Global Update

Maximize the Potential of International Markets

By Michael Hart

Roundtable discussion attendees will have the opportunity to meet key wholesalers and importers even before the 2014 SEMA Show begins.

One out of every four 2014 SEMA Show buyers are from one of 130 countries, with the fastest-growing customization markets in the world being Russia, China and the Middle East.

“If companies want to grow their businesses and export their products, they should be there,” said Linda Spencer, SEMA’s senior director of international and government affairs.

Spencer is organizing three international roundtable discussions, Monday, November 3, when manufacturers and distributors get the chance to sit down and talk with buyers from Russia, China and the Middle East. Participants will get together and, as Spencer says, “talk about anything that’s on their minds.” It’s the best chance to interact with buyers from those hot markets during the SEMA Show.

The first session starts at 11:00 a.m., and will focus on opportunities in the Middle East for SEMA-member manufacturers. Lunch will be at 12:00 p.m. and then a second session with buyers from Russia will be held at 1:00 p.m. A third session at 3:00 p.m. will focus on the Chinese customization market.

“Because we have the lunch between the first and second sessions, many people will come and just spend all day getting to know about these markets,” Spencer said.

She said these three markets have been targeted by SEMA because of their potential for manufacturers. First, Spencer said, “There is a passion in these countries for customization.”

Second, they each have large populations that make sense in terms of economies of scale and, finally, large portions of those populations have substantial disposable income.

As an example, she said, “China has a huge population and growing number who can afford customization.”

Off-roading, in particular, is a fast-growing leisure activity there.

Even better, Russia has an average per-capita income that is twice that of China’s and in the more than one dozen countries that make up the Middle East, “They love everything from off-roading to street performance,” Spencer said.

For more information, or to register for the international roundtable discussions, visit the SEMA Show website.