include:

  • A first-hand look at the developing specialty-equipment market and an opportunity to meet with pre-vetted distributors and retailers from throughout China during stops in Shanghai and Beijing.
  • The opportunity to exhibit at two events:
SEMA China Business Development Conference at Beijing-based Tuner Tribe.
SEMA Pavilion at the Shanghai-based China Auto Salon (CAS).

The U.S. Department of Commerce has partnered with SEMA to promote and subsidize the participation of U.S. specialty-equipment companies at the SEMA China Business Development Tour. Firms that certify the products promoted at the SEMA China Business Development Tour contain a minimum of 51% U.S. content may be eligible for a $1,250 grant per company and an additional $250 grant for each additional person from the same company.

Program costs include booth space at both events, hotel, meals, interpreters, access to buyers from throughout China and a bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing (flights to and from the United States are not included).

Register now for the 2014 SEMA China Business Development Tour. For more information, contact Linda Spencer at or visit

Read the 2013 SEMA post-show report.

Here's what past participants have said about the Chinese specialty-equipment market and the SEMA overseas one-on-one programs:

“My pre-trip impression was completely different from my end-of-trip impression. The enthusiasts in China are now realizing what they want, and they are demanding quality U.S.-made products. They negotiate for higher quality, not for price. With the aftermarket being only five years old in China—and the total number of people in China—growth is exponential. Prior to our trip, the Chinese market was not part of our long-term strategy. After the trip, I am encouraged that it could be part of our five-year plan.”

—Mark Turner, CEO, Daystar

“China is rapidly becoming one of the largest consumer markets in the world. China’s middle-class population is set to accelerate and is expected to double to 500 million by 2020. If you haven’t done so yet, now is when you should change your perception of China as purely a country for manufacturing cheap products and start appreciating it as a huge consumer market.”

—Kevin Floody, international business manager, K&N Engineering Inc.

“We have doubled our business in the country every year for the past three and have commitments from our partners to quadruple growth in 2014, based on the relationships we have established and additional vehicle coverage we have provided. We see this growth continuing well into the future as the Chinese automotive market continues to grow and outpace every other market in the world.”

—Justin Oltz, vice president of sales, SCT Performance

“We’ve sold our Jeep accessories and performance products to China for many years now, but visiting this many customers and prospects in just one trip was never practical. Thanks to SEMA’s well-coordinated schedule, we met most of our existing customers and many prospects in just two days. We feel that China, with the highest number of Wranglers sold outside of North America, and with higher-income consumers buying these vehicles, has the potential to become the number-one destination for our products outside of North America. It is never easy learning how to conduct business in a foreign land, but we are betting it will be rewarding at the end.”

—Al Azadi, president/owner, Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge

“Going into China, I had a completely different perception and may have had preconceived notions on the markets. After attending the SEMA event, I now have a better understanding of the growing aftermarket industry in China. It is projected that by 2015, China will become the second-largest consumer market with enough purchasing power to buy 14% of the world’s products. The hidden potential of the 1.3 billion Chinese consumers, once unleashed, will make China the world’s largest consumer market and the top export destination for other major economies, especially for the United States. Moving forward, everyone should consider China a rapidly emerging aftermarket industry.”

—Paula Argiropoulos, international sales manager, Rigid Industries