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SEMA Council & Network News: Restylers—How to Create Up-Sell Opportunities for Dealerships

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.

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Know Your Dealership Profit Centers

By Amanda Gubbins

It’s fairly common to direct sales efforts to the new-car department. That’s an excellent approach that can reap big dividends for any restyling center, but it also leaves untapped territory—potential profit centers just waiting to be mined. Throughout a dealership, there are key departments that are important to the growth and success of restylers’ sales efforts. Where should restylers focus their efforts? First, they must understand the structure and team roles within a dealership.

Dealership salespeople are generally paid a commission based on a percentage of the gross profit on a vehicle. The higher the gross, the greater the commission. It seems logical that salespeople would be inclined to increase their income by up-selling their customers on a variety of add-on features. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. How can restylers influence that? By educating dealership salespeople about the company and the products and services they provide.

PRO Members: Succeed in increasing profitability throughout the dealership and your company will be viewed not just as a vendor, but as a value-added partner in profit. Learn more about this and other dealership hot spots through the “PRO Sales Training Manual.” It’s a helpful resource for training your entire team, and it’s available at a special rate for PRO council members. While the training manual can be purchased by anyone for $149.95, PRO (and TORA) members pay the discounted price of $24.95 for the printed copy. The digital edition is free for PRO members. Contact Clayton Drescher at to order a copy today.

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TORA Member Spotlight: AIRAID Filter Company

 Airaid Filter Co

Rodney Bertram is the creative director at AIRAID Filter Co. in Phoenix, Arizona. Here is his perspective on the company, and its TORA involvement.

SEMA eNews: What does your company do? 

Bertram: AIRAID manufactures and distributes high-flow cold air intakes, filters and throttle body spacers.

SEMA eNews: How many years have you been in business?

Bertram: 16.

SEMA eNews: What is your company history?

Bertram: AIRAID actually started out as a mail-order-based business specializing in emissions-legal performance parts for cars and trucks. It was during this time that the founder, John Levitz, developed his first cold-air intake. As the popularity of this product grew, he was asked by performance resellers to supply them with his products. Eventually, Evergreen Performance became AIRAID Filter Co.

SEMA eNews: How many employees at your company?

Bertram: More than 45.

SEMA eNews: Why are you an TORA member?

Bertram: The truck-accessory distribution chain has long been one of AIRAID’s strongest channels.

SEMA eNews: Anything exciting you see happening in the truck market or in your company?

Bertram: We are excited to see that light-duty trucks will be receiving diesel engines in the near future. We are gearing up to offer our products for this new opportunity.

Display Your Truck or Jeep at the SEMA Show and Support SEMA Cares

By Clayton Drescher

At this year’s SEMA Show, the Truck and Off-Road Alliance will display several vehicles in premier spots between the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the new Performance Pavilion exhibition area. As the SEMA Show continues to grow and expand, the conduits between exhibition areas gain in visibility and impact. Each day, thousands of attendees will be exposed to this selection of impressive vehicles that promote the mission and membership of TORA.

TORA members are invited to submit a 2015 Display Vehicle Application and photo or rendering of their vehicle for display consideration. The applicants must abide by SEMA Show feature vehicle policies and eligibility requirements. Applications will be accepted online through August 28, 2015, and applicants will be notified of their vehicle's status by September 14, 2015.

Contact Clayton Drescher at 909-978-6696, for more information.

SEMA Garage FAQ for TORA Members

By Clayton Drescher

The SEMA Garage is an invaluable product-development tool for manufacturers, especially those serving the truck, SUV and off-road markets. Sixty percent of the Measuring Sessions hosted by the SEMA Garage in the last 12 months have featured trucks or SUVs, and the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Measuring Sessions to orient new and veteran members alike to the services and opportunities available at the Garage.

Maybe you’ve wondered what you should bring to a Measuring Session or if you’ll have private access to the vehicles. Are the right people in your company getting all the Measuring Session notifications and are they aware of the digital data available through Tech Transfer? These questions and more are answered in the SEMA Garage FAQ.

Visit the FAQ webpage and to learn more.

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Connect With ARMO at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals

ARMO is hosting a general membership meeting at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals on Thursday, August 6, at the Kentucky Expo Center. General membership meetings are a great way to connect with fellow industry professionals to discuss day-to-day challenges, the future of the industry and how to get involved. This is an exclusive opportunity to build a lasting connection to SEMA and the ARMO council.

The meeting will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will take place during the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, where a range of activities and vehicle displays will be on site. Please visit the NSRA events page to learn more. RSVP for the 2015 ARMO General Membership Meeting.

For more information, contact Jim Skelly at

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Earn Up to $600 in Two Easy Steps

Manufacturers’ reps have a new opportunity to partner with the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) for a special incentive. Between now and September 2, 2015, reps who refer new suppliers to the SDC can earn a cash reward of anywhere between $150–$600.

The first step for reps is to start a conversation with their manufacturer clients about the benefits of selling more parts with data and the solutions that the SDC offers to help them manage and distribute great product data. Next, visit the SDC incentive page and complete the form by September 2. An SDC employee will follow up with each supplier to begin the on-boarding process.

As long as the supplier is referred during the incentive period and on-boarded by November 27, 2015, the referring rep will receive a check in the amount of that supplier’s first month’s dues. These checks are issued to individual reps, not SEMA-member companies.

For reps who need a little preparation for these discussions, training is available through the MRN Certification Program. The web-based educational series helps manufacturers’ representatives learn more about what the SDC offers through courses designed to build confidence in discussing the data-management system with customers. Contact SDC Director of Membership Jim Graven at to sign up.

Visit to learn more about the MRN SDC Incentive program and start earning rewards today.

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YEN’s Hot Rod Power Tour 2015: Recap

SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) kicked off the month of June with the Hot Rod Power Tour, where eight YEN members reached out to young professionals regarding the variety of career paths and opportunities available to them in the industry. Starting off in Madison, Wisconsin, on June 5, members traveled though Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana where the tour concluded.

Over the course of seven stops and 1,500 miles, participants had the opportunity to highlight the efforts of SEMA and YEN in person and through more than 1,000 posts on social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Members connected with fellow enthusiasts and professionals, gaining valuable insight and a variety of helpful perspectives on the state of the industry, having conducted more than 50 interviews with event attendees.

“Thanks to the Power Tour, I now have connections across the SEMA family of companies and have lifelong friends in different niches of the market,” noted participant Keith McWilliams of COMP Performance Group.

The Tour included visits to schools with education programs dedicated to automotive research and technology, and included the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Ranken Technical College, Lawson State Community College and the Tuscaloosa Center for Technology. YEN members were delighted to meet and engage with 250 students, finding their enthusiasm for the industry affirming and inspiring to their own career goals and achievements. Participant Matthew S. Davis, director of marketing at Premier Performance Products, was particularly delighted to share his insight with the students he met on the tour.

“The connections I made on this trip with the other YEN members were very valuable to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed networking with the upcoming generations at the school stops. I very much enjoy networking and helping others realize their dreams; it brings me a lot of joy.”

For more information on upcoming events and how to get involved with SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN), please visit

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